Discernment, Vocation and Thinking Deeply

Adam White, University Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska

In Fall 2016, through a new partnership including the Lutheran Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Wartburg Theological Seminary, and the Nebraska Synod, five students took a seminary level course, entitled “Jesus and Plural Worlds,” using distance learning technology with periodic, face-to-face intensives with seminary professors at the Lutheran Center. The course can be counted toward further seminary work or taken for general enrichment of faith and community. The initiative is designed to encourage people who may be discerning a vocation to ministry and who are interested in growing their faith through Master’s level seminary courses.

Pr. Adam White, Campus Pastor at the Lutheran Center, sees the initiative as a natural outgrowth of both the Lutheran Center’s history of equipping leaders for the church and the Center’s focus on vocation.
“This opportunity to partner came up unexpectedly. But it makes sense. We are always talking about vocation here, and we’ve had a lot of people go to seminary who came out of this community. So I see this as one more tool for inviting students to think deeply about faith and the way that God calls them.”

For Grace Johnson, a Classics and Religion Studies major, this is new experience in the study of religion. “We open class in prayer. It’s really weird. Faith is a huge factor in writing for the class, and that’s foreign to the academic world I’ve been in.”

According to Grace this introductory seminary experience offers something uniquely different from merely academic study of theology, Bible, or history of religion: “[The class] forces you to look at yourself and really analyze what you actually believe.”
Discernment, Vocation and Thinking Deeply