Concurrent Sessions

Friday, March 27
10:30–11:15 a.m.
Cocurricular Initiatives for Vocation Formation
Benedictine University (IL), Furman University, and University of Saint Francis (IN)
How can smaller communities of vocation-based practices within the larger campus setting help students with vocational exploration? How can these vocational communities be shaped by leaders of cocurricular initiatives? Leaders from three universities will describe their efforts to create campus communities that teach students to live their callings by using sophomore travel experiences, athletic teams, and intentional small groups focused on vocation.
Susan S. D’Amato, Administrative Director, Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection, Furman University
Tarah Ellington Geye, Assistant Athletic Trainer, Benedictine University (IL)
Lewis T. Pearson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Theology and Director of the Undergraduate Program, University of Saint Francis (IN)
Chair: David S. Guthrie, Professor of Higher Education, Geneva College
Creating a Culture of Purpose by Deepening Vocational Exploration and Developing Sustainable Programming
Elizabethtown College
Presenters will describe program development and implementation efforts at Elizabethtown College, highlighting approaches taken to build sustainable programming that develops vocational understanding and commitment. The discussion will consider faculty, staff, and student retreats and workshops; a new campus-wide Sophomore Year Experience with an emphasis on vocational discernment; and quantitative and qualitative findings of program assessment.
Joel C. Janisewski, Assistant Director of Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships
E. Fletcher McClellan, Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Political Science
Stacey L. Zimmerman, Assistant Director, Called to Lead Program
Faculty Development That Sustains Vocation
St. Edward’s University and Valparaiso University
An understanding of vocation can aid the integration of new faculty and staff members into the distinctive mission and culture of an institution. Panelists from two NetVUE member institutions will discuss the rationale, practices, and content of initiatives to orient and develop new faculty and administrative leaders.
Brian T. Johnson, Executive Director of Campus Ministries, Valparaiso University
Steven M. Rodenborn, Associate Professor and Chair, Religious and Theological Studies, St. Edward’s University
Chair: Kathryn Kleinhans, Professor of Religion and Director, Discovering and Claiming Our Callings, Wartburg College, and NetVUE Scholar
Institutional Reflection: The Impetus for Engaging Undergraduate Students in Intentional and Sustained Vocational Conversations
Wisconsin Lutheran College
How can a campus community engage in intentional conversations focused on vocation to prepare students for lives of Christian leadership? Leaders from Wisconsin Lutheran College will share the evolving processes implemented since 2010 to attain this goal and will highlight curricular and cultural changes as a result. Presenters also will provide assessment data that have informed their work.
Erik P. Ankerberg, Assistant Provost and Associate Professor of English
David F. Brightsman, Dean, College of Professional Studies
Measuring the Strength of Community Partnerships
Aquinas College (MI)
Community engagement is central to vocational exploration and can help foster college-community partnerships. The presenter will review the process used by Aquinas College to develop an easily managed partner dataset; describe the Aquinas College dataset and maintenance process; and demonstrate a template for a Partnership Strength Score and the uses of this metric across the institution.
Kathy S. Kremer, Dean of Curriculum
Raising Students’ Calling Quotient: Integrating Vocation and Calling across the Curriculum
Northwest Christian University
How can educators and spiritual leaders shape contexts, relationships, and practices that help students discover and pursue their calling? The session will address the collaboration, curriculum, and systems needed to create a university culture that increases students’ capacity to discern their vocation—and have fun at the same time!
Troy J. Dean, Campus Pastor and Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry
Angela J. Doty, Director of Academic Services and Career Development
Vocational Exploration through General Education: Building and Sustaining a Campus Culture
Edgewood College
Presenters will describe Edgewood College’s approach to develop an understanding of vocation through the COR Curriculum, a three-course sequence that integrates study, reflection, and action. Assessment of student learning and program effectiveness, along with case studies from program instructors, from over five years of implementation will be presented.
