DISCOVERING PURPOSE AND PASSION

For Leaders

Whether you need to build or expand your program, want to hear the latest trends, would like to read up on best practices or are looking for advice on connecting better with students, YTN can help. 

We have spent years creating and curating resources to help you lead better. When you guide high school students through the critical stage of helping them discern God’s will for their life in ministry, you should feel equipped and empowered to help them move forward. These resources are here for you so that you can be there for them.

For Students

Are you sensing God calling you to ministry? It’s a powerful feeling, but can also be overwhelming or confusing. You may not know what “ministry” looks like for you, what exactly your purpose here on Earth is or how your faith should be lived out.

Here’s the good news: You don’t have to go on this journey alone. Below you’ll find resources to help you explore your path and next steps. And, when you’re ready, consider visiting with one of our partners who can provide the personalized support you deserve. Until then, know we are praying for you!

Audience


Topic


Type

BooksFEATURED
Another Way

Another Way is a new book written by three leaders of the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), a national leadership incubator for emerging Christian leaders. Ten years in the making, their book centers on four practices known through the acronym C.A.R.E.: Create hospitable space. Ask self-awakening questions. Reflect theologically together. Enact the next most faithful step. These practices are the building blocks for discerning, accompanying others, and living and leading change on purpose. These practices challenge systems in need of liberation and reject the “cult of individualism” that often leaves people burned out, unwell, and unable to meaningfully lead churches, nonprofits and other institutions. Another Way was written for, and dedicated to, “a new generation of people—the dreamers, freedom fighters, artists, and warrior-healers—who refuse to accept things as they are as all that there is.” People who desire another way to live and lead change.

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AudioFEATURED
Discerning Our Way Forward with Bishop Flunder

Discerning Our Way Forward is a series of virtual gatherings exploring leadership and vocational discernment in challenging and uncertain times.

Tags: Leadership Development | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
BooksFEATURED
Nobody Cries When We Die

For people of color living each day surrounded by violence, for whom survival is not a given, vocational discernment is more than “finding your purpose” — it’s a matter of life and death.

Tags: Diversity | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
AudioFEATURED
The Healing Power of Beloved Community

During the 2019 DISCERN gathering, Joyce and Nelson Johnson, founders of the Beloved Community Center, shared their inspiring story.

Tags: Leadership Development | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Articles / WhitepapersBooks
2017 Christian Leadership Forum Publication

Diverse and creative Christian leaders of many ages and traditions, from a multitude of places and points of view, gathered at the Forum to distill the essence of what it means for Christians to lead change for good. Read insights from participants from the 2017 gathering.

Tags: Diversity | Leadership Development | Pastoral Ministry | High School Ministry |
Tools
5 Cups of Coffee

Asking questions can help us unlock our deep gladness and how we experience the world’s deep hunger. Do you know someone struggling to know what God’s call is in his or her life? Invite them to join you for a cup of coffee and share with them in each of these 5 important conversations​.

Tags: Leadership Development | Pastoral Ministry | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
BooksCurriculum
A Guidebook of Promising Practices: Facilitating College Students’ Spiritual Development

A Guidebook of Promising Practices: Facilitating Students’ Spiritual Development summarizes campus-wide initiatives and institutional practices from colleges and universities across the country, and features examples of practices that can facilitate students’ spiritual development. This guidebook can serve as a companion to Cultivating the Spirit: How College Can Enhance Students’ Inner Lives by Alexander W. Astin, Helen S. Astin, and Jennifer A. Lindholm (Jossey-Bass, 2011). Promising Practices is designed for use by administrators, faculty, student affairs professionals, and student leaders who are committed to supporting students’ spiritual development.

Tags: Spirituality | Students | Young Adults |
Books
A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life

Four themes that build on Palmer’s earlier writing are explored in this book: the shape of an integral life, the meaning of community, teaching and learning for transformation, and nonviolent social change.

Tags: Leadership Development | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry |
Books
A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do

In this slender volume, bestselling spiritual guru Moore (Care of the Soul) says that finding the right work, finding one’s vocation, is also part of the care of the soul.

