Vocation Conference for College Leadership

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Sat, 06/01/1996
End Date: 
Sat, 05/31/1997

The Fetzer Institute convened a three-day conference for college and university administrators focused on including a spiritual dimension in discussions about organizational change in American higher education. Based on the ideas of the theologian Walter Wink, the conference sought to define the meaning of “institutional vocation,” or the ways colleges and universities can have a meaningful educational mission driven as much by spiritual concerns as practical ones. Topics of discussion included: “what kind of society do we want to live in and what does that mean for our ‘vocation’?”; “transforming and transformational leadership”; “the split between knowledge and faith, meaning, value, quality”; “exploring the analogy between personal and institutional pathology”; and “what are the connections between institutional and individual vocation?” The conference helped participants discern ways to bring the concept of collective vocation into the debates about institutional change on their campuses. Conference participants agreed that bringing vocation into conversations about change will be difficult but worthwhile. (AS)