campus partner(s)

Graduate Theological Union

American Baptist Seminary of the West

Church Divinity School of the Pacific

Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

Franciscan School of Theology

Jesuit School of Theology






Fresh Thinking

award date


project director

James A. Donahue

Graduate Theological Union

Grant Summary

$100,000 over 24 months. How can faculty charged with the development of future faculty best mentor toward vocation? The Graduate Theological Union, in partnership with its nine member schools and the University of California at Berkeley, will conduct a two year, comprehensive research project in which senior faculty will develop strategies for introducing "big questions" of vocation into doctoral-level teaching preparation. These "big questions" include: What am I called to do in my life? How can my work be meaningful and satisfying? How can my work and my life encourage others to pursue lives and careers of meaning? How can my teaching help students to engage questions of meaning and value in their own lives? Strategies developed by faculty in a series of inter-institutional forums will inform a doctoral seminar—on the history and purpose of liberal education in America and current debates about its ongoing relevance and value, as well as pedagogical strategies aimed at engaging questions of meaning in theology and religious studies classrooms—and direct mentoring with students as they first, assist in the classroom, and then conduct supervised teaching. Results from the project will contribute to the revitalization of pedagogies and critical assessment around "big questions" in higher education.