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Resources for FYS instructors on the subject of vocation and theology.

First, there is an extensive bibliography, for both texts and films, on the national web site for all the Lilly Vocation Projects at

  • Go to PTEV Resources > Text Bibliography (or > Movie Bibliography).
  • At the top of the “Text” or "Movie" page, you will find a drop-down list of categories that allows you to limit the search to a particular topic ­ including one called “for use with students.”

Second, we have compiled a number of resources that might be helpful in raising questions about vocation in the classroom context. We have received many good suggestions for this list from colleagues; special thanks to Maura Reynolds for providing her materials in past years. The CrossRoads Project office has catalogued and collated these materials, and would be glad to send them to anyone who is interested. They fall into four general categories:

  1. resources for faculty,
  2. handouts for students,
  3. a “both/and” category that will be helpful for faculty but also possibly usable in the classroom with students; and
  4. bibliographies.

The titles are listed below. If you would like to receive a packet of these materials, please email CrossRoads and list the items that you’d like to receive; they are designated in the list by a number and letter. Feel free to ask for everything in a category, or for the entire list.

Above and beyond the individual resources listed here, we strongly recommend the compilations of vocation-related texts that were commissioned by the national PTEV Coordination Office.

  • 'Callings: Twenty Centuries of Christian Wisdom on Vocation' (edited by Bill Placher), and
  • 'Leading Lives That Matter: What We Should Do and Who We Should Be' (edited by March Schwehn and Dorothy Bass). A PDF study guide for LLTM is available through PTEV. If you don't have a copy and would like one, just stop by the CrossRoads Office (Van Zoeren 249, with Center for Ministry Studies).

Category 1: Resources primarily directed at faculty

1a. 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. < http//>.

1b. Dykstra, Craig. “The Theological Exploration of Vocation.” Address given at the Third Annual PTEV Conference, Indianapolis, Ind., 1 October 2003. 6 single-spaced pages.

1c. 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.

1d. 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.

1e. 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.

1f. 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.

1g. 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.

1h. 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.

1i. 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.

Category 2: Useful classroom handouts for students

2a. Buchannan, John M. “Love God and Do What You Will.” Sermon delivered at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, Ill., 2 May 2004. 4 pages.

2b. Burtchaell, James Tunstead, C.S.C. “Major Decisions: How to pick your major in college.” Notre Dame Magazine (Winter 1986-87). 4 pages.

2c. Chong, Shiao. “The Calling of the Christian Student.” The Banner (Oct. 2002): 36-38.

2d. 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.

2e. 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.

2f. 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.

2g. 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.

2h. Schreiner, Laurie A. “Discover Your Calling.” Address given at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pa., 29 September 2001. 8 pages.

2i. 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.

2j. Sittser, Gerald L. “The Wonder of the Present Moment.” Address given at Hope College, Holland, Michigan, 27 August 2000. 5 pages.

2k. 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.

2l. Cairns, Scott. "The Gift of Vocation." O.E. (Oregon Extension Journal), pp. 28-29.

2m. Wallis, Jim. "What's Acceptable? What's Possible?" Commencement Address at Georgetown College, May 20, 2007.

2n. Kingsolver, Barbara. "Picking Up the Bread." Commencement Address at Centre College, May 24, 2005.

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

3a. 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.

3b. 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.

3c. 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.

3d. 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.

3e. 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.

3f. Rienstra, Debra and Ron. “Call Waiting.” Perspectives (October 2001): 8-15.

3g. 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.

Category 4: Bibliographies

As noted above, the most extensive and up-to-date annotated bibliography on the theological exploration of vocation can be found at For those of you who would prefer something printed, the following options are available from our office:

4a. “Bibliography: Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation.” Prepared by the National PTEV Coordination Office. Revised 2003. (No annotations.) 10 pages.

4b. Cartwright, Michael C. “Theological Exploration of Vocations: Recommended Readings. An Annotated List of Protestant Reflections.” Unpublished paper, 2001. 10 pages.