Vocation Course

Vocation Course

Why should we be concerned with vocation? Is wondering about our “calling” just an additional worry, like the student who was fretting because her writing teacher said the class would write prose the next day – and all she had written were sentences!

The issue of vocation demands careful attention and thought. Vocational reflection is something people do, have always done, and can benefit from doing. The Christian Scholars program considers a vocations course a key part of your “formal” education at Georgetown College. Our goal is to develop the ability of students to reflect on their lives and their talents in relation to God’s calling and the great needs and demands of human life and community.

In three classes, Discovering Vocation (PHI 195/FDN 112); the Seminar on Vocation (PHI 395); and Theology and Vocation of the Cross (REL 357) students will have the opportunity to read and write about people who find God’s call to do remarkable things. In addition to class work, students in each course will choose a spring break experience to put their learning into practice. Most students choose to join a mission trip, work in a homeless shelter, or go on a spiritual retreat. All these classes are open to all students.

Below is a sample syllabus from one of our Vocation’s Courses:


This course introduces the idea of vocation through reading, discussion, writing and research. “Vocation” is a term of art referring to the integration of practice and intellect with moral or spiritual calling. The interdisciplinary readings in this course will acquaint the students with representative and historical models of reflection on vocation..


  • The Bible
  • Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Autobiography or the Story of My Experiments with Truth, Gandhi
  • Long Loneliness, Dorothy Day
  • Mountains beyond Mountains: The man who would cure the world, Tracy Kidder
  • Readings from: Saint Augustine, Henri Nouwen, William James, Jane Addams, Jonathan Woolman.

Plan of the course

  • The God Who Calls – reading Biblical accounts of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, Saint Augustine’s conversion, and Henri Nouwen’s introduction to The Prodigal Son.
  • The World that Calls – reading accounts of Gandhi, Dorothy Day and Martin Luther King.
  • Called as Community – reading Addams and Woolman.
  • Called as People – reading James and Kidder.
  • Student presentations of research papers


  • Reflective essays. Students will write a one page single spaced essay for each reading/session. These are graded on evidence of research, form, and insight. (70%)
  • Spring break travel and journal. Students will choose a mission or service trip over spring break and keep a journal of their thoughts and experiences. (5%)
  • Research paper. Students will write a research paper (2500 words, 5 sources min.) that develops a theme or a problem raised in the course material utilizing statistical measures and analysis. (25%)

Interested? Read more:Beginning Thoughts: The Imperative of Finding Your Vocation