Opus offers a seminar each semester designed for staff and faculty to explore questions of vocational meaning and purpose, focused on equipping them to provide excellent vocational mentoring to the students they encounter daily.
Studies have shown that students best develop in vocational purpose, imagination, agility, and resilience when the staff and faculty who serve them live and work out of an understanding of their own vocations. Research also shows that when faculty and staff come together for developmental opportunities around themes of vocation most (85%+) report an increased satisfaction in their own work and understanding and sharing in the educational mission of the school. It’s for these reasons that Opus offers an employee vocation seminar, which was piloted in fall, 2016. This seminar prepares employees to walk alongside students as they confront questions of vocational purpose, integrity, and influence.
Faculty participants will have promotable experiences in spiritual mentoring and institutional citizenship. They will also receive priority consideration for other Opus opportunities such as the faculty fellowship and Opus grants programs. All participants will have the chance to reflect on and share their own vocational experiences and explore approaches to mentoring students around questions of life purpose and meaning.
Our Fall 2018 cohort will be meeting in six 90-minute sessions, for a total of 9 hours, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. on the following Thursdays: September 6, 13 & 27; November 1 & 15; and December 6. The final meeting will be a closing dinner celebration on Sunday, December 9, with spouses and significant others invited. Faculty who are interested in joining the Fall 2018 cohort may apply here before March 30.
Our Spring 2019 cohort will be meeting in six 90-minute sessions, for a total of 9 hours, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. on the following Thursdays: January 24 & 31, February 21, March 21, April 4 & 25.
Activities and Objectives
The seminar will include a diverse group of faculty and staff, giving participants opportunity to interact meaningfully with those outside of their usual work spheres. Participants will:
- Enrich their own appreciation and love for their colleagues from all corners of the College
- Reflect on and share their own vocational stories and listen to and understand the vocational stories of the other participants
- Review and apply principles of meaning-making to their own work in various spheres
- Read and discuss key texts on mentoring contemporary students in areas of purpose, calling and work
- Work on strategies for mentoring students toward meaningful visions for life
- Review resources for further exploration
This seminar will address the following topics:
- What the Bible and Christian tradition have to say about vocation and work
- Unique contextual factors in the vocational journeys of Generation Z
- Challenges to students' vocational development related to race, class, and gender
- Practical ways to help our students grow in their vocational purpose, imagination, and resilience