Alma Joins National Network for Vocation
“At Alma, we have defined vocation as the search for meaning, purpose
and calling, and one finds meaning and purpose through service and
leadership for the common good.” — Chaplain Carole Gregg.
Nearly a decade ago, Alma College launched a campus-wide focus on vocation, securing a $2 million grant in 2001 for “Discovering Vocation: The Lilly Project at Alma College” and another $500,000 sustaining grant in 2005 from the Lilly Endowment.
The grants have run their course, but the emphasis on vocation continues.
Alma College has joined as a founding member the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), a nation-wide campus-supported network whose purpose is to expand and extend the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation on campuses.
NetVUE is a new initiative of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), a national association of more than 600 independent, liberal arts colleges and universities.
“The purpose of NetVUE is to provide opportunities for member institutions that have had vocation-related grants from Lilly Endowment to network with each other, share best practices and continue the conversation of how we are called to serve the world,” says Alma Chaplain Carol Gregg.
“At Alma, we have defined vocation as the search for meaning, purpose and calling, and one finds meaning and purpose through service and leadership for the common good,” says Gregg.
The Council of Independent Colleges has made a commitment to advancing vocational exploration as a guiding force in American independent higher education, says CIC President Richard Ekman.
“CIC hopes that NetVUE will capitalize on what has been learned about the theological exploration of vocation and how it can be adapted and developed to strengthen colleges and universities, their leadership, and the education they provide for their students,” says Ekman.
Colleges and universities have employed various ways to engage students in explorations of vocation, says Gregg. At Alma, the Discovering Vocation Project consisted of a network of initiatives, including speakers, alternative break trips, book discussion groups, and support for the Alma India Program. In 2006, the College began transitioning from the Discovering Vocation project to leadership with the development of the Center for Responsible Leadership.
NetVUE is supported by Lilly Endowment Inc., which has funded similar programs over the years.
“We have been approached by hundreds of colleges and universities seeking to enhance their educational programs by incorporating vocational reflection more intentionally into their curricular and co-curricular activities,” said Craig Dykstra, Lilly Endowment’s senior vice president for religion. “We are delighted that CIC is committed to sustaining and extending this important conversation and helping colleges across the country to advance their educational missions in this way.”
For more information about NetVUE, visit http://www.cic.edu/NetVUE.
Posted: Mon, December 21st, 2009 at 8:37AM