Tags: Spirituality | Vocational Discernment |
Articles / Whitepapers
Active Faith Matters: 2015 FTE Christian Leadership Forum Reflections

Does an Active Faith Matter? This is the question explored by nearly 200 faithful leaders at the 2015 FTE Christian Leadership Forum. Over three days in Dallas, FTE hosted a diverse, intergenerational gathering of Christian leaders—seminarians, faith-based community workers and volunteers, doctoral students, leaders of theological schools, congregations and church-related organizations. This publication includes insights and reflections from several Forum participants as well as written pieces from FTE’s Stephen Lewis and Dori Baker.

Tags: Diversity | Leadership Development | Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Books
Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church

Based on the National Study of Youth and Religion—the same invaluable data as its predecessor, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers—Kenda Creasy Dean’s compelling new book, Almost Christian, investigates why American teenagers are at once so positive about Christianity and at the same time so apathetic about genuine religious practice.

Tags: Leadership Development | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Books
At This Time and In This Place: Vocation and Higher Education

Growing out of a year-long seminar sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges and its Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), this book brings together a nationwide group of scholars from a variety of disciplines in order to produce new scholarly writing on this topic. It offers a historical and theoretical account of vocational reflection and discernment and also suggests how these endeavors can be carried out through specific educational practices. Attending both to the current state of higher education and to broader cultural trends, the contributors examine the contours of vocation from historical, theological, and philosophical perspectives. They consider the relationship between vocation and virtue, both of which encourage the cultivation of habits that lead to a life marked by flourishing and fulfillment-for oneself and for others. The authors also discuss how to engage students in actively reflecting on questions of meaning and purpose through classroom conversations, co-curricular activities, programs for community engagement, and attention to a campus’s physical features. At This Time and In This Placeoffers a compelling argument for vocational reflection and discernment in undergraduate education and represents a significant contribution to the emerging scholarly literature in this field.

Tags: Seminary Education | Vocational Discernment |
Books
Book, Bath, Table, and Time: Christian Worship as Source and Resource for Youth Ministry

This book gives youth, youth ministers, congregational leaders, and seminary students ideas for and suggestions on how to practice the liturgical holy things of the ordo - the ancient church’s life “ordered” around its liturgical “holy things” - bath (Baptism); book (Scriptures); table (Eucharist); calendar (the prayerful patterning of time) - in order to provide the church with a faithful ecology of life that is capable of forming Christian youth who experience God’s presence, identify God rightly, and take up their baptismal vocations before God and for the world.

Tags: Leadership Development | Spirituality | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Audio
Calling Cast Podcast Series

A podcast to support future pastors, those who teach them, and the communities who call them.

Tags: Leadership Development | Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Vocational Discernment | Young Adults |
Articles / Whitepapers
Calling for More “Than We Have Got Thus Far”

This review includes a historical statistical analysis of people of color in theological education from 1998 to 2016. The updated review of literature focuses on best practices for supporting people of color in the academy. The resources reviewed were all published since 2006, and represented fields across higher education—first targeting the humanities, then incorporating science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and business and law. The review also provides thematic summaries and annotations of literary resources. Additionally, it incorporates findings from the 2016 FTE Doctoral Fellows Report on the status of FTE Doctoral Fellows who received fellowships from 1999 to 2016.

Tags: Diversity | Leadership Development |
Curriculum
Campus Ministry

The best environment in which to learn about oneself as a leader is in the practice of leadership. The Campus Ministry course is designed to give students practical experience in organizing, planning, designing, and implementing a small group curriculum in the context of peer groups. Using the ‘classroom’ of the campus and the text of Philippians, students will use peer groups to develop a small group strategy for their dorm areas.

Tags: Leadership Development | Pastoral Ministry |
Tools
Congregational Resource Guide

An effort of the Alban Institute in consultation with the Indianapolis Center for Congregations and other specialists, the Congregational Resource Guide (CRG) exists to help congregational leaders connect with resources that will enable them to face challenges and foster vitality in their communities of faith.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Vocational Discernment |
Create Conditions for Scholars of Color to Thrive: 2018 Doctoral Consultation Report

A report on the 2018 Doctoral Consultation held in Denver at the Iliff School of Theology, where FTE gathered 54 participants representing various parts of the theological education system. This included accreditation institution staff, staff members of philanthropic organizations, presidents of theological schools, deans, directors of doctoral programs, faculty of color, doctoral students of color, partners in theological education, and leaders and consultants who work in inclusion and equity. FTE sought to experiment with how we work with partners to come to new insights on the question, How do we create conditions for scholars of color to thrive?

