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.
BooksThe Purposeful Graduate: Why Colleges Must Talk to Students about Vocation
In The Purposeful Graduate, Tim Clydesdale elucidates just what a tremendous loss this is, for our youth, our universities, and our future as a society. At the same time, he shows that it doesn’t have to be this way: higher education can retain its higher cultural role, and students with a true sense of purpose—of personal, cultural, and intellectual value that cannot be measured by a wage—can be streaming out of every one of its institutions.
BooksThe Scope of our Art: The Vocation of the Theological Teacher
A diverse group of theological teachers explore the spiritual dimensions of their vocation as religious educators.
Articles / WhitepapersThe Thoughtful Christian
The Thoughtful Christian is an online marketplace of digital and print resources perfect for Sunday school classes, Bible study groups or individual reflection.
CurriculumThe Way of Compassion: Theological Reflection on Vocation
This course explores the various meanings of the term, but typically with the normative idea that “vocation” designates the kind of life one ought to live. The course title suggests a connection between compassion and vocation, and during the course we shall test the thesis that compassion is an essential element of vocation. The course will give primary but not exclusive attention to Christian traditions.
BooksThe Way of Discernment: Spiritual Practices for Decision Making
Leibert is a Roman Catholic nun, currently the dean of a Presbyterian seminary. Uses Ignatius of Loyola, Edwards, Buechner and Merton to show that discernment is a spiritual gift and acquired habit. Provides exercises for discernment.
CurriculumTheology of Ministry
Theology of Ministry is intended to be the capstone course for the Certification in Ministry program. The class provides students with an opportunity to think about ministry in light of their internships, life experiences, reading and study, and classroom discussion. The class meets in the home of a professor helps to create a more informal atmosphere, which serves to enrich relationships and stimulate honest interaction. This class, in other words, gives students a chance to think through their own philosophy of ministry. It will set a trajectory for how they will function in positions of ministry they might someday have.
BooksTravelers on the Journey (Pulpit and Pew)
An accounting of the experiences of six pastors (Protestant, Catholic and non-denominational) in the American South who have worked on issues facing their communities with innovation.
BooksVintage Saints and Sinners: 25 Christians Who Transformed My Faith
Saints are people too. The word saint conjures up images of superstar Christians revered for their spectacular acts and otherworldly piety. But when we take a closer look at the lives of these spiritual heavyweights, we learn that they also experienced struggle, doubt, and heartache. In fact, we learn that in many ways theyre not all that different from you and me. Narrating her own winding pilgrimage through faith, Karen Marsh reveals surprising lessons in everyday spirituality from these “saints”―folks who lived and breathed, and failed and followed God. Told with humor and vulnerability, Vintage Saints and Sinners introduces us afresh to twenty-five brothers and sisters who challenge and inspire us with their honest faith. Join Karen on her journey with the likes of Augustine, Brother Lawrence, and Saint Francis, as well as Amanda Berry Smith, Søren Kierkegaard, Dorothy Day, Howard Thurman, Flannery OConner, and many more. Let their lives and their wisdom be an invitation to authentic life in Christ.
VideoVocation 101: What Do You Mean by Vocation?
Vocation 101: What Do You Mean by Vocation? Inspired by Volunteers Exploring Vocation, an initiative of The Fund for Theological Education. Animation by Josh Peters @ Contusion Creative. Music by Haddon Givens Kime. Executive Produced by FTE. Produced by Kimberly Daniel. Directed by Melissa Wiginton.
VideoVocation 201: How Do I Discover My Vocation?
You were created for a purpose. But how do you discover what it is you were created to do with your life? Watch our Vocation 201 video to help you begin to explore your place in God’s story.
CurriculumVocation: Discernment, Decision-making
Questions driving this seminar are: What are your strengths, gifts and concerns? What current socio-historical realities may impact our choice of work? How do those realities interact with individual sense of calling? How do your strengths and interests mesh with opportunities and needs in today’s world? How do we understand and discern God’s will? How does one make decisions with confidence? How might we understand calling in terms of spiritual giftedness, psychological strengths and individual concerns?
VideoWhat Can the Church Be to the World with Your Leadership?
Are you in the midst of exploring what to do with your one precious life? Is the church a place to live out your call? Watch this video and learn what the church can be to the world with your leadership.
BooksWhat Shall I Say? : Discerning God’s Call to Ministry : A Resource from the Division for Ministry, t
A resource of the Division of Ministry from the Evanglical Lutheran Church in America, available from Amazon.
Women in Leadership
This seminar course is designed for female students in the leadership track as a professional development opportunity. A strengths based approach is utilized to assist students in developing their leadership skills in their chosen field of study. Students have the opportunity to identify their strengths, study characteristics of women leaders from various fields, and study characteristics of biblical women leaders. The course will include discussion, group activity, lecture, and guest speakers. At the conclusion of the course students will identify goals for intentional development of personal strengths in their chosen vocation
CurriculumWomen, Work, and Calling in the Organized Church
This course examines how the arrangement of women’s work and calling is structured by the broader social, geographical, racial, gendered, and economic context in which churches operate. We begin by examining gender concepts, feminist theories, and varying definitions of vocation. The course is then organized around three women’s stories—two autobiographical (Dorothy Day and Heidi Neumark) and one fictional (Janie Crawford)—interspersed with articles and essays. We conclude by investigating two contemporary controversies—lesbianism and the church, and the sacred feminine. Throughout, we discuss structural barriers to vocational fulfillment and strategies to work towards a more just and equitable society as well as how issues raised by our three central women’s stories impact our own reflection on vocation and work.