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Christensen Center for Vocation

The Christensen Center for Vocation at Augsburg University equips and accompanies students, staff, faculty, and ministry leaders as they discover together how we are called to show up as neighbor in the world. These learning partnerships happen through a variety of initiatives that foster learning experiences and creative collaborations for all.

Christensen Scholars
The Christensen Scholars Program is a community of ten upper-level Augsburg University students who spend a full academic year together in a seminar style course. Christensen Scholars engage in a deeper interdisciplinary exploration of Christian theological reflection and vocational discernment related to their personal lives and social realities of the world they live in.

Riverside Innovation Hub
The Riverside Innovation Hub is an incubator for people and communities exploring the public church in the neighborhood. In addition to the learning communities, the Hub is launching two additional projects: a book amplifying young adult voices to the church, and an online network where people can learn from and support one another in their work to become public church.

Augsburg Youth Theology Institute
The Augsburg Youth Theology Institute hosts an annual weeklong on-campus experience in the summer each year for high school students to gain deeper insight into who they are and the life they want to live as children of God. The CONFLUENCE is an experience that empowers young people to be curious about how their personal story, the world’s story, and God’s story flow together to create a loving and just world.

v-Portfolio
The V-Portfolio is a digital platform that facilitates a student’s ongoing and creative reflection on their vocation. This platform helps students to tell a story of how their Augsburg University education is shaping the life they want to live for the sake of their neighbors.

What’s Vocation?

People walking Augsburg in the background

Vocation is a word from within the Lutheran Christian tradition that has been used to describe the phenomenon of being set free by the love of Jesus to love and serve our neighbor through the various roles we play and how we show up in mundane ways in our daily lives. But vocation isn’t the only way to talk about this, and Lutherans and Christians aren’t the only ones who love and serve our neighbors. At Augsburg, vocation is used to describe the way we are each called, compelled, challenged, equipped, and empowered to do what we can do to make this world a more trustworthy place for our neighbors—all of them, but especially those most marginalized and at risk.

Christensen Symposium on Vocation

Place-Based Vocational Discernment in the Public Square for the Common Good

Vocation is not an ideal, it is a reality. It is not a theory, it is a practice. Therefore, vocation happens in real life, within real relationships. Because it is real and relational, it is also place-based. Vocation happens in certain places where we live our lives and encounter our neighbors.

This work is rooted in the love and call of Jesus, but not exclusive to only those who share a belief in the Christian story. These efforts strengthen faith communities and enhance learning opportunities beyond the classroom for Augsburg faculty and students. And ultimately, the fruit of this work becomes the liberating good news of Jesus being experienced in new and urgent ways.

Place-Based in that vocational discernment is always located in a particular place and the discernment process must take place in, with, and for that location. The particular matters.

Vocational Discernment as a way of moving through the world simultaneously listening to God’s promises, our neighbors’ stories, and how we are being called to respond.

Public Square because vocational discernment happens out in the open beyond our comfort zones in conversation with our neighbors, seeking to bring all perspectives to the table.

Common Good as an orientation towards the collective well-being of our neighbors and our neighborhoods.

Recent Posts

Headshot of Christina Erickson on the Quad

Uncovering Vocation –  “Spanked: The Sanctioned Violence”

Dr. Christina Erickson, Social Work on January 24th, 2023 Reading:  By Anne LaMott My coming to this vocation did not …

Introducing THE CONFLUENCE!

Written by Adrienne Kuchler Eldridge, Institute Program Director Since 2005, Augsburg University has been gathering high school students from all …

A group gathering outside, a group talking inside and an art labyrinth outside with a pole that says welcome. "Letter of Intent Open Now!" Riverside innovation hub

Letter of Intent for Third Learning Community is Open!

The Riverside Innovation Hub (RIH) will be launching its third congregational learning community in September of 2023. This opportunity is …

Headshot of Steve Peacock

Steve Peacock is Leading Augsburg into the Public Square for the Sake of our Neighbors

Written by Jeremy Myers This blog post is the first of many that will showcase the various ways we see …