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Tools
CrossWalk.com’s Bible Search

CrossWalk.com provides various popular versions of the English Bible to be searched.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality | Students | Young Adults |
Tools
CyberHymnal

6,700 Christian hymns and Gospel songs including lyrics, scores, MIDI files, pictures and history.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality | Students | Young Adults |
Tools
Daily Lectionary

Daily Lectionary offers Sunday texts as well as daily texts for study, prayer and reflection posted by the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality | Students | Young Adults |
Audio
Day1

Day1 is the voice of the mainline Protestant churches, presenting outstanding preachers from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church and other denominations. This website features an extensive library of lectionary-based sermons in text and audio and other helpful information for lay persons and pastors.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality |
Books
Desert Hearts, Healing Fountains: Gaining Pastoral Vocational Clarity

This books helps pastors, novice and seasoned, to find the vocational refreshment and nourishing sources to understand their pastoral call with a clarity that remains compelling and empowering throughout their ministry.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry |
Articles / Whitepapers
Doctoral Fact Sheet

Over the past 15 years,FTE worked alongside partner institutions to support students of color pursuing Ph.D.s in religion, theology and biblical studies. FTE Doctoral Fellows and Alumni have become leaders within the academy and have diversified the voices of religious scholars who are making an impact in the communities they serve.

Tags: Diversity |
Books
Doing Girlfriend Theology: God-Talk with Young Women

Girlfriend Theology is a model of religious education that helps nurture voice and authentic spirituality in girls and women. It is one way for the spiritual hunger, passion, and curiosity of today’s adolescent girls to connect with the beliefs and practices of the generations of faithful women who came before them. It provides a healthy faith-based antidote to the dangers many girls face as they approach adulthood.

Tags: Spirituality | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Curriculum
Exploring Vocation through Former Volunteer Retreats

Years of anecdotal evidence, together with responses from a 2015 survey of over 800 former Jesuit Volunteers (FJVs), tell us that alumni of faith-based volunteer service programs strongly desire retreat opportunities. This curriculum serves as a resource to those interested in planning vocational discernment retreats for former volunteers.

Tags: Leadership Development | Vocational Discernment |
Books
Ferguson and Faith

The shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, reignited a long-smoldering movement for justice, with many St. Louis-area clergy stepping up to support the emerging young leaders of today’s Civil Rights Movement. Seminary professor Leah Gunning Francis was among the activists, and her interviews with more than two dozen faith leaders and with the new movement’s organizers take us behind the scenes of the continuing protests. Ferguson and Faith demonstrates that being called to lead a faithful life can take us to places we never expected to go, with people who never expected us to join hands with them.

Tags: Leadership Development | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Curriculum
Finding Your Calling: The Renaissance Within

As English theologian William Perkins explained, “every person of every degree, state, sex, or condition, without exception must have some personal and particular calling.” Because Renaissance men and women expected to discover their callings, in remarkable ways, they found them. Their vocations illuminated their lives as they combined ideals and action into unprecedented creative contributions to science, religion, politics, and the arts.

Tags: Spirituality | Vocational Discernment |
Articles / WhitepapersBooks
FTE Guide to Theological Education

Theological education is a journey of the heart, soul, mind and strength into the life of God and the healing of the world. As you read The FTE Guide to Theological Education, our hope is that you will find the information helpful as you discern your next steps in pursuing a graduate theological degree.

Tags: Seminary Education | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Articles / Whitepapers
FTE Offerings

​This two-page handout provides a quick look at opportunities FTE provides for young leaders who are exploring ministry and teaching and the partners who are cultivating those young leaders.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Vocational Discernment | Students | Young Adults |
Video
Fuel the Fire to Lead

Right now a young adult you know is wondering, “what will I do with my one precious life?” Watch this short animated video to learn how you can impact the life of an emerging Christian leader.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Vocational Discernment |
Tools
Fund Finder

Search Fund Finder to explore a full listing of support offered by churches, denominations, individuals, academic institutions and organizations.