Mary Elizabeth Bathum, Associate Professor of Nursing
Kristine M. Mickelson, Dean, School of Integrative Studies and Director, COR General Education Program
Dean A. Pribbenow, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean
Donna L. Vukelich-Selva, Associate Professor of Education

11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Discerning Vocation in the Jesuit Tradition: How Service Learning Impacts Careers and Calling
John Carroll University and Saint Louis University
Through vocational exploration in service-learning courses, students reflect on their gifts and determine how they might use them to serve others. Presenters will describe how survey data across four Jesuit institutions (Gonzaga University, Loyola University Chicago, John Carroll University, and Saint Louis University) were used to determine the impact of service learning on vocational discernment, including career choices, spiritual development, and calling.
Margaret O. Finucane, Associate Professor of Communication, John Carroll University
Samantha C. Guarnieri, Assistant Director of Student Engagement, John Carroll University
Robert P. Wassel, Assistant Director, Center for Service and Community Engagement, Saint Louis University
Holistic Student Advising
Augustana College (IL), Bluffton University, and Illinois College
Leaders of three NetVUE institutions will discuss the purposes, structures, and strategies they have used to develop a holistic approach to student advising. They will describe how vocational exploration is integrated through inquiry, experience, reflection, and transition over the four undergraduate years. Panelists will explore fresh ideas about structure and professional development.
Shari L. Ayers, Director, Center for Career and Vocation, Bluffton University
Andrew B. Jones, Dean of Student Success and Assistant Professor of Education and Gender and Women’s Studies, Illinois College
Kristen Glass Perez, Chaplain and Director for Vocational Exploration, Augustana College (IL)
Chair: Cynthia A. Wells, Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Boyer Center Fellow, Messiah College, and NetVUE Scholar
Let’s Start at the Very Beginning: A Baseline Measure of Vocational Formation
Our Lady of the Lake College (LA)
How does an institution assess student progress in vocational formation? Our Lady of the Lake College developed a baseline measure of vocation across the curriculum for an associate’s degree for physical therapist assistants. The college surveyed students and faculty members in health professions, science, and liberal arts regarding their beliefs about and approaches to vocation. The presenter will discuss data collected and plans for improving outcomes.
Christine A. Cook, Instructor, Physical Therapist Assistant Program
Making a Sum That Is More Than Its Parts: Vocation Interwoven throughout the College Experience
Point Loma Nazarene University
How does an institution connect vocation throughout the undergraduate years? Point Loma Nazarene University is weaving together first-year general education classes, sophomore cocurricular experiences, and junior and senior academic work in the majors to create a more coherent path to students’ vocational discernment. Presenters will discuss progress to date and what the academic community is learning.
Max E. Butterfield, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Kerry D. Fulcher, Provost and Professor of Biology
Maria R. Zack, Special Assistant to the President and Chair, Mathematics and Computer Science
Presidents Open Forum (Open to currently-serving presidents)
This session will encourage a candid and in-depth conversation among presidents regarding changing institutional contexts and next steps for long-term sustainability of vocational exploration initiatives. Two members of the NetVUE Advisory Council will facilitate a discussion about ways to strengthen campus vocational initiatives in relationship to institutional mission and resources.
Donna M. Carroll, President, Dominican University (IL)
Joel L. Cunningham, Vice Chancellor Emeritus and Professor of Mathematics, Sewanee: The University of the South
Vocational Discernment and Community: Lessons from the Classroom and the Servant Leadership House
Finlandia University
Examples from two different community experiences, classroom study in communications and a special-interest student residence called the Servant Leadership House, will illustrate the importance of community in the vocational discernment process. Panelists will describe how the classroom setting provides students with an experience of community and how service, leadership, and community are defined and practiced at the Servant Leadership House.
