19 episodes

Conversations on college, career, and a life well-lived. “Callings” explores what it means to live a life defined by a sense of meaning and purpose. It focuses on the process of exploring and discerning one’s vocation, with particular emphasis on mentoring and supporting undergraduate students as they navigate college, career, and a life-well lived. Hosted by the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE).

Callings Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education

    • Education
    • 4.0 • 4 Ratings

Conversations on college, career, and a life well-lived. “Callings” explores what it means to live a life defined by a sense of meaning and purpose. It focuses on the process of exploring and discerning one’s vocation, with particular emphasis on mentoring and supporting undergraduate students as they navigate college, career, and a life-well lived. Hosted by the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE).

    Close Readings, Expanded Horizons

    Close Readings, Expanded Horizons

    How might literary studies expand our understanding of vocation? In this episode we hear from two English professors who have explored this question in depth. Stephanie Johnson (The College of St. Scholastica) and Erin Van Laningham (Loras College) are co-editors of a new book on the subject: Cultivating Vocation in Literary Studies (Edinburgh University Press, 2022). Together, they observe that the imaginative work required by the close reading of texts can help us as we discern our callings—including those moments that the author George Eliot appreciated as our inevitable “blunders” in life. This new collection of essays, and our conversation, reveal how disciplinary expertise can expand our understanding of what it means to “dwell in possibility.” 

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Troublesome Questions

    Troublesome Questions

    Richard Hughes—whose scholarship ranges across religious history, vocation, and the role of race in American religious culture—joins us for a conversation about some “troublesome questions” that have driven his thinking and scholarly work. An accomplished storyteller, Richard shares with us significant moments of rejection and criticism in his life and how these made him reconsider his most deeply held beliefs. Richard reflects on the influence of Victor Frankl, Robert Bellah, James Noel, and Martin Marty on his life and work. As he unpacks his new “memoir-of-sorts,” The Grace of Troublesome Questions: Vocation, Restoration, and Race, he reminds us of the ways that “losing oneself” can be a gift. Our vocations are not “tickets to the good life,” but rather moments to live into difficulties and challenges—and to hear how we need to change. 

    • 56 min
    California Freeways and New Jersey Diners

    California Freeways and New Jersey Diners

    In this interview, Tim Clydesdale talks about living intentionally—and about what it means to serve through one’s vocation. Building on his influential book The Purposeful Graduate and his subsequent research on twenty-somethings, Tim shares his expertise and empathy for young adults in their vocational journey. He emphasizes the importance of many conversation partners, understanding our common hopes and interests, and how to affirm those “good citizens” that we meet along the way. Listeners will also be interested in Tim’s comments about his tattered copy of Habits of the Heart, New Jersey diners, and how being a young adult today is like trying to navigate the LA freeway system at rush hour. 

    • 59 min
    Wrestling with the Angel

    Wrestling with the Angel

    Our guest in this episode is Marjorie Hass, president of the Council of Independent Colleges, who previously served as president of Rhodes College and of Austin College. Her recent book, A Leadership Guide for Women in Higher Education, stems from conversations with women leaders over many years. In her responses to our questions about calling, leadership, and times of personal as well as institutional crisis, Marjorie drew upon a set of images and metaphors from her own Jewish tradition. For her, calling is first and foremost about responsibility—that is, our ability to respond—as Abraham and others did. She reminds us that when Jacob wrestled with the angel, he received the blessing but forever afterward walked with a limp. 

    • 1 hr 1 min
    The Common Ground of Wonder

    The Common Ground of Wonder

    Our guest, Tom Landy, is director of the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. A longtime leader in higher education and vocation-related initiatives, Tom is founder of Collegium, a summer colloquy on faith and intellectual life. He is also co-editor of Becoming Beholders: Cultivating Sacramental Imagination and Action in College Classrooms, which includes various essays on how we can encourage students to develop imagination and reflection in their learning. Our conversation highlights the steady patience that vocational discernment entails, as well as the space vocation programming can provide to consider important questions, such as “what do we need to leave behind in order to become the people we are called to be?” Tom talks about pilgrimages, Max Weber, and how a “hermeneutic of wonder” can prompt imaginative acts that help us better experiment with our callings.  

    • 1 hr
    Leading with Strength and Vulnerability

    Leading with Strength and Vulnerability

    As a young girl in Kittrell, North Carolina, Mary Dana Hinton never imagined she might one day become the president of a college. Driven by a life-long calling to educational equity, she became the 13th president of Hollins University in August 2020 after serving as president of the College of Saint Benedict for many years. In this conversation she shares that on some days her calling feels heavy, and yet the inspiration of her hard-working mother, the encouragement from early mentors, and the uplifting teachings of the black church keep her going. President Hinton chooses to “lead from the margins,” and speaks about the importance of the balance between strength and vulnerability. 

    • 1 hr 10 min

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