Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.Parker J. Palmer
FTE strives to equip the next generation of leaders who are inspired to do God’s work in the world through his or her own church or academic community. With support, diverse young people can enliven their vocational pursuit, becoming intellectually and spiritually whole leaders. We provide resources created to meet the unique needs of those who are seeking their purpose, passion and call, and the partners who nurture them on their journey.
Video FeaturedFuel the Fire to Lead
Right now a young adult you know is wondering, “what will I do with my one precious life?” Watch this short animated video to learn how you can impact the life of an emerging Christian leader.
Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Theological Institutions, Doctoral Education, Pastoral Ministry, Seminary Education, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Vocational Discernment, Video
Books FeaturedNobody Cries When We Die
When the screams of innocents dying engulf you, how do you hear God’s voice? Will God and God’s people call you to life when your breath is strangled out of you? For people of color living each day surrounded by violence, for whom survival is not a given, vocational discernment is more than “finding your purpose” — it’s a matter of life and death. Patrick Reyes shares his story of how his community saved him from gang life, abuse, and the economic and racial oppression that threatened to kill him before he ever reached adulthood.
Tools5 Cups of Coffee
Asking questions can help us unlock our deep gladness and how we experience the world’s deep hunger. Do you know someone struggling to know what God’s call is in his or her life? Invite them to join you for a cup of coffee and share with them in each of these 5 important conversations.
BooksA Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life
Four themes that build on Palmer’s earlier writing are explored in this book: the shape of an integral life, the meaning of community, teaching and learning for transformation, and nonviolent social change.
Articles / WhitepapersA Letter from a Pastor to a Young Person
A letter from a pastor to a young woman whom he believes has a call to pastoral ministry.
BooksA Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do
In this slender volume, bestselling spiritual guru Moore (Care of the Soul) says that finding the right work, finding one’s vocation, is also part of the care of the soul.
BooksA Sacred Voice Is Calling: Personal Vocation And Social Conscience
Includes wisdoms from many traditions including Native American and Christian to better hear the call to action for others as the journey toward vocation.
BooksA Work of Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders
A Southern Baptist leader looks at the lives of biblical leaders for six factors shaping leaders’ hearts.
Articles / WhitepapersActive Faith Matters: 2015 FTE Christian Leadership Forum Reflections
Does an Active Faith Matter? This is the question explored by nearly 200 faithful leaders at the 2015 FTE Christian Leadership Forum. Over three days in Dallas, FTE hosted a diverse, intergenerational gathering of Christian leaders—seminarians, faith-based community workers and volunteers, doctoral students, leaders of theological schools, congregations and church-related organizations. This publication includes insights and reflections from several Forum participants as well as written pieces from FTE’s Stephen Lewis and Dori Baker.
BooksAddicted to Hurry: Spiritual Strategies for Slowing Down
Dr. Jones is an adjunct professor at Andover-Newton Theological School and a popular 2008 Boston VEV presenter. Audio CD.
BooksAnswering Your Call: A Guide for Living Your Deepest Purpose
A spiritual “how-to” book that helps readers discern what they are called to do, find the courage to respond to that call and stay the course to make that vision reality.
BooksAs Leaven in the World: Catholic Perspectives on Faith, Vocation, and the Intellectual Life
Illuminating essays by well-known American Catholic intellectuals about the interaction of faith and work.
BooksAt This Time and In This Place: Vocation and Higher Education
Growing out of a year-long seminar sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges and its Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), this book brings together a nationwide group of scholars from a variety of disciplines in order to produce new scholarly writing on this topic. It offers a historical and theoretical account of vocational reflection and discernment and also suggests how these endeavors can be carried out through specific educational practices. Attending both to the current state of higher education and to broader cultural trends, the contributors examine the contours of vocation from historical, theological, and philosophical perspectives. They consider the relationship between vocation and virtue, both of which encourage the cultivation of habits that lead to a life marked by flourishing and fulfillment-for oneself and for others. The authors also discuss how to engage students in actively reflecting on questions of meaning and purpose through classroom conversations, co-curricular activities, programs for community engagement, and attention to a campus’s physical features. At This Time and In This Placeoffers a compelling argument for vocational reflection and discernment in undergraduate education and represents a significant contribution to the emerging scholarly literature in this field.
BooksAt This Time and In This Place: Vocation and Higher Education
Seeking to deepen current scholarly engagement with vocational exploration in both theory and practice, At This Time and In This Place champions the themes of calling and vocation as key elements of effective undergraduate education.
BooksAwakened to a Calling: Reflections on the Vocation of Ministry
Ms. Wiginton is the former VP of Ministry Programs and Planning at FTE. This is a collection of sermons on the theme of discerning a pastoral vocation.
BooksBecoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self from Thomas Merton and Other Saints (Christian Class
How becoming who you are, the person God created, is the path to happiness, peace of mind, and sanctity.
BooksBeing Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire
Positive and inspiring vision of how the body of Christ can engage in economic alternatives.
BooksBook, Bath, Table, and Time: Christian Worship as Source and Resource for Youth Ministry
This book gives youth, youth ministers, congregational leaders, and seminary students ideas for and suggestions on how to practice the liturgical holy things of the ordo - the ancient church’s life “ordered” around its liturgical “holy things” - bath (Baptism); book (Scriptures); table (Eucharist); calendar (the prayerful patterning of time) - in order to provide the church with a faithful ecology of life that is capable of forming Christian youth who experience God’s presence, identify God rightly, and take up their baptismal vocations before God and for the world.
BooksBreathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx
An FTE Fellow, this parish pastor in the south Bronx shares insights and inspiration through her own ministry.
BooksCalling & Character: Virtues of the Ordained Life
Willimon, a United Methodist bishop, popular preacher and former dean of the Chapel at Duke University offers a clear and compelling picture of pastoral life that can inform those considering ordained ministry.
AudioCalling Cast Podcast Series
A podcast to support future pastors, those who teach them, and the communities who call them.
Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Theological Institutions, Young Adults, Doctoral Education, Leadership Development, Pastoral Ministry, Seminary Education, Service, Activism & Volunteerism
BooksCallings: Twenty Centuries Of Christian Wisdom On Vocation
An incredible anthology of passages about work and vocation from the greatest writers in Christian history.
BooksChrist At Work: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Vocation
Theologians from Eastern and Orthodox traditions write on the topic of vocation.
BooksCivil Disobedience and Other Essays (Dover Thrift Editions)
Thoreau lived counter-culturally in another era. His works may inspire modern examples.
ToolsCongregational Resource Guide
An effort of the Alban Institute in consultation with the Indianapolis Center for Congregations and other specialists, the Congregational Resource Guide (CRG) exists to help congregational leaders connect with resources that will enable them to face challenges and foster vitality in their communities of faith.
BooksCrossing the Jordan: Meditations on Vocation (Cloister Books)
This piece explores the questions of discernment and vocation through meditations on the life and vocation of Jesus.
BooksDoing Girlfriend Theology: God-Talk with Young Women
Girlfriend Theology is a model of religious education that helps nurture voice and authentic spirituality in girls and women. It is one way for the spiritual hunger, passion, and curiosity of today’s adolescent girls to connect with the beliefs and practices of the generations of faithful women who came before them. It provides a healthy faith-based antidote to the dangers many girls face as they approach adulthood.
BooksEnhancing Religious Identity: Best Practices from Catholic Campuses
Essays that develop the Vatican’s vision of ethical higher education.
CurriculumExploring Vocation through Former Volunteer Retreats
Years of anecdotal evidence, together with responses from a 2015 survey of over 800 former Jesuit Volunteers (FJVs), tell us that alumni of faith-based volunteer service programs strongly desire retreat opportunities. This curriculum serves as a resource to those interested in planning vocational discernment retreats for former volunteers.
CurriculumFinding Your Calling: The Renaissance Within
As English theologian William Perkins explained, “every person of every degree, state, sex, or condition, without exception must have some personal and particular calling.” Because Renaissance men and women expected to discover their callings, in remarkable ways, they found them. Their vocations illuminated their lives as they combined ideals and action into unprecedented creative contributions to science, religion, politics, and the arts.
BooksFollowing Christ in a Consumer Society: The Spirituality of Cultural Resistance
Kavanaugh is a perennial bestseller and reminds us that the countercultural message of the Gospel’s values makes us human.
BooksForgetting Ourselves on Purpose: Vocation and the Ethics of Ambition
Challenges the American cult of success, defining vocation as the proper dedication of our unique talents to meet the needs of others.
BooksFreedom of a Christian, The: Grace, Vocation, and the Meaning of Our Humanity
A book that explores how Christian Freedom applies to such issues as vocation and biotechnology.
Articles / WhitepapersFTE Guide to Pastoral Internships
The FTE Guide to Creating Pastoral Internships presents a roadmap for congregations and church-related organizations on how to put together pastoral internships. (67Mb)
Articles / WhitepapersFTE Guide to Theological Education
Theological education is a journey of the heart, soul, mind and strength into the life of God and the healing of the world. As you read The FTE Guide to Theological Education, our hope is that you will find the information helpful as you discern your next steps in pursuing a graduate theological degree toward preparing for ministry.
Articles / WhitepapersFTE Guide to VocationCARE
The FTE guide to practices designed to help congregations become places where everyone can hear and respond to God’s call in their lives.
Articles / WhitepapersFTE Offerings
This two-page handout provides a quick look at opportunities FTE provides for young leaders who are exploring ministry and teaching and the partners who are cultivating those young leaders.
FTE Fellows and Alumni are making a difference in the world through compassionate faith and action in their Christian communities. Listen to and read their inspiring stories.
BooksGetting a Life: How to Find Your True Vocation
A young woman shares her stories of how God and the people around you can help you find your true vocation.
BooksGetting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament
This is a book about getting, and staying, involved with God-what it takes, what it costs, what it looks and feels like, and why anyone would want to do it anyway.
BooksGod at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life (Focal Point Series)
Veith, a cultural expert, emphasizes that vocation is not what we should do specifically with our time and careers but what God does in and through our callings.
BooksGod Moments: Why Faith Really Matters to a New Generation
A member of Generation X writes about the “puzzling and unorthodox” generation that has a “passion for the sacred.”
BooksGod Underneath: Spiritual Memoirs of a Catholic Priest
This is a memoir by a Roman Catholic priest who believes “spirituality is the very stuff of our lives,” and demonstrates that belief with stories from his life and ministry.
BooksGod’s Yes Was Louder Than My No: Rethinking the African-American Call to Ministry
An outstanding study of the call to ordained ministry among African-American clergy through a collection of writings about vocation by popular, secular authors.