Tags: Diversity | Seminary Education | Students | Young Adults |
Books
Future of Christian Learning, The: An Evangelical and Catholic Dialogue

Evangelicals and Roman Catholics have been responsible for the establishment of many colleges and universities in America. Until recently, however, they have taken very different approaches to the subject of education and have viewed one another’s traditions with suspicion.In this volume, Mark Noll and James Turner offer critical but appreciative reassessments of the two traditions. Noll, writing from an evangelical perspective, and Turner, from a Roman Catholic perspective, consider the respective strengths and weaknesses of each approach and what they might learn from the other. The authors then provide brief responses to each other’s essays. Thoughtful readers from both traditions will find insightful and challenging ideas regarding the importance of Christian learning and the role of faith in the modern college or university.

Tags: Diversity | Seminary Education |
Books
Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament

This is a book about getting, and staying, involved with God-what it takes, what it costs, what it looks and feels like, and why anyone would want to do it anyway.

Tags: Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Tools
Hartford Institute for Religion Research

Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research has a 32 year record of rigorous, policy-relevant research, anticipation of emerging issues and commitment to the creative dissemination of learning. This record has earned the Institute an international reputation as an important bridge between the scholarly community and the practice of faith.

Tags: Seminary Education | Students | Young Adults |
Books
Holy Things for Youth Ministry: 13 Practical Sessions

Holy Things for Youth Ministry is a youth curriculum containing 13 sessions written by individuals who have extensive experience in youth ministry.

Tags: Leadership Development | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Articles / Whitepapers
How Learning to Lament Can Help Fight Racism

A ‘pause and reflect’ culture is far better than ‘tweet and retweet’ culture.

Tags: Spirituality | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
How Youth Ministry Can Change Theological Education—If We Let It

Since 1993, forty-nine theological seminaries have created opportunities for high school students to participate in on-campus High School Theology Programs (HSTPs) that invite them to engage in serious biblical and theological study. Many of the young people who take part in these programs go on to become pastoral or lay leaders in their churches. What has made these programs so successful — especially given the well-documented “crisis of faith” among young people today?

Tags: Leadership Development | High School Ministry |
Curriculum
Introduction to Peace and Justice

This course begins with reflection on “vocation” or “calling” in life. One of the Beatitudes Jesus proclaimed in His Sermon on the Mount was “Blessed are the Peacemakers.” Throughout this course we will consider the lives of various persons who have responded to a call to be a peacemaker. We will be alert to the variety of ways such a call found expression in their lives. Together we will study the vocation or “call” to nonviolence of Mahatma Gandhi and of Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will elect to study the life and writings of other peacemakers.

Tags: Vocational Discernment |
Books
Latina Evangelicas: A Theological Survey from the Margins

Latina Evangélicas: A Theological Survey from the Margins is a constructive and postcolonial examination of the theology of Protestant Latinas who reside in the United States. Written by three Latinas who have pastored and who teach in Latina/o communities, the book seeks to expand beyond Latina feminist and mujerista voices to include those whose perspectives have not yet been heard. It thus introduces an important theological perspective to a wider audience, and provides an important resource that has been lacking for evangelicas/os and other marginalized groups who study in various theological programs. Key terminology, such as evangélica, is defined throughout, and a glossary is included for non-Spanish-speaking readers. Each chapter considers theological themes important to the Latina Protestant worshiping community, beginning with a constructive discussion of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and followed by the doctrines of salvation and Jesus Christ, the Trinity, the church, Scripture, and “the last things” (eschatology). Given that one of the characteristics of Latina/o theologies is their dialogical and collaborative nature, the book concludes with a conversation among the three authors about the theological thinking that took place in its composition. Study questions are included at the end of each chapter.

Tags: Diversity |
Articles / Whitepapers
Leading Differently: 2016 FTE Christian Leadership Forum Reflections

How do we shape a world with a more hopeful future? This is the question explored by more than 200 faithful leaders at the 2016 FTE Christian Leadership Forum. Over three days in Atlanta, FTE hosted a diverse, intergenerational gathering of Christian leaders—seminarians, faith-based community workers and volunteers, doctoral students, leaders of theological schools, congregations and church-related organizations. This publication includes insights and reflections from several Forum participants as well as written pieces from FTE’s Stephen Lewis and Dori Baker.

Tags: Diversity | Leadership Development | Pastoral Ministry | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Books
Leading Lives That Matter

Leading Lives That Matter draws together a wide range of texts—including fiction, autobiography, and philosophy—offering challenge and insight to those who are thinking about what to do with their lives. Instead of giving prescriptive advice, Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass approach the subject of vocation as an ongoing conversation. They include in this conversation some of the Western tradition’s best writings on human life—its meaning, purpose, and significance—ranging from ancient Greek poetry to contemporary fiction. Including Leo Tolstoy’s novella The Death of Ivan Ilych as an extended epilogue, this volume will help readers clarify and deepen how they think about their own lives.

