/ Center for Ministry Studies

Faculty Advising Resources

These materials and links can assist you and your students explore vocation and calling from a theological perspective.


Hard copies of the resources listed below are available for your use. Please let us know what you would like by providing us with the coresponding number/letter (e.g., 1a, 2e, etc.). Indicate whether you would prefer hard copies in campus mail or scanned as PDF attachments.

1: Resources primarily directed at faculty

  1. Braskamp, Larry A. and Remich, Robin G. “The Centrality of Student Development in the Life of Faculty at Church and Faith Related Colleges and Universities.” Journal of College and Character (10 June 2003). 13 double-spaced pages.
  2. Dykstra, Craig. “The Theological Exploration of Vocation.” Address given at the Third Annual PTEV Conference, Indianapolis, Ind., 1 October 2003. 6 single-spaced pages.
  3. Hardy, Lee. “Between Us, God and the World: The Trajectory of a Christian Vocation.” Address given at the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN. Fall, 2003. 9 double-spaced pages.
  4. Jeffrey, David Lyle. “Faith, Fortitude, and the Future of Christian Intellectual Community.” Address given at a conference on Christianity and the Soul of the University at Baylor University, Waco, Tex., 26 March 2004. 16 double-spaced pages.
  5. Mead, James K. “The Divine Vocation: Reformed Theology’s Conversation with the Call of God in the Biblical Traditions.” Unpublished paper. 24 double-spaced pages.
  6. Parks, Sharon Daloz. “Mentoring Communities.” Excerpted from chapter 9 of Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Mentoring Young Adults in the Their Search for Meaning, Purpose, and Faith. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000. Pp. 158–79.
  7. Schuurman, Douglas J. “Vocation Under Assault: Can It Be Salvaged?” Chapter 1 of Vocation: Discerning Our Callings in Life. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004. Pp. 1-16.
  8. Sittser, Gerald L., “Helping Students Discover Their Calling.” Excerpted from The Will of God as a Way of Life. Grand Rapids:Zondervan, 2000. 3 pages.
  9. Sullivan, William M. “Vocation: Where Liberal and Professional Education Meet.” With responses by Susan Currier and George Ayoub. Addresses given at a conference on “Vocation, Vocationalism, and the Liberal Arts” at Westmont College, 6 February 2004. Pp. 7-31.

2: Useful classroom handouts for students

  1. Buchannan, John M. “Love God and Do What You Will.” Sermon delivered at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, Ill., 2 May 2004. 4 pages.
  2. Burtchaell, James Tunstead, C.S.C. “Major Decisions: How to pick your major in college.” Notre Dame Magazine (Winter 1986-87). 4 pages.
  3. Chong, Shiao. “The Calling of the Christian Student.” The Banner (Oct. 2002): 36-38.
  4. Gaede, Stan D. “On Joy & Career: Why Can’t I Play Third Base?” Excerpted from An Incomplete Guide to the Rest of your Life on the Road to Meaning, Purpose & Happiness. Downers Grove, Ill.: Intervarsity Press, 2002. Pp. 104–13.
  5. Guinness, Os. “Do What You Are.” Chapter 6 of The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life. Nashville, Tenn.: Word Publishing, 1998. Pp. 44-54.
  6. Langerquist, L. Deane. “Now that I’ve Grown Up: Mid-career Reflections on Vocation.” The Cresset. Special Issue: Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts (Trinity 2003). 2 pages.
  7. Plantinga, Cornelius, Jr. “Longing and Hope.” Chapter 1 of Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002. Pp. 1–16.
  8. Schreiner, Laurie A. “Discover Your Calling.” Address given at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pa., 29 September 2001. 8 pages.
  9. Schultze, Quentin J. “Listening to God.” Chapter 1 of Here I Am: Now What On Earth Should I Be Doing? Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005. Pp. 9-21.
  10. Sittser, Gerald L. “The Wonder of the Present Moment.” Address given at Hope College, Holland, Michigan, 27 August 2000. 5 pages.
  11. Weems, Renita J. Excerpts from Listening for God: A Minister’s Journey Through Silence and Doubt. New York: Simon and Schuster, Touchstone Books, 1999. Pp. 15-41.
  12. Cairns, Scott. "The Gift of Vocation." O.E. (Oregon Extension Journal), pp. 28-29.
  13. Wallis, Jim. "What's Acceptable? What's Possible?" Commencement Address at Georgetown College, May 20, 2007.
  14. Kingsolver, Barbara. "Picking Up the Bread." Commencement Address at Centre College, May 24, 2005.

3: Useful for faculty but also (possibly) digestible by students

  1. Berry, Wendell. “A Conversation Out of School” and “Toward a Change of Standards.” Chapters 6 and 7 of Life is a Miracle. Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint Press, 2000. Pp. 121–42.
  2. Gaede, Stan D. “Education for What? A Framework for the Liberal Arts.” Address given at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, Ca., 31 January 2003. 6 single-spaced pages.
  3. Hardy, Lee. “Work, Life, and Vocational Choice: Investing Yourself in the Divine Economy.” Chapter 3 of The Fabric of this World: Inquiries into Calling, Career Choice, and the Design of Human Work. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990. Pp. 79–123.
  4. Jones, L. Gregory, “Negotiating the Tensions of Vocation.” In L. Gregory Jones and Stephanie Paulsell, ed. The Scope of Our Art: The Vocation of the Theological Teacher. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002. Pp. 209-224.
  5. Parks, Sharon Daloz. “Big Questions, Worthy Dreams: Purpose, Vocation, and the Common Good.” Address given at the Institute on College Student Values, Center for The Study of Values in College Student Development, 2002. 10 pages.
  6. Rienstra, Debra and Ron. “Call Waiting.” Perspectives (October 2001): 8-15.
  7. Sittser, Gerald L. “Distinguishing Between Calling and Career” and “Discovering What We’re Supposed to Do.” Chapters 5 and 6 of The Will of God as a Way of Life. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000. Pp. 13-23, 63-93.

4: Bibliographies 

As noted above, the most extensive and up-to-date annotated bibliography on the theological exploration of vocation can be found online at the Forum for Theological Exploration. If you would prefer something printed, the following options are available from our office:

  1. “Bibliography: Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation.” Prepared by the National PTEV Coordination Office. Revised 2003. (No annotations.) 10 pages.
  2. Cartwright, Michael C. “Theological Exploration of Vocations: Recommended Readings. An Annotated List of Protestant Reflections.” Unpublished paper, 2001. 10 pages.

View a list of books, DVDs and tapes available for your use 


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