Monmouth College announced this week that it has joined the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), a nation-wide network designed to support the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation on campuses.
NetVUE is an initiative of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), an association of more than 600 liberal arts colleges and universities that work together to strengthen leadership, sustain high-quality education and enhance private higher education’s contributions to society.
Through national and regional conferences, the development and exchange of resources, and participation in online networking, NetVUE will help institutions deepen vocational exploration by their students. The goals of the network are to share knowledge, best practices, and reflection on experiences among campuses while facilitating the incorporation of additional colleges and universities.
“Joining NetVUE at this moment is well-timed for Monmouth College,” said associate professor of religious studies Hannah Schell, “We are at an important juncture with respect to the religious and spiritual lives of our students and our campus community. Our Reflections program, which is a course required for all juniors at the college, is thriving, and our students have expressed an interest in having more curricular and co-curricular opportunities to explore their sense of life’s meaning and purpose. Additionally, we are part of a national conversation about reconceiving secularism at liberal arts colleges and, in January, we will welcome a new director of religious and spiritual life (the Rev. Dr. Teri Ott), under whose leadership we imagine great things will happen.”
In announcing the launch of NetVUE, CIC president Richard Ekman said, “Over the past several years, the Council of Independent Colleges has made a commitment to advancing vocational exploration as a guiding force in American independent higher education. The concept of vocation emerged as a significant factor from various sources and has been applied in different ways for different campus constituencies. CIC hopes that NetVUE will capitalize on what has been learned about the theological exploration of vocation and how it can be adapted and developed to strengthen colleges and universities, their leadership, and the education they provide for their students.”
NetVUE is generously supported by Lilly Endowment Inc., which has funded similar programs over the years. Craig Dykstra, the endowment’s senior vice president for religion, spoke about its support.
“We have discovered that structured programs that encourage and guide students in the theological exploration of vocation do indeed help them draw on the wisdom of their religious traditions as they make decisions about their futures and figure out how to lead lives that really matter,” he said. “We have been approached by hundreds of colleges and universities seeking to enhance their educational programs by incorporating vocational reflection more intentionally into their curricular and co-curricular activities. We are delighted that CIC is committed to sustaining and extending this important conversation and helping colleges across the country to advance their educational missions in this way.”
More information about NetVUE is available at www.cic.edu/NetVUE.