Career Services

Vocational Discernment

Willamette University's Definition of "Vocation"

At Willamette, we say that vocational discernment is the way we live out our passions in the world: the way in which our values, our commitments and our beliefs are embodied in our choices about work, about family, and about our political and social lives.

Vocational Exploration:

Exploring vocation means engaging in, reflecting on, and discerning meaning from life experiences. This is vocation in the context of a liberal arts education- a definition that opens up choice and options. It teaches students how to think critically, inquire freely, lead wisely, serve generously, and live with integrity.

Exploring vocation involves:

  • Finding direction in college and in life
  • Exploring future options
  • Talking about larger questions of meaning and purpose
  • Investigating values that help shape our lives
  • Discussing choices and options about lifestyle and goals
  • Learning how to understand strengths/skills that you are gaining during your college experience

This is all about how we live out our passions in the world- if you're interesting in broadening your horizons and finding focus, come visit us in the Career Center on UC Floor 3!

Talk to a Vocational Discernment Counselor today!  Email Jeani Bragg at

Student Opportunities