“Besides helping them with their careers, students need for educators to help them discover their vocations…Education of the whole person, in the Ignatian style, helps students discover their vocation in life, above all their vocation to love and serve.”   - Dean Brackley, S.J.

Dean Brackley SJ Faculty Fellowship for Vocational Discernment

As a result of a partnership with the Forum for Theological Exploration, CELTS is offering several $1000 faculty fellowships in the 2024 calendar year to faculty who are interested in developing and deepening language of vocational discernment in their courses. The following faculty are our Brackley Fellows.

Leanna Boychenko - Classical Studies 

Mara Brecht - Theology

John Goheen - Communications

Noah Butler - Anthropology

John Stys - Healthcare Administration

Colleen Conley - Psychology

Amy Kessel - English

Yoo Na Youm - Management 

Jenna Drenten - Marketing 

Susan Mc Carthy - Arrupe College

Stacy Neier Beran - Marketing


For futher information not covered below, please contact Susan Haarman, PhD, Associate Director/Service-Learning Program Manager of CELTS at shaarman@luc.edu 

What is vocational discernment?

Vocational discernment is the process of reflecting on one's values, interests, and skills in order to make informed decisions about one's career and life path. It is a process that is ongoing and can be influenced by many factors, including work experiences, relationships, and spiritual beliefs. Jesuit education and Ignatian pedagogy centers the importance of developing discernment skills and reflecting on vocation as part of cura personalis -  care for the whole person.


What does vocational discernment have to do with Engaged Learning?

Engaged Learning courses (service-learning, academic internships, public performance, fieldwork, and undergraduate research) provide students with the opportunity to apply their academic knowledge and skills to real-world problems and challenges. Additionally, the unique knowledge and voice of the community is brought into the classroom to animate, challenge, and enliven course material. Engaged Learning often allows students to envision a different way of being in the world, both for themselves and for society at large. This widening of scope and generative imagination are crucial as students ask deep questions about their own place in the world and its intersection with their own deeply held values. Engaged Learning courses are uniquely well suited to help students with vocational discernment.

EL courses are an ideal setting for faculty to introduce students to vocational discernment. By talking about vocational discernment in their classes, faculty can help students to:

  • Reflect on their values, interests, and skills through embedded curricular critical reflection
  • Attend to the ways in which specific disciplines uniquely engage critical societal challenges and provide hope and ways forward
  • Identify the intersections between their own gifts, the needs of the world, and disciplinary approaches

Practices of vocational discernment also echo some of the essential elements of excellent Ignatian Pedagogy - reflection, meaning making, imagination, and building community.


What does the fellowship entail?

Each faculty member awarded the fellowship will receive $1000 ($500 per semester across two semesters) to support their teaching, scholarship, and course development (books, conference travel, lab equipment, materials for courses, etc). Across Spring 2024 and Fall 2024, fellowship winners will participate in a reading and peer consultation group that will meet 3-4 times over each semester. Cohort meetings may include book discussion, speakers, professional development around incorporating best practices of discernment into courses, or peer review of one another’s course designs. CELTS educators will coordinate these events and be present throughout.