Vocation 101 video resource

In leading faculty and staff workshops on vocation at the NetVUE campuses of Illinois College and Carthage College, I have used this short video to spark conversation. Although the video definitely broadens the scope of vocation beyond specifically theological callings, it does make explicit references to God and to Jesus (it was produced by the Fund for Theological Education). This is always a delicate balance. As Shirley J. Roels articulated in the Winter 2014 issue of Liberal Education, successful vocational exploration programs have ranged widely in this regard:

Initiatives encompassed students and campus leaders from multiple perspectives, including participants from Buddhist, Jewish, humanist, and other traditions. The quest for identity, purpose, and direction, and those who supported its exploration among undergraduates, [were] not confined by Christian [theologies] of vocation. Instead, while honoring its faith-related roots, the vocational framework became flexible and fluid to honor a variety of voices joined in common cosmic pilgrimage.

I would be interested in hearing what others think about how this video introduction defines and frames vocation.


Author: Caryn Riswold

feminist theologian in the Lutheran tradition, professor, scholar, advocate for justice

One thought on “Vocation 101 video resource”

  1. This was a very interesting video, but I am really struggling to summarize my thoughts on it! I don’t think I mean this as a criticism, but the video is incredibly “efficient” and covers a lot of ground in a very short period of time. The direct references to God and Jesus would require a lot more unpacking before I would feel comfortable using this video to start a conversation, but I think it is helpful in broadening one’s understanding of the concept of “vocation”, or at least introducing it.

    One way I might envision using this video to prime a conversation would be to show it to the members of a small group who are meeting to discuss vocation after they have already done some common reading and had some time to ponder the idea. Without that, I would probably have a hard time absorbing all of this so quickly.

    Just some initial thoughts…

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