Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation
Schools were asked to establish or strengthen programs that assist students in examining the relationship between faith and vocational choices, provide opportunities for gifted young people to explore Christian ministry, and enhance the capacity of a school's faculty and staff to teach and mentor students effectively in this arena.
This website documents the history and work of Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation (PTEV), an initiative of Lilly Endowment Inc. that spanned the years 2000-2007. Funding for this initiative ended in 2002.
The Fund for Theological Education, Inc. (FTE) serves as the host for this archival site. If you have questions about the website, please contact FTE at (404) 727-1450.
If you have questions regarding the impetus or impacts of the initiative as a whole, please contact Lilly Endowment Inc., Religion Division, at (317) 924-5471.
In May 1999, Lilly Endowment Inc. invited a group of outstanding colleges and universities to design programs for this initiative. Schools were asked to establish or strengthen programs that 1) assist students in examining the relationship between faith and vocational choices, 2) provide opportunities for gifted young people to explore Christian ministry, and 3) enhance the capacity of a school's faculty and staff to teach and mentor students effectively in this arena. In the fall of 2000 the Endowment made awards totaling $39.7 million to 20 schools to implement their proposed designs for the theological exploration of vocation on their respective campuses. In November of 2001, an additional 29 schools were awarded implementation grants totaling $57.3 million in the second round of the program. A request for proposals in round three, which was open to any 4-year, church-related, accredited institution in the United States, elicited 320 applicants, from which 50 were awarded planning grants in January 2002. In November of 2002 an additional 39 schools were awarded implementation grants totaling $79.2 million in this third and final round.
These awards generated considerable excitement, reflection, conversation, and activity on the campuses. With the concept of vocation at the center of institutional planning, educational programming, and extracurricular activity, students, faculty, and staff, and in some cases alumni/ae and parents, have benefited from this guided consideration of the Christian concept of vocation.
If you are interested in perusing syllabi of vocation-themed coursework developed on participating campuses, finding information about books that informed the initiative or movies that served to inspire vocational reflection, these and other resources can be found in the section "PTEV Resources" on this website.
Descriptions of individual projects and grantee reflections on their projects appear under "Our Community" along with contact information for each school. If you desire specific information about a particular campus, please contact that school directly.
We are especially pleased to provide study guides on this site for the anthologies Callings: Twenty Centuries of Christian Wisdom on Vocation and Leading Lives that Matter: What We Should Do and Who We Should Be as links from the homepage.