NetVUE Update: 2019 Conference to Focus on Expanding Vocational Exploration; Member Institutions Receive Grants

CIC’s Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), a national campus-supported network that fosters the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation among college and university students, has continued to gain momentum. With an engaged, expanding membership, CIC recently announced new recipients of grant initiatives and will soon host the 2019 NetVUE Conference.

2019 NetVUE Conference

CIC’s fifth NetVUE Conference will take place March 21–23, 2019, in Louisville, Kentucky. With the theme “Broadening the Scope of Vocational Exploration,” the biennial conference will focus on the increased importance of vocation and calling across a wide range of concerns in undergraduate education. The conference is designed to provide participants with ideas and resources for sustaining and broadening the work of vocational reflection and discernment—in the classroom, the advising process, career development, campus ministry, community engagement, and many other campus venues.

An array of distinguished speakers and other experts will address such topics as vocational exploration in a world of accelerating change, the increasingly diverse religious and ethical worldviews of undergraduate students, and moral leadership as a calling. Plenary speakers will cover a diverse range of topics:

  • Rebecca S. Chopp, chancellor of the University of Denver (CO), will deliver the keynote address, “The Future as Vocation.”
  • A panel on “Vocation in a Multi-Faith Environment: Lifestance, Diversity, Difference” will include Katherine (Trina) Janiec Jones, associate professor of religion and associate provost for curriculum and co-curriculum at Wofford College (SC); Rachel S. Mikva, Rabbi Herman E. Schaalman Chair and associate professor of Jewish studies and senior faculty fellow of the InterReligious Institute at Chicago Theological Seminary; and Anantanand Rambachan, professor of religion, philosophy, and Asian studies at St. Olaf College (MN).
  • The closing plenary address, “The Vocation of Moral Leadership,” will be delivered by Robert M. Franklin, Jr., James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor of Moral Leadership at Emory University and president emeritus, Morehouse College (GA).

headshots of five NetVUE Conference plenary speakers
Rebecca S. Chopp of the University of Denver (CO); Katherine (Trina) Janiec Jones of Wofford College (SC); Rachel S. Mikva of Chicago Theological Seminary; Anantanand Rambachan of St. Olaf College (MN); and Robert M. Franklin, Jr. of Morehouse College (GA)

Concurrent sessions will highlight successful campus programs, effective practices, emerging opportunities, and assessment of what has worked well. Workshops will address such topics as Vocation in the Health Professions, Mentoring Students of Color for Deep Purpose, and Interfaith Vocational Reflection at Distinctively Religious Campuses. A panel of journalists will explore best practices for narrating the story of campus vocational programs, while a panel of faculty members will describe classroom projects developed through the NetVUE seminars on Teaching Vocational Exploration.

NetVUE members are invited to submit proposals for conference presentations about any aspect of vocational exploration and discernment, including descriptions of effective campus programs; the deadline for such proposals is November 9, 2018. Conference registration will open on September 24, 2018, and members will be encouraged to register before the February 1, 2019 deadline as space is limited. Each NetVUE member institution is invited to send a three- to five-person team to the conference, which will be held at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. Generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc. and member dues will cover the registration fees, lodging, and most meals for the first three members of the team from each NetVUE member institution. For more information, visit the conference website.

NetVUE Grant Initiatives

In June, CIC awarded Vocation across the Academy Grants to 21 NetVUE member institutions and gave Professional Develop¬ment Awards to an additional six institutions. Vocation across the Academy grants, a new program this year, provide institutions with up to $60,000 in funding from CIC and third-party sources over three years. These grants aim to integrate programs across the liberal arts and applied fields or provide a continuum of vocational exploration across all four years of undergraduate study. Professional Development Awards provide each institution with $5,000–$10,000 from CIC for one academic year. These awards equip faculty and staff members to support vocational exploration and discernment among their undergraduate students.

NetVUE awards and grants are administered by CIC and generously funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. They are one part of the larger NetVUE effort to deepen the intellectual and theological inquiry into vocational exploration and discernment in all its facets, and to encourage member campuses to share knowledge, effective practices, and reflections on their experiences. Another round of Vocation across the Academy Grants will be available to NetVUE members next year, with proposals due in spring 2019. In addition, this fall, NetVUE will offer Program Development Grants of up to $50,000 over two years with applications due September 21, 2018.

NetVUE Membership Continues to Increase

NetVUE membership continued to expand during the 2017–2018 academic year, welcoming 18 additional college and university members. NetVUE membership currently includes 229 institutions, including those with both religious and nonsectarian roots. Institutions can join NetVUE at any time. For more information, contact David Cunningham, director of NetVUE, at (616) 395-6750 or

2018–2021 NetVUE Vocation Across The Academy Award Recipients

Ashland University (OH)
Belmont University (TN)
Bluffton University (OH)
Butler University (IN)
College of the Holy Cross (MA)
Dominican University (IL)
Dordt College (IA)
Georgetown College (KY)
Grand View University (IA)
Hiram College (OH)
Lewis University (IL)
Luther College (IA)
Marian University (IN)
McDaniel College (MD)
Millsaps College (MS)
Northwest Christian University (OR)
Palm Beach Atlantic University (FL)
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine (ME)
St. Andrews University (NC)
Trinity Christian College (IL)
University of Dayton (OH)

2018–2019 NetVUE Professional Development Award Recipients

Assumption College (MA)
Austin College (TX)
Fontbonne University (MO)
Lipscomb University (TN)
Mount Mary University (WI)
Ouachita Baptist University (AR)

NEW NetVUE Members In 2017–2018

Alma College (MI)
Austin College (TX)
Bethel University (MN)
Drury University (MO)
Friends University (KS)
Harding University (AR)
Lipscomb University (TN)
Loyola University Maryland
McDaniel College (MD)
Mount Vernon Nazarene University (OH)
Newman University (KS)
Ottawa University (KS)
Ouachita Baptist University (AR)
Philander Smith College (AR)
Rhodes College (TN)
Southwestern University (TX)
St. Olaf College (MN)
Wofford College (SC)