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Ohio Wesleyan Becomes Founding Member of National Vocational Organization
Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) Helps Students Find Their Life’s Calling

December 15, 2009

DELAWARE, OH – Ohio Wesleyan University announced today that it has become a founding member of the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), a nationwide campus-supported network dedicated to the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation on college campuses.

NetVUE is an initiative of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), a Washington, D.C.-based association of more than 600 independent, liberal arts colleges and universities. Through this initiative, students and colleges will deepen their vocational exploration by participating in national and regional conferences, developing and exchanging resources, and networking online.

“The theological exploration of vocation is grounded in Ohio Wesleyan University’s charter statement of 1842, that we be established as a place to provide ‘a quality of scholarship, leadership, and service that (will) enrich both Church and society,’ ” said Ohio Wesleyan Chaplain Jon R. Powers, Th.M. “This historic vision has been strengthened greatly by the programs and personnel that have come to us through our relationship with the Lilly Endowment Inc. over the past seven years. Through this partnership, theological exploration of vocation has become one of the defining and differentiating characteristics of Ohio Wesleyan.

“Our new partnership with the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education will enable us to deepen the theological exploration of vocation to include more focused emphasis on those specific religious traditions most representative among our student body – Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam,” Powers concluded.

In announcing the launch of NetVUE, CIC President Richard Ekman said: “Over the past several years, the Council of Independent Colleges has made a commitment to advancing vocational exploration as a guiding force in American independent higher education. The concept of vocation emerged as a significant factor from various sources and has been applied in different ways for different campus constituencies. CIC hopes that NetVUE will capitalize on what has been learned about the theological exploration of vocation and how it can be adapted and developed to strengthen colleges and universities, their leadership, and the education they provide for their students.”

NetVUE is supported by Lilly Endowment Inc., an Indianapolis-based private foundation created in 1937 to support the causes of community development, education, and religion. Ohio Wesleyan has been receiving Lilly Endowment funds since 2002 to help prepare a new generation of leaders for church and society.

“We have discovered that structured programs that encourage and guide students in the theological exploration of vocation do indeed help them draw on the wisdom of their religious traditions as they make decisions about their futures and figure out how to lead lives that really matter,” said Craig Dykstra, Lilly Endowment’s senior vice president for religion. “We have been approached by hundreds of colleges and universities seeking to enhance their educational programs by incorporating vocational reflection more intentionally into their curricular and co-curricular activities. We are delighted that CIC is committed to sustaining and extending this important conversation and helping colleges across the country to advance their educational missions in this way.”

Click here for more information about NetVUE.

The Council of Independent Colleges works to strengthen college and university leadership, sustain high-quality education, and enhance private higher education’s contributions to society. To fulfill this mission, CIC provides its members with skills, tools, and knowledge that address aspects of leadership, financial management and performance, academic quality, and institutional visibility.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 45 states and 57 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.