Tags: Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Curriculum
Let Your Life Speak – Social Justice Vocation Symposium

This course examines fundamental questions of Christian vocation such as the following:

  • What is God’s call for my life, and how do I discern that call?
  • What are my particular talents, gifts, and strengths?
  • How can I use these strengths and gifts as a leader on this campus?
  • How do I see leadership as service?
  • How can I understand my career as ministry, whatever that career may be?

Students will explore what it means to discern, accept, and fulfill one’s call to a life of Christian purpose, service, and leadership. Through exploration of contemporary social issues and service-leadership theories, critical readings and discourse, and theological reflection, students will look to Jesus Christ as a model and archetype for how to lead purposeful lives that respond to the needs of the world. The course places a special emphasis upon service to the poor and dispossessed. Moreover, students are required to engage in collaborative, service projects throughout the semester.

Tags: Vocational Discernment | Young Adults |
Tools
Lilly Endowment, Inc: Religion

In recent years, Lilly Endowment’s religion grant making has been focused on major, interlocking efforts aimed at enhancing and sustaining the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. The Endowment has focused on supporting programs and projects that address four broad questions: How do we identify, recruit and call forth a new generation of talented Christian pastors? How do we best prepare and train new ministers for effective and faithful pastoral leadership? How do we improve the skills and sustain the excellence of pastors currently serving congregations? What are basic questions about the current state of the practice of ministry that we need to answer to improve the quality of ministry?

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Spirituality |
Tools
Lilly Theological Research Grants

The Lilly Theological Research Grants program, inaugurated in 1996 and revised in 2001, is designed to enhance the skill and capacity of faculty in ATS schools as theological researchers and scholars. It supports research efforts of faculty, particularly at junior and non-tenured levels in order to nurture the development of their scholarship; seeks to enlarge the pool of faculty actively engaged as theological researchers; works to increase knowledge about grant seeking and the craft of theological research; and nurtures the habit of research as an ongoing aspect of scholarly life.

Tags: Students |
Lilly Youth Theology Network

Lilly Youth Theology Network is a collaborative effort of Lilly Endowment initiated and inspired Theology Programs for High School Youth located at seminaries, schools of theology, universities, and other church serving organizations across North America. Its mission is to advance the engagement of high school youth and their adult leaders in theological thinking about contemporary issues and vocational discernment. This network seeks to support youth theology programs in recruiting a cadre of theologically minded youth and adults to become committed Christian leaders in church and society.

Tags: High School Ministry |
Books
Listen! God Is Calling!: Luther Speaks of Vocation, Faith, and Work

Author D. Michael Bennethum presents Martin Luther’s teaching on vocation as a resource both for individual believers, helping them find deeper meaning in their ordinary daily labors; and for congregations, encouraging them to develop a climate that supports their members at work.

Tags: Leadership Development | Pastoral Ministry | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry |
Books
Listening for God: Contemporary Literature and the Life of Faith, Volume 1

A resource intended to help readers investigate how life and faith merge in surprising ways and places. Includes excerpts from the works of eight contemporary American authors with author profiles. The reader’s guide:

  • gives leaders an approach for nurturing spiritual growth
  • small group format to aid in community building
  • is accessible for readers with a beginning to intermediate familiarity with the Bible

Tags: Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry |
Articles / Whitepapers
Looking for Good Work: Western Christian High Commencement, May 19, 2015

In this May 2015 speech to those just graduating from his high school alma mater, Nick addresses the question of what constitutes good work. It is a vocational address framed for those still in high school; and it should appeal to students who need a theological/philosophical frame for pondering their choices and future service. It may be valuable for your work with those leading youth theology institutes.

Tags: Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Young Adults |
Video
Love God, Love Neighbor

An open invitation for a new generation of leaders to hold the church accountable by becoming a part of it.

Tags: Leadership Development | Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Books
Making a Life, Making a Living: Reclaiming Your Purpose and Passion in Business and Life

Drawing on interviews with fast-trackers, Albion shares how these men and women found the courage and motivation to re-create successful professional lives guided by passion.