René E. Johnson, Director, Servant Leadership and Associate Professor of Religion
Diane M. Miller, Assistant Professor of Communication
Where from Here? Sustaining Faculty Involvement
Montreat College
Learn about efforts to build and sustain a culture and language of vocational exploration among faculty members. Presenters will discuss sustained efforts to develop curricula and enhance advising; achievement of faculty participation in a vocation symposium and student retreats; and lessons learned in planning and implementation of these initiatives.
Paul J. Maurer, President
Thomas L. Oxenreider, Associate Dean for Calling and Career

3:30–4:45 p.m.

A Conversation with Krista Tippett
Participants will meet with Tippett to delve into her thoughts on vocation, virtues, and practical spiritual disciplines for nourishing common life in the 21st century.
Krista Tippett, Creator and Host, On Being
Chair: Leanne M. Neilson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, California Lutheran University

Connecting Campus Chaplaincy with Vocational Exploration
What have NetVUE members learned over the past year about ways to strengthen campus chaplaincy and its intersections with vocational exploration? This session will consider learning that has been generated through NetVUE’s engagement with campus chaplains, directors of religious life, and senior administrators from NetVUE member institutions. Panelists will address changing student faith dynamics and institutional contexts as well as configurations for effective ministry on campus.
Michael G. Cartwright, Director, NetVUE Chaplaincy Conferences, CIC, and Dean of Ecumenical and Interfaith Programs, University of Indianapolis
Paul H. W. Rohde, Campus Pastor, Augustana College (SD)
Melanie-Prejean Sullivan, Director of Campus Ministry, Bellarmine University
Chair: Terry F. Walker, Director of Chapel Relations, Morehouse College
Finding Vocation in Interfaith Engagement
Interfaith engagement is a rising priority for many colleges and universities. NetVUE and Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) are learning more about how campus climate relates to religious diversity and vocational exploration. They also are exploring institutional initiatives that encourage interfaith understanding and appreciation. In this discussion, panelists will consider curricular and cocurricular initiatives that can increase the calling to interfaith awareness, respect, and action.
Katie Bringman Baxter, Vice President for Institutional Engagement, Interfaith Youth Core
Claire M. Noonan, Vice President for Mission and Ministry, Dominican University (IL)
Jon R. Powers, University Chaplain, Ohio Wesleyan University
Chair: Daniel J. Ott, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Monmouth College (IL)
Future Jobs as Callings
Colleges have multiple opportunities to teach students about the changing nature of employment and the ways in which it relates to a sense of purpose. What strategies and resources should institutions use to help students envision future work as a calling? How might a vision for vocation use assessment tools and career counseling in ways that connect with students’ academic choices? How can cutting-edge research on career development and meaningful work inform these efforts? This session will explore the relationships among vocation, future employment, various means for personal exploration, and individual education plans.
Bryan J. Dik, Associate Professor of Psychology, Colorado State University, and Cofounder, Career Analytics Network
Chair: Gloria Urrabazo, Vice President of Mission and Ministry, Our Lady of the Lake University (TX)
NetVUE Scholarly Resources: What We Are Learning
New scholarship about vocation can deepen and sustain campus initiatives. In this session, the director of the NetVUE Scholarly Resources Project will provide an update on the project. Scholars will describe some of the frameworks they have generated and offer a preview of the content that will appear in the first of three forthcoming books.
Douglas V. Henry, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Baylor University
Darby K. Ray, Director of Harward Center for Community Partnerships, Bates College
Caryn D. Riswold, Professor of Religion and Chair, Gender and Women’s Studies, Illinois College
Paul J. Wadell, Professor of Religious Studies, St. Norbert College
Moderator: David S. Cunningham, Director, NetVUE Scholarly Resources Project, CIC, and Professor of Religion and Director, The CrossRoads Project, Hope College

Saturday, March 28
8:30–9:15 a.m.
Alumni Speak Out: Undergraduate Education as a Faith-Mentoring Environment
Goshen College
Building upon previous research about Goshen College students and employees, the presenter will discuss findings from a survey of alumni that examines their experiences of the college as a “faith mentoring environment.” What do we need to know regarding student faith development? How should we be as faith mentors? What can we do to nurture student faith?
