Grant funding deep vocation exploration for USF students
Dec. 5, 2012 FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The University of Saint Francis has received a $42,000 grant from the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) for a project to help students begin a vocation discernment process in their first year of college.
NetVUE is a network of colleges and universities committed to fostering the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation in their campus communities. The initiative is supported by Lilly Endowment Inc. for a two-year cycle.
Through the project, “Living Your Call,” USF faculty and staff members will be trained in strategic efforts to assist students in the discernment of their vocations through a process for discovering their ultimate meaning. “Living Your Call” is a joint project of the School of Arts and Sciences, Campus Ministry and Student Life.
“Living Your Call” will have four goals: Student self-discovery as it relates to discerning vocation; faculty and staff facilitation of student discernment through professional development, advising and mentoring; student commitment to a discernment process through presentations, discussion groups, retreats, Career Center assessment and advising; and student discovery of a true vocation as faculty and staff work to develop each student fully.
A series of activities will begin in spring semester 2013 and continue through 2014. These will include speakers who address vocation as it relates to college students in the decision-making process; two summer workshops to train faculty and staff members to assist students in the discernment process; student discussion groups and retreats including small group discussions on discernment; and the use of videos, print resources, digital and print subscriptions, group activities and other materials to stimulate understanding of the subject.
“In its general sense, a ‘vocation’ is a call to radical faithfulness, a commitment of oneself in one’s totality,” said USF School of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Matt Smith.
The university plans to extend the project by embedding vocational discernment into curriculum and co-curricular activities. Trained faculty and staff will continue to work with small groups of students and integrate vocation discernment into their classrooms and university operations. Vocation-focused retreats may be developed by Campus Ministry. Materials purchased with grant funds will provide resources for students, faculty and staff to continue the discernment process.
The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 60 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in five schools: The School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. More than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence. The university has a regional campus in Crown Point, Ind.
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