Most American adults spend the better part of their waking hours at work—some say 100,000 hours over a lifetime. Yet the generation now preparing to enter the workforce faces sobering realities—among them rising student debt, unemployment, and societal and economic pressures at home, where the crucial (though unpaid) vocational work of homemaking and parenting take place.
Once in that first job, the scenario is not much better: According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace, while 30% of American workers are engaged and inspired at work, 20% are actively disengaged, spreading discontent, and the other 50% are just “kind of present”—unengaged and uninspired.
The rising generation wants to know whether they can serve the world through the best use of their gifts; whether they will find work in which they can deepen in their own discipleship and live their witness for Christ before others; and what it will mean to bring gospel values to bear in challenging work setting and sectors.
What does God have to say about our work—both the choice of what work each of us should do, and the ways we do that work once we’ve chosen it? How can Wheaton undergraduate and graduate students launch themselves into work lives that will serve public, family, and marketplace institutions with integrity?
Introducing Opus: The Art of Work
The BGCE now houses Opus: The Art of Work, an institute dedicated to understanding God’s call for our work in the world.
Opus: The Art of Work is committed to:
- Supporting researchers who are developing a deeper, clearer Christian vision of vocation
- Helping students launch into occupations where they can serve the world well through the use of their gifts
- Developing a campus culture that celebrates economic work as an essential part of an overall witness to the goodness of God in a confused world.
Opus: The Art of Work launched July 1, 2014, and will hold a public debut in January 2015 with a conference to be held on the campus of Wheaton College.
Projects in Year One (2014-15)
- Establishing faculty and graduate student fellowship programs, vocational discernment groups for undergraduate students, independent research on vocation across disciplines, and the development of a resource library.
- Resourcing scholarly projects and creative efforts in teaching and mentoring through faculty fellowships and small grants
- Craft and facilitate vocational discernment groups to help students discern their vocational paths and launch into occupations where they can serve the world well.
- Sponsor and host a series of events that celebrate economic work as an essential part of an overall witness to the goodness of God in a confused world, including Opus: The Art of Work “launch week” events January 27-31, 2015, hosted at Wheaton College in partnership with the Theology of Work Project >>
- Develop and pilot a series of church-based workshops on vocation.
Chris Armstrong, Director
Ben Norquist, Program Manager
Learn more about Opus: The Art of Work >