Tags: Vocational Discernment |
Books
Managing As If Faith Mattered: Christian Social Principles in the Modern Organization

With foundational insights from Catholic Social Teaching, Alford and Naughton explore the questions of who one should become as a manager and what sort of organization should one build.

Tags: Leadership Development |
Tools
Metamorpha

Metamorpha brings Christians together to become an interactive community of formation and growth. Their goal is to inform and take part in the forming and building of communities whose desire is to grow with Christ.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Spirituality | Vocational Discernment | Students | Young Adults |
Curriculum
Ministry and the Arts

Synopsis: The overall purpose of this course is three-fold:1) Practice the Presence of God through meditations and a sacramental approach to the ordinary, 2) Explore, Experience, and Express the Gospel message using various artistic modalities, 3) Examine a multi-sensory, post modern approach to worship

Tags: Pastoral Ministry |
Curriculum
Ministry: Callings and Practice

This course will introduce students to the long history of ministry in the Christian tradition, beginning with the biblical bases for “calling”. This course is designed especially for students who are interested in exploring a call to the Christian ministry in preparation for work as a pastor, chaplain, religious educator, scholar, administrator, or in other faith based professions. Through systemic theological and biblical reflection students will explore historical and contemporary spiritual practices that lead to the discernment of spiritual gifts. Within their historical and social contexts, it will present model individuals who have excelled in pursuing their ministerial vocations in the Christian heritage and identify various types of religious callings and vocations in relationship to the socio-political realities evident in the world.

Tags: Vocational Discernment |
Tools
National Association of Church Business Administration

An interdenominational, professional, Christian organization that exists to serve the church by promoting the highest level of professional competence in individuals serving Christ through administration in local churches.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry |
Tools
National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

An independent professional development, training, and mentoring community of more than 25,000 graduate students, post-docs and faculty members dedicated to supporting academics in making successful transitions throughout their careers.

Tags: Diversity | Students |
Curriculum
NET Bible

The NET Bible is available for free download, and is completely searchable online. The NET Bible™ Learning Environment offers commentaries, articles, word studies, original biblical languages and cross references.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality | Students | Young Adults |
Books
Nurturing Different Dreams: Youth Ministry across Lines of Difference

Increasingly, adolescents and young adults in the United States are racially and socioeconomically diverse, while the teaching population remains predominantly white and middle class. Many youth ministry programs that utilize volunteer mentors recruit adults who are ill-equipped to bridge cultural differences and effectively build sustainable relationships with adolescents who come from different backgrounds than their own. College and university campus ministries that are historically white struggle to provide adequate support and mentoring for students who have traditionally not been represented in the college population. Often, mentoring relationships break down over cultural misunderstandings.

As educators who come from backgrounds marked by privilege, Katherine Turpin and Anne Carter Walker draw from their experiences in an intentionally culturally diverse youth ministry program to name the challenges and inadequacies of ministry with young people from marginalized communities. Through engaging case studies and vignettes, the authors re-examine the assumptions about youth agency, vocational development, educational practice, and mentoring.

Offering concrete guidelines and practices for working effectively across lines of difference, Nurturing Different Dreams invites readers to consider their own cultural assumptions and practices for mentoring adolescents, and assists readers in analyzing and transforming their practices of mentoring young people who come from different communities than their own.

Tags: Leadership Development | High School Ministry |
Books
Partners in Prayer

Written by a diverse group of the church’s newest leaders, Partners in Prayer 2016 will help you see the everyday incarnations of God among us, appearing in the midst of our struggles and celebrations.

Tags: Spirituality | Students | Young Adults |
Tools
Practicing our Faith

This website is sponsored by the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith, a project whose purpose is to develop resources to help contemporary people live the Christian faith with vitality and integrity in changing times. The Project is ecumenical in orientation and appreciative of the legacies of a range of Christian traditions. We sponsor seminars, books, conferences and websites for adults and youth.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Audio
Program Development and Sustainability

FTE President Stephen Lewis explains the two-loop theory of development and sustainability during the annual CMTEV gathering.

Tags: Leadership Development | High School Ministry |
Reflections from the 2014 Christian Leadership Forum

175 faithful leaders gathered for FTE’s 2014 Christian Leadership Forum. The conversations that took place inspired many reflections from young adults, doctoral students and partners who are committed to the vitality of the church and academy.

