Grant Inspires Vocation, Service Learning

An assembly of Notre Dame College faculty and staff from all disciplines and all devotions agreed: Vocation is not just a vow to religious life, to single life or to family life—but rather an inner sense or call to commit to a purpose in life in the service of others.

These 30 members in the first cohort of the "Preparing Students for a Life of Value and Service" Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) grant program at the College pledged to integrate spiritual development, or growing the inner self, more directly into a Notre Dame degree.

The group also committed to further incorporate civic engagement, service learning and ethical leadership to aid city, community and the greater good—not only into education but also into students’ lives and career preparation.Grant Inspires Vocation, Service Learning

"The Sisters of Notre Dame took a risk in coming here to start this College, and now we have to think outside the confines of this campus, to encourage students to engage outside the classroom, to directly relate opportunities in the classroom to careers and to do it through a filter of discernment, of values," said R. Eric Matthews, Ph.D., interim associate dean for academic affairs, assistant professor of political science and co-director of the College's NetVUE initiatives.

During this first in a series of NetVUE professional development experiences, members of the campus community assembled and shared ideas for leveraging new and existing curricular- based community service projects, vocational discernment practices and student learning communities at the College over the coming year.

The group also acknowledged challenges, especially now that less than half of the undergraduates enrolled at Notre Dame self-identify as Catholic.

"But we have always welcomed persons from all faiths to explore and find their vocations," said Sr. Carol Ziegler, SND, Ph.D., chief mission officer at the College and co-director of the College’s NetVUE initiatives. "This program aims to awaken a need for efficacy and a positive sense of agency among our students and to prepare them with the accompanying skill sets they need for any vocation."

During the first NetVUE train-thetrainer session, faculty and staff were re-introduced to models of intellectual and theology-based instruction that apply to all students—and all academic subjects—regardless of religion, including multidisciplinary learning communities and the Ignatian discernment process.

This two-year grant, administered by the Council of Independent Colleges with support from Lilly Endowment Inc., will engage a second group of 30 Notre Dame faculty and staff in a similar retreat next year, with added mentoring from this first cohort.


May 20
11:30 AM
Monday May 20, 11:30am
Softball Field
E.g., 06/19/19
E.g., 06/19/19