Center for Purpose and Vocation
The Center for Purpose and Vocation welcomes those seeking answers to life’s big questions and who are open to exploring their own passions and contributions at Assumption University.
Building Lives that Matter
The Center for Purpose and Vocation (CPV) connects students to the many campus resources and opportunities available for the growth of their passion and calling. CPV programs and events support students in building strong character and leading a more meaningful and purposeful life. At the CPV, we support the exploration of vocation in its many forms —active, contemplative, creative, religious, social, communal, personal, professional— through courses, events, and initiatives sponsored in partnership with various academic departments, programs, and offices such as the Career Development and Internship Center, the Community Service Learning Program, the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence, Campus Ministry, and the Offices of Student Affairs and Residential Life.
At Assumption, learning to build lives that matter is one of our guiding principles. We recognize that seeking our purpose and vocation lasts a lifetime, but it begins here and now with the need to respond to the world around us. This is why we encourage students to formulate their life goals, develop their interests, and reflect on their values so that they can make contributions to the world beyond themselves.
We carry out this mission by providing resources for individual and group reflection through a series of probing questions:
Who am I? What is the purpose of my life? How do I live a meaningful life? How can I make a difference in the world?
We welcome those seeking answers to life’s big questions and who are open to exploring their own callings, passions, and contributions at Assumption.
Center for Purpose and Vocation Staff
Programs and Services for Students
The Sophomore Initiative at Assumption (SOPHIA) is a yearlong academic learning experience for sophomores aimed at discerning vocation in its many forms. Students apply for admission in the spring semester of their first year. Twenty-four students are selected to be SOPHIA Collegians in their second year. These students take a common course in the fall; meet in small groups with a dedicated faculty mentor; and are invited to participate in a two-week capstone learning and reflective experience in Rome, Italy. Please contact Prof. Esteban Loustaunau for more information.
The CPV is committed to creating and promoting academic opportunities for all Assumption students to engage with the big questions that lead to purposeful and meaningful lives. Thanks to the generous support from the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), members from the faculty have developed intellectually stimulating courses that connect purpose and vocational exploration to specific majors and minors. Below is the list of courses across several academic disciplines. Please contact Prof. Esteban Loustaunau or consult the University Catalog to learn when these courses are offered.
CLT 255: The Figure of the Seeker Esteban Loustaunau EDU 101: Schools in American Society Cathleen Stutz ENG 227: The Still Small Voice John Hodgen ENG 228: Voices of Multitudes
ENG 415: Seminar in Writing Mass Communications TBD HIS 338: Classics of Spiritual Direction Lance Lazar HIS 366: Vocations in Public History Carl Keyes HON 200: Life Stories James Lang HSR 119: Introduction to Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies Staff PHI 227: Living Lives that Matter Louise Carroll Keeley PSY 202 The Psychology of Vocation Regina Kuersten-Hogan SOC 250: Public Sociology Steven Farough SPA 204: Introduction to Literature in Spanish
SPA 380: Latin American Chronicles Juan Carlos Grijalva THE 400: Special Topics: Spiritual Seekers and Teachers Kathleen Fisher
Upcoming new courses:
HRS: Social Justice in the Human Services Cinzia Pica-Smith THE: The Soul, Source of One’s Calling Fr. Roger Corriveau
The University's Office of Campus Ministry provides retreat opportunities for students with a desire to grow spiritually. Whether a student is just beginning their spiritual journey or they've been walking the road of faith for some time, they'll find many opportunities for spiritual growth through Campus Ministry.
START and Horizons Retreats – for students interested in exploring identity, commitment, faith, prayer, and discipleship.
Genesis Retreat – for first-year students beginning their college experience to reflect on their desires and goals for their first year, as well as to encourage them to use Campus Ministry as a resource as they seek to grow in their faith.
Crossroads Retreat – provides sophomore students with an appreciation of their God-given gifts, their passions and talents, and their sense of vocation.
Senior Retreat - This retreat offers seniors an opportunity to reflect on their college experience and look ahead to their years beyond Assumption.
