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A new centre at Canadian Mennonite University blends employment services and faith-based career exploration

The Centre for Career and Vocation prompts students to ask how social responsibility and ‘calling’ factor into their work lives.

BY NATALIE SAMSON | APR 05 2021

Canadian Mennonite University’s new career centre brings a faith-based twist to career advising. The Centre for Career and Vocation offers conventional career services like job-search help, work-integrated learning placements and career education. However, it sets itself apart from most other career centres at Canadian universities by asking students to focus on how faith and social responsibility factor into what they want to do with their lives.

“Regardless of whether people believe in God or a higher power, the language of ‘calling’ is something that tends to resonate,” says centre director Christine Kampen Robinson. “I like to talk about vocation being the calling and our career the response to the call, and I think this is an approach that connects with students.”

Since all CMU students must complete a practicum in order to graduate, Dr. Kampen Robinson is also working with faculty and staff to “develop a common framework for advising and to be more explicit in their teaching and curriculum for how different aspects contribute to the development of skills, and the discernment of vocation.”

The center launched on March 1 with more than $30,000 in funding from the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE). NetVUE supports vocation exploration at 277 small liberal arts colleges and universities. CMU is the first Canadian postsecondary institution to join.

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