Robert E. Yoder, Campus Pastor and Assistant Professor of Youth Ministry
Engaging Students to Pursue a Richer Sense of Vocation
Trinity Christian College
Business faculty members will discuss how they used findings from key questions about the integration of vocation into their academic program. Topics include: What does “vocation” mean, and how can we prepare students for their vocation? What do students need in order to live their vocation? How can external partnerships assist students in developing and living their vocation?
Richard A. Hamilton, Assistant Professor of Business
Kyle J. Harkema, Assistant Professor of Business
Lynn Spellman White, Professor of Accounting and Chair, Business Department
Integrating NetVUE with the Values of a Franciscan University
Alvernia University
The mission of Alvernia University, a Franciscan university, is expressed in its core values, particularly in the way it educates students to become “ethical leaders with moral courage.” Presenters will discuss the integration of these values as measured by an assessment rubric and a related assessment of first-year students’ understanding of the Franciscan tradition.
Samuel M. Bradley, Assistant Professor of Business
Roberta A. McKelvie, OSF, Special Assistant to the President for Mission Integration
Carol N. Schwanger, Associate Professor of Music
NetVUE Grant Opportunities
Council of Independent Colleges
NetVUE has several grant initiatives to develop and strengthen campus programs for the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation. These opportunities are generously supported by Lilly Endowment Inc. with funds available to NetVUE member institutions. Presenters will describe goals of the various NetVUE grant initiatives, eligibility requirements, application processes, and the experience of some grant recipients to date.
Harold V. Hartley III, Senior Vice President
Shirley J. Roels, Senior Advisor and Director of NetVUE
Shared Faculty and Staff Development Strategies
John Carroll University, Manchester College, and Monmouth College (IL)
How do colleges and universities provide faculty and staff opportunities to build their knowledge of vocational frameworks and institution-specific vocational vocabularies? Representatives from three NetVUE institutions will present their cross-divisional strategies to shape vocational conversations and learning among faculty and staff leaders.
Lord Edwin J. Carreon, Assistant Director of Residence Life, John Carroll University
Stacy L. Erickson, Associate Professor of English and Chair of the First Year Experience Council, Manchester College
Daniel J. Ott, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Monmouth College (IL)
Chair: Peter E. Millet, President, Stillman College
Sustaining Vocation through Curricular Strategies
Bluefield College, Hope College, and Loras College
How do NetVUE institutions embed vocational learning in the general education curriculum? Leaders of three NetVUE institutions will describe the content of and strategies for weaving vocation into new and revised courses rooted in the liberal arts as well as the processes for revision of the core curriculum.
Robert K. Boozer, Professor of Psychology and Director of General Education, Bluefield College
Mary Ellen Carroll, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Experiential Learning, Loras College
Ryan J. White, Director of Academic Advising and First Year Seminars, Hope College
Chair: Christine M. Fletcher, Assistant Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Benedictine University (IL), and NetVUE Scholar
Transitional Times: Navigating the Spaces that Separate Convocation, Vocation, and Baccalaureate in a Religiously Plural Community
Millsaps College
During a period of fiscal constraint and increasing religious diversity, how can colleges that want to support vocational inquiry maintain financially sustainable and inclusive programs? Presenters will discuss how the Faith and Work Initiative at Millsaps College has navigated financial challenges and demographic shifts to help students consider their vocations.
Christopher R. Donald, College Chaplain and Director of Religious Life
Ann R. Phelps, Adjunct Instructor and Former Director of the Faith and Work Initiative
Shelli M. Poe, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Faith and Work Initiative

9:30–10:15 a.m.