Tags:
Books
Research and Writing in the Seminary: Practical Strategies and Tools

This practical, how-to book for beginning seminary students offers step-by-step guidelines for typical writing assignments at the master’s level.

Tags: Seminary Education | Students | Young Adults |
Tools
Resources for American Christianity

Information related to Lilly Endowment’s grantmaking in Religion. (There is also a page detailing all the grant possibilities funded through Lilly Endowment.)

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality | Vocational Discernment |
Articles / Whitepapers
Seven Insights on Leadership the World Needs Now

We know that communities everywhere need inspired leaders to shape a hopeful future. But can we actually create the conditions in which faithful, wise and courageous leaders will thrive? We believe the answer is “yes.” And doing God’s work in the world depends on it.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Books
Stakes Is High

In his powerful new book Stakes Is High, pastor, activist, and community leader Michael W. Waters blends hip-hop lyricism and social justice leadership, creating an urgent voice demanding that America listen to the suffering if it hopes to redeem its soul.

Tags: Young Adults |
Books
The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Creativity, and Caring

The Active Life is Parker J. Palmer’s deep and graceful exploration of a spirituality for the busy, sometimes frenetic lives many of us lead. Telling evocative stories from a variety of religious traditions, including Taoist, Jewish, and Christian, Palmer shows that the spiritual life does not mean abandoning the world but engaging it more deeply through life-giving action. He celebrates both the problems and potentials of the active life, revealing how much they have to teach us about ourselves, the world, and God.

Tags: Spirituality |
Tools
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Our grant making philosophy is to build, strengthen and sustain institutions and their core capacities, rather than be a source for narrowly defined projects. As such, we develop thoughtful, long-term collaborations with grant recipients and invest sufficient funds for an extended period to accomplish the purpose at hand and achieve meaningful results.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Service & Activism | Spirituality | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students |
Books
The Art of Theological Reflection

Currently in use with both undergraduates and graduate theology students, this is both method and example.

Tags: Seminary Education | High School Ministry |
Tools
The Association of Theological Schools

The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) is a membership organization of more than 250 graduate schools that conduct post-baccalaureate professional and academic degree programs to educate persons for the practice of ministry and for teaching and research in the theological disciplines. The Commission on Accrediting of ATS accredits the schools and approves the degree programs they offer.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Students |
Tools
The Beatitudes Society

The Beatitudes Society develops and sustains a national network of emerging Christian leaders who advocate for justice, compassion and peace. They offer workshop on social justice preaching, media training for religious leaders, and summer fellowships for seminarians.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Students |
Books
The Call to Ministry

This resource from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is meant to help you discern whether or not God has called you to ministry.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Vocational Discernment | Students | Young Adults |
Curriculum
The Call to Service

This new service-learning course will provide an opportunity for an in-depth exploration of the connection between personal vocation and service to others. Students will be required to commit to a minimum of 2-4 hours per week of community service over the course of the semester at a site to be selected in consultation with the instructors during the first two weeks of class. In addition to readings and lectures on the spiritual and theological dimensions of the call to service and the meaning of service in the larger community, strong emphasis will be placed on personal reflection and in-class discussion of week-to-week personal encounters and experiences at the various sites where students will be providing service. Students will be expected to complete weekly writing assignments, and to write two more in-depth papers that bring together scholarly and personal reflection on questions and issues related to discernment of their own calling to a life of service.

Tags: Vocational Discernment |
Books
The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life

For Guiness, far bigger than jobs and accomplishments and higher than ideas of self-fulfillment, calling does more than give purpose and meaning to lives—it completes God’s plan.

Tags: Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Young Adults |
Video
The Calling

It takes a true calling to make faith a way of life. The Calling is a four-hour documentary series that follows seven Muslims, Catholics, Evangelical Christians, and Jews on a dramatic journey as they train to become professional clergy. Embarking on life paths that demand tremendous personal sacrifice and commitment, these seminarians must uphold timeless truths in an era that values quick fixes and hot trends, and face a public that challenges the very relevance of their mission. A new look at an old job, The Calling takes viewers into the unknown world of seminaries to tell entertaining and compelling personal stories of how faith is lived in today.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Vocational Discernment | Students | Young Adults |
BooksTools
The Common English Bible

A bold new translation of the Bible, designed to meet the needs of all Christians as they work to build a strong and meaningful relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The CEB represents the work of a diverse team of more than 120 scholars from 24 faith traditions in American, African, Asian, European and Latino communities.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality | Students | Young Adults |
Tools
The Ford Foundation: Grants

The vast majority of Ford Foundation grants go to organizations. Individuals may apply for fellowships for advanced degrees in areas of interest to the foundation. Universities and other organizations select grant recipients.

