Vocation and Purpose
Becoming who you are. Cultivating what you do.
"What are you going to do with your degree?" could be the most common question that college asks you to answer, but there is much more to say about your story at Cal Lutheran.
Has anybody ever prompted you to consider not just WHAT you want to do with your life, but the meaning of what you do with it? Throughout your Cal Lutheran journey, you are presented with opportunities to dig beneath the surface of everyday life to uncover the roots of your vocation and purpose. This includes your future career, as well as your unique talents, your relationships with others, and your commitments to service.
Cal Lutheran's community values for vocation and purpose help you to connect with the many layers of your life's calling, to move beyond the basic "WHAT do I do?" inquiry toward a deeper discernment of WHO, HOW, and WHY.
Vocation should really be plural — vocations — because over your life, you are called to many things. Your education and experiences at Cal Lutheran set you up to explore many aspects of what you are good at and feel called to, all within a community setting that supports and challenges you to become more fully who you are.
Colleen Windham-Hughes, Ph.D., M.Div.
Professor of Religion, Public Life, and Practical Theology
Questions on Vocation
In pursuit of purpose at Cal Lutheran
Your time in college is a transformative chapter of your life. During these years, your job is to focus your energy on becoming the truest version of yourself. By attending Cal Lutheran, you have chosen to invest in your future potential.
Thinking beyond an occupation or job title, what characteristics and qualities do you hope to grow, foster, or develop during your time at Cal Lutheran?
Though you are living in a time when it is common to compare and contrast yourself with others, what matters most is how you position yourself to be of service to others. This may mean identifying an unserved need in the community around you, or it may mean applying your special gifts to empower people around you — but it is always done in the context of the collective. Serving your community means you are following your sense of purpose.
The things that you care most about are the pillars of your sense of vocation. What do you tend to prioritize on a regular basis? When do your values align? Where do you feel most whole in your commitment to contribute?
These are the indicators of the important elements in your life, and they can shed light on your path as you continue onward toward your sense of purpose. Why you care is what keeps you going.
Throughout your life, the process of becoming may originate from inside yourself as a sense of inspiration, curiosity, or drive. Or, it may start with something outside yourself — discerning what the world needs or responding to a higher calling.
No matter how your process is set in motion, anywhere is the best place to start. You can think about teachings, traditions, or values that are of significance to you. You can ponder your dreams, especially ones that have stayed with you over time. Most importantly, you can immerse yourself on campus by using our resources or attending an event to discover your vocation and purpose.
Zig Zag Paths
Real-world journeys are rarely linear, but meander through many roads.
Words of Wisdom
Purpose-full advice from voices in the Cal Lutheran community.
Want to talk more about vocation and purpose? Here's where to go.
Suggested publications to delve deeper through further resources.
Tips and resources for advisors to support students with vocation