Vocation at the University of Dayton

Vocation is central to the University of Dayton’s vision and mission. In its efforts to educate the “whole person,” the University of Dayton attends to its students’ intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth; helps students define and live a life of purpose, meaning, and personal fulfillment; and develops in students habits of reflection, community engagement, and service. In other words, the University’s goal is to graduate students who are actively engaged in discerning and realizing their vocation.  UD defines vocation as:

Answering a call to discover one’s unique gifts and employ them in service for the common good in ways that are personally satisfying and bring meaning to one’s life. “The Language of Vocation at UD” (PDF)

Since 2015, the University’s Vocation Implementation Team (VIT) has been leading efforts to promote and support vocational discernment across campus.

Vocation Mini-Grant Opportunity

The Vocation Implementation Team at the University of Dayton invites students, faculty, and staff to apply for mini-grants ranging from $500-$1000 to support the design and development of programs, activities, and events both inside and beyond the classroom that offer students opportunities to explore, discern, and act on their vocations.  Proposals for Winter/Spring 2019 vocation programs, events, or activities are due October 22. For more information on the mini-grants and instructions on how to submit a proposal, Mini-Grant Application (Word Document).  The mini-grants are supported by funds from the Council of Independent Colleges and Lilly Endowment Inc.


Awakening to Vocation: a retreat for faculty and staff

Monday, March 11 11 am- 3 pm

Madeleine Room, Chaminade Center

Mount Saint John

(the same campus as Bergamo, about 10 minutes from UD)

The retreat will include lunch and opportunity for personal reflection, group conversation and guest speaker, Ed Hahnenberg, PhD, professor at John Carroll University and author of Awakening Vocation: A Theology of Christian Call.

Cost for the retreat is covered by a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges and Lilly Endowment Inc.

To register for the retreat, go to go.udayton.edu/AwakeningVocation 

The University of Dayton offers a range of resources to help faculty and staff interested in addressing vocation in the courses and/or programs they deliver.

White Paper

A 2016 VIT white paper (PDF) includes a set of recommendations to make vocational discernment a defining aspect of every student’s experience at the University of Dayton. 


Every semester the VIT hosts workshops to help faculty and staff better understand vocation, explore ways of promoting student vocational discernment, and reflect on their own life callings.   A list of prior (PDF) and [up-coming] workshops are available online. [we’ll need to put together the up-coming list.  For now can we create a link and say “Under Construction” or something?]


Every academic year, the VIT hosts retreats designed to promote faculty and staff vocational reflection.  A schedule of up-coming retreats for Spring 2019 will be available soon. Check back for more information.

Vocation and Calling Book Collection

The Ryan C. Harris Learning Teaching Center offers a large and growing collection of books addressing vocation faculty and staff can consult to learn more about the topic, support their efforts to discussion vocation with students, and better understand their own life callings.


In several videos, UD students, faculty, staff, and administrators discuss what vocation means at the University of Dayton and reflect on their own vocational journeys.

Vocation at UD video

Professional Organizations

Administered by the Council of Independent Colleges, the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) website offers a wide range of resources for faculty and staff interested in learning more about vocation and calling.  .


Vocation Matters


On Vocation

Wheaton College


“Renewing Liberal Education as Vocational Discernment”

William M. Sullivan


Faculty Development