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Colleges Can Have Vocations, Too

Thursday, November 14, 2019 6:00 PM-Saturday, November 16, 2019 12:00 PM

Lipscomb University

News - Generic campus shot of Lipscomb sign

Registration is now closed.

Transforming the mission of a college or university into a saga—a powerful and compelling narrative informed by a unique history—requires a strong sense of institutional vocation in which the college or university has been called and summoned to fulfill a special role. On November 14-16, 2019, Lipscomb University will host a gathering sponsored by the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), of which Lipscomb is an active member. NetVUE is a consortium of over 250 colleges and universities that have found the language of “vocation” and “calling” to be a productive way of helping students think about the relationships among their studies, their faith, and their future careers. Please use this link for hotel reservations.

This gathering, titled “Colleges Can Have Vocations, Too,” will consider institutional vocational discernment as a means of identifying and developing the university’s saga, with attention to issues of religious heritage, educational philosophy, faculty commitments, and student outcomes. Speakers will include Florence Amamoto, Gustavus Adolphus College; David S. Cunningham, director of NetVUE; Richard Goode and John Mark Hicks, Lipscomb University; Forrest Harris, American Baptist College; Todd Lake, Belmont University; Jason Mahn, Augustana College (IL); Sheila Peters, Fisk University; Julianne Wallace, Alvernia University; and Tracy Wenger Sadd, Elizabethtown College.

Conference Schedule

Thursday, November 14

6 p.m.    Tokens Show (Ballroom, Shinn Event Center)

7:30 p.m.    Refreshments and Registration (Creativity Center, first floor, George Shinn Center)

Friday, November 15
Location for all: Ezell Center, room 147, Paul Rogers Board Room (unless otherwise noted)

8:30 a.m.    Registration 

9 a.m.   Welcome: Joshua Fleer, Associate Director, Lipscomb University Center for Christianity and Scholarship

9:15 a.m.   Joint Keynote Address: “From Institutional Mission to Institutional Saga: The Role of Vocational Discernment”

  •  David S. Cunningham, Director, NetVUE
  • Julianne Wallace, Vice-President for Mission and Ministry, Alvernia University

10 a.m. Break

10:15 a.m.  Plenary Session: Stories of Vocational Discernment in Three Institutions

  • Alvernia University: Julianne Wallace, Vice-President for Mission and Ministry
  • Lipscomb University: Richard Goode, Professor of History; and John Mark Hicks, Professor of Theology
  • Fisk University: Sheila Peters, Associate Professor of Psychology, former Associate Provost and former Faculty Assembly Chair                    

11:30 a.m.   Dialogue between panelists and audience

12:15 p.m.  Lunch (Faculty Club 1891, Bennett Campus Center)

2 p.m.  Plenary Session: Stories of Vocational Discernment in three Institutions: Navigating Particularity and Diversity

  • Gustavus Adolphus College: Florence Amamoto, Professor of English Emerita
  • Elizabethtown College: Tracy Wenger Sadd, Chaplain and Director of Religious Life
  • Belmont University: Todd Lake, Vice President for Spiritual Development

3:15 p.m.  Break

3:30 p.m.  Dialogue between panelists and audience

4:30 p.m.  Lipscomb Experience

6 p.m.   Dinner (John C. Hutcheson Art Gallery, Beaman Library)

8 p.m.  Adjourn

Saturday, November 16

9 a.m.  Plenary Session: Stories of Mission, Identity, Vocation, and Saga

  • Augustana College: Jason Mahn, Associate Professor of Religion and Director, Presidential Center for Faith and Learning
  • American Baptist College: Forrest Harris, President
  • Trevecca Nazarene University: Kathy Mowry, J. B. Elizer Chair of Christian Ministry and Professor of Mission and Christian Education

10:15 a.m.    Break

10:30 a.m.    Audience conversation with panelists

11:30 a.m.    Final Observations, David S. Cunningham

Noon            Boxed lunch

Registration is now closed.


Travel and Housing

Conferees will be housed in the Hilton Nashville/Green Hills Hotel, just minutes from the Lipscomb campus. To make a reservation call the hotel direct at 615.425.3115 and ask for the ­­­­Lipscomb University Conference group block. The cutoff date to receive group block pricing is Tuesday, October 15th, 2019. Conferees who drive should consult this map that shows the location of both Lipscomb University and the Hilton Nashville/Green Hills Hotel. Conferees who use air travel will fly into the Nashville International Airport (BNA), less than thirty minutes from both Lipscomb and the conference hotel.

For participants from NetVUE member institutions: The registration fee of $50 per person covers all conference costs, including meals and Friday night accommodations if accommodations are secured prior to the hotel’s cutoff date. Participants must make their own hotel reservations, which may include additional nights at their own expense. 

For participants from non-NetVUE member institutions: the non-member registration fee of $100 covers the conference and meals, but not lodging. Those from outside the Nashville area who need lodging must make their own arrangements. Non-members are welcome to stay at the Hilton Nashville/Green Hills Hotel, but may also seek out other accommodations; in either case, lodging is at their own expense.

For further information, please contact Sarah Flatt at or at 615-966-6121.

This event is made possible by the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE). NetVUE is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges with generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc.