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New Program Invites Students to Discern Their Future


The Wesley Foundation has recently received a $12,000 grant from the Forum for Theological Exploration for the purpose of supporting young adults as they explore and discern their vocational calling. Students often struggle knowing what career to pursue. The grant will allow for the development of a new initiative, Soul Purpose, which will seek to help students grow in their faith and find more than just a career. By engaging students in spiritual practices within a community, Soul Purpose will help them explore their vocation, understand their giftedness, and discern the meaningful difference they want to make in the world.


Soul Purpose will be a shared opportunity for a small group of students who begin by engaging in spiritual practices using a tool based on the work of Leanne Hadley and holy listening stones. Soul Purpose students will focus on spiritual practices that are helpful for discernment and vocational understanding. A small group will meet for nine weeks to talk about each person’s experience of the practice for that week and what was learned. The group will also hear from Wesley alumni and friends about their experience of choosing a career and the role faith plays in their work today.


In addition, the Soul Purpose group will read several books together during the semester, including Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak, and Drew Tucker’s 4D Formation: Exploring Vocation in Community. The group will have the opportunity to engage in a monthly service project with a local non-profit or ministry. These occasions will serve to help students reflect on their experience, share was learned about themselves, others, and God, and consider whether the experience has any bearing on their current vocational exploration and discernment efforts.


Towards the end of the semester, we will gather for a weekend retreat, which will provide time for individual thought and reflection, group sharing and feedback, and final art projects/vocational boards. Opportunities for alumni, church members, and Wesley friends to participate will be available during this retreat and throughout the spring semester, so if you’re interested in sharing your journey of work and faith with students in casual conversation, please contact our campus minister, Rev. Julie Dowler, to learn more. (


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