In collaboration with Campus Ministry, the Office of Residential Life at Assumption trains students from all class years to serve as peer ministers in residence halls across campus. Peer ministers work closely with student resident assistants to provide prayer opportunities and to serve as additional pastoral support for students looking for a peer with whom to talk and/or ask questions about faith, life as a college student, or the challenges that come with living on campus in a residential community. Oftentimes, these conversations lead students to questions of identity, belonging, purpose and life meaning.
The Career Development and Internship Center (CDIC) helps students build the skills and experience they will need for a successful, purposeful, and meaningful career. CDIC advisors can assist students from the first year through graduation in choosing the academic major, summer internships, and career options that are right for them and ensuring that they have the professional development and networking tools to make those aspirations a reality. The CDIC’s 4 Year Road Map provides students with a checklist of opportunities to consider during each year at Assumption. Focus 2 is an online interactive, self-guided career and education planning system designed to help students make decisions about their future education plans and career goals.
Additional CDIC Resources:
- Students seeking opportunities to connect their personal interests, life goals, and callings with their majors/minors and future careers, can take advantage of the events sponsored by the CDIC. Some events to keep in mind are:
- Accounting Career & Internship Fair - Every September
- Alumni Career Networking Night - Every November
- Graduate School Fair - Every November-Major Decisions – Information sessions for students seeking to find the right major. In collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies – Every February
- For more information, contact Shannon Curtis, CDIC Director.
At Assumption, we believe that service is an essential element in preparing students for lives of meaning and purpose. The Community Service Learning Program fuses service and academic inquiry, simultaneously creating memorable educational experiences for students and valuable service to the greater Worcester community. Assumption students can choose to take CSL courses across many disciplines, in a wide range of formats, giving themselves a chance to apply their skills to the world beyond the campus. CSL minors, meanwhile, also participate in local service opportunities through the Reach Our Center and SEND mission trips in collaboration with the Campus Ministry Office.
D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence
Throughout the year, the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence, in collaboration with the CPV, offers workshops and training for faculty interested in infusing questions on purpose and vocation in their own teaching, scholarship, and service.
CRS Service and Reflection Day at Noonday Farm
Every fall, our Catholic Relief Services Global Campus faculty liaisons organize a service and reflection day at Noonday Farm in Winchendon, MA. Part of the Catholic Worker Movement, Noonday is a small farm where the staff donates their completely organic produce and eggs to local families struggling with food insecurity. Volunteering at Noonday is a great service opportunity for faculty to build community by working together and sharing stories of purpose and vocation with one another. For more information, contact Prof. David Crowley, CRS Global Campus Coordinator.
Career Development and Internship Center
The CDIC provides practical resources for faculty advisors and mentors to support students in making a connection between their majors and different potential career fields upon graduation. The CDIC assists faculty as they help students navigate through career development and purpose exploration. Some of the CDIC services include: classroom presentations, hosting guest speakers, planning events with alumni, career communities, the 4 Year Road Map and Focus 2 to help students make decisions about their future education plans and career goals.
Vocation Matters A NetVUE Blog
Faculty can access new scholarly resources on purpose and vocation through this blog sponsored by NetVUE, which is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges through a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Robert Bellin, Ph.D. – Director of Vocare, College of the Holy Cross
Conway Campbell, Sr. Ed.D. – Vice-President for Student Success
Deacon Paul Covino – Director of Campus Ministry
David Crowley, Ph.D. – Catholic Relief Services Global Campus and SOPHIA Faculty Mentor
Shannon Curtis – Director of the Career Development and Internship Center
Paula Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. - Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Eloise Knowlton, Ph.D. – Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Fr. Richard Lamoureux A.A. – Augustinians of the Assumption, Vice-President for Mission
Mike Land, Ph.D.– Director of the Community Service Learning Program
Jim Lang, Ph.D.– Director of the D'Amour Center for Teaching Excellence
Esteban Loustaunau, Ph.D. – Director of the Center for Purpose and Vocation
Sandy Piwko - Director of the Associate Missionaries of the Assumption
Many faculty and staff members within the Assumption community serve with their time and talents to support students in their pursuit for purpose, life meaning, and callings. Take a look at who is working across our various services, retreats, and programs.
Career Development and Internship Center
Community Service Learning Program
Office of Residential Life
D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence
Catholic Relief Services Global Campus Liaisons