Why Portfolios / Why Vocation

Vocation at Augsburg University has an explicit origin in the Lutheran Christian tradition. It is the claim that God calls and equips each one of us in a unique way for the work that is needed to heal our world and our communities. However, not everyone is Christian or even religious. Therefore, our teaching on vocation claims that one does not need to be Christian or even believe in a god of any type in order to have a vocation. Therefore, we also talk about vocation as a way of living your life that puts your core values (religion, faith, ethics, morals, worldview, etc.) into action in every role you have (partner, sibling, offspring, neighbor, employee, employer, citizen, etc.). Vocation is not your job but your job might be one way in which you live out your vocation.

Former Augsburg University professor and Christensen Chair of Religion and Vocation, Martha Stortz,  uses certain metaphors for thinking about vocation. Her purpose in identifying these metaphors is to help those who are not Christian or even religious find their way into the conversation about vocation. She says one can think about vocation in the following ways:

Auggies could include in their Vocation E-Portfolios:

  • Core competencies of a graduate or undergraduate program (e.g., curricular or co-curricular Student Learning Outcomes)
  • Requirements for a particular major (e.g., signature assignments, performances, presentations)
  • Dimensions of Augsburg’s institutional mission (e.g., informed citizens, thoughtful stewards, responsible leaders, critical thinkers)
  • The results from personality tests (e.g., StrengthFinders, Dependable Strengths, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, etc.)
  • The tracking of a student’s engagement with AugSem, SOAR, and URGO experiences over time
  • One’s vocational autobiography, a Personal Mission statement, a “This I Believe”/Credo assignment, and/or a key project for the student’s Keystone
  • Reflections on a student’s community engagement experience, service learning sites, and/or study abroad experiences; how these added to the student’s professional and personal sense of calling
  • Reflections on a student’s work-place assignments, jobs, or internships; how these added to the student’s sense of calling

Why Vocation Video: (hear from Auggies about their experiences creating Vocation E-Portfolios)