Tags: Seminary Education | Students | Young Adults |
Books
The FTE Guide to Doctoral Education

​This guide provides insights from those who have pursued the doctorate, obtained degrees and now mentor the next generation of scholars in religion, biblical studies, and theology. Here we pull back the veil of the doctoral degree process, making plain the essential considerations about doctoral programs in theological education. Our guiding purpose for writing the guide is to help you discern your next most faithful step.

Tags: Students |
Tools
The Louisville Institute

The Louisville Institute is a Lilly Endowment-funded program based at Louisville Seminary supporting those who lead and study American religious institutions. The fundamental mission of the Louisville Institute is to enrich the religious life of American Christians and to encourage the revitalization of their institutions, by bringing together those who lead religious institutions with those who study them, so that the work of each might inform and strengthen the other.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality | Students |
Books
The Meaning of Vocation

This compact compendium collects the Pope’s remarks on God’s call, clarifying how and when God calls, and speaking to parents about their children’s vocations.

Tags: Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry |
Books
The 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.

Tags: Leadership Development | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Books
The 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.

Tags: Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry |
Articles / Whitepapers
The Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

The Wabash Center supports teachers of religion and theology in higher education through meetings and workshops, grants, a journal and other resources.

Tags: Seminary Education | Students |
Curriculum
The 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.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Vocational Discernment |
Curriculum
Theology 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.

Tags: Leadership Development | Pastoral Ministry | Vocational Discernment |
Books
Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith

Velvet Elvis is the first book from Rob Bell, the New York Times bestselling author of Love Wins. Selected as one of 2011’s most influential people by Time Magazine, pastor Bell offers original and refreshingly personal perspectives on what Christianity is truly all about in Velvet Elvis. A vibrant voice for a new generation of Christians—the most recognizable Christian leader among young adults—Rob Bell inspires readers to take a fresh look at traditional questions of faith.

Tags: Spirituality | Students | Young Adults |
Tools
Vespers

Vespers: A Year Long Journey of Faith and Service is a project of the Faith and Service Program of the CF Foundation in partnership with several faith based voluntary service programs and FTE.

Tags: Vocational Discernment | Students | Young Adults |
Books
Vintage 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 they’re 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 O’Conner, and many more. Let their lives and their wisdom be an invitation to authentic life in Christ.

Tags: Leadership Development | Vocational Discernment |
Video
Vocation 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.

Tags: Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Video
Vocation 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.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Books
Vocation Across the Academy

Although the language of vocation was born in a religious context, the contributors in this volume demonstrate that it has now taken root within the broad framework of higher education and has become intertwined with a wide range of concerns. This volume makes a compelling case for vocational reflection and discernment in undergraduate education today, arguing that it will encourage faculty and students alike to venture out of their narrow disciplinary specializations and to reflect on larger questions of meaning and purpose.

Tags: Leadership Development | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry |
Curriculum
Vocation: 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?

Tags: Spirituality | Vocational Discernment |
Video
What 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.

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Vocational Discernment | High School Ministry | Students | Young Adults |
Books
What Is Ignatian Spirituality?

In What Is Ignatian Spirituality?, David L. Fleming, SJ, provides an authoritative yet highly accessible summary of the key elements of Ignatian spirituality, among which are contemplative prayer, discernment, and dynamic involvement in service and mission. In twenty concise chapters, Fr. Fleming explains how this centuries-old method of disciplined reflection on God’s work in the world can deepen our spiritual lives today and guide all the decisions we make.

Tags: Spirituality | Students | Young Adults |
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

Tags: Diversity | Vocational Discernment |
Curriculum
Women, 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.

Tags: Diversity | Vocational Discernment |
Articles / Whitepapers
Working Preacher

A website dedicated to “support, nurture, and inspire preachers working at the craft of creating compelling, faithful, and creative biblical sermons.”

Tags: Pastoral Ministry | Seminary Education | Spirituality | Students | Young Adults |