A Work in Progress: Lessons Learned from the Implementation of a Peer Vocation Mentoring Program
Capital University (OH)
Capital University’s peer vocation mentoring program, Compass, is a campus-wide collaborative effort that has experienced both successes and emerging challenges. The presenters will share lessons learned about the selection and training of “Compass Leaders” and the interactive role they play with other undergraduates in the development of the program.
Eric R. Anderson, Director, Career Development
Kelsey A. Jarrett, Assistant Director, Academic Success
Experiential Education and Vocational Formation
Samford University and The College of Wooster
Experiential learning beyond the campus can shape vocational formation in powerful ways. Leaders from two NetVUE institutions will explain how they have integrated experiential education with their institutional visions for vocational advising and discernment. They will discuss student outcomes and next steps in the development of their long-term strategies.
Nancy C. Biggio, Associate Provost for Administration, Samford University
Cathy L. McConnell, Associate Director of Advising and Experiential Learning, The College of Wooster
Chair: Marianne E. Inman, President Emerita, Central Methodist University
How Then Shall I Live? The SOPHIA (Sophomore Initiative at Assumption) Program
Assumption College
The presenters will describe the SOPHIA program as it has evolved since fall 2013. Presenters will share lessons learned from the implementation of this initiative that fosters a culture of vocational exploration among sophomores and will discuss the role of a NetVUE Program Development Grant in its development.
Louise Carroll-Keeley, Interim Provost
Neil R. Castronovo, Dean of Student Development and Counseling
Catherine M. WoodBrooks, Vice President for Student Affairs
Reflecting on Reflections: Engaging First-Year Students in Vocational and Personal Inquiry
Trinity University (TX)
Inspired by similar initiatives at Harvard and Stanford in 2013, Trinity piloted a voluntary cocurricular program, Reflections, to “create a time and space for first-year students at Trinity University to think about life’s big questions, articulate personal goals, and develop strategies to achieve them.” The session will include background information, a sample Reflections activity, and a debriefing conversation.
Lisa Jasinski, Special Projects Coordinator, Academic Affairs, and Project Director, Reflections
The Pope Francis Challenge: Calling Students to the Margins
Holy Cross College (IN)
Holy Cross College is implementing a program based on the Pope’s call to explore service and presence at the peripheries of life. Fifty students and ten faculty members at Holy Cross signed “Challenge” cards and are part of the group’s year-long commitments. Presenters will describe how the project is rooted in Pope Francis’s theology, how his message is being received by students, and how the Challenge is progressing.
Louis Albarran, Assistant Professor of Theology
Dianne Barlas, Director for the Center for Global Perspectives
Michael Griffin, Director of Service Learning and Assistant Professor of Theology
The Vocation in College Project: Educating Students toward Human Flourishing and Lifelong Pursuit of the Common Good
Taylor University
Presenters will introduce their research on college student vocational formation. The Vocation in College Project explores vocational formation as the intentional pursuit of human flourishing. The presentation will outline preliminary research findings about college students’ understanding of vocation, the role of faith and vocation, the dimensions and contexts of vocation, the motivation to pursue vocation, and influences on vocation.
Jeff T. Aupperle, Director, Promising Ventures Program
Jessica A. Fankhauser, Assistant Director of Calling and Career
Drew B. Moser, Associate Dean of Students, Director of Calling and Career, and Assistant Professor of Higher Education
Vocational Discernment and Action: Building Mentoring Communities for Students, Faculty, and Staff through International Retreats and Faith Conversations
Pepperdine University
How does a university sustain vocational exploration? Presenters will describe two initiatives on vocational exploration that have been in practice at Pepperdine University for more than a decade. The first is faculty travel to one of the university’s international facilities for a workshop on calling during which faculty members write and share their own vocational stories. The second is the university chaplain’s leadership of discussions among students, faculty, and staff on such key topics as how learning embraces faith at Pepperdine.
Sara G. Barton, University Chaplain
Gary S. Selby, Director, Center for Faith and Learning and Professor of Communication
Donald M. Thompson, Professor of Great Books and Mathematics