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The Institute of Theology

"Perspectives on Vocation for the 21st Century"

Monday, July 18, 2011 through Friday, July 22, 2011

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms" (1 Peter 4:10, NIV).

Join us for the return of Princeton Theological Seminary's original continuing education program, begun in the summer of 1942. This year's theme will be "Vocation" with dedicated week-long morning programs and afternoon electives that look at this important facet of Christian life from multiple perspectives.

Morning Programs

Participants may choose one of the following two options, which will be held all five days in the morning.

The Calling God, the Called Church, and Callings to Ministries

The focus of vocation is not on personal callings, but on the divine call to the people of God. How might we live out God's callings?

Led by Joseph D. Small, recently retired as Director of Theology, Worship, and Education Ministries, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The author of several books, numerous journal articles, study series, and theological papers, he is co-chair of the international Reformed-Pentecostal Dialogue, member of the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches, and a frequent participant in international ecumenical consultations sponsored by the World Council of Churches, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Centre International Reformé.

Discover Your Call: Vocation in Contemporary Life

Discover how God calls individuals to service in homes, communities, and workplaces, as well as in their congregations.

Combining brief lectures, individual exercises, and small group experiences, participants will learn to identify their unique pattern of dependable strengths and reflect on their own callings in daily life. Come and learn more about yourself and consider how God is calling you to participate in God’s creative and redemptive work in the world.

Led by Sally Peters, director of the Center for Lifelong Learning at Luther Seminary.

Afternoon Programs

Each of the afternoon programs is intended to last two days, either Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday. There are no scheduled programs on Wednesday afternoon.

Vocation and Young Adults

Learn how college-age students view national and international service opportunities as a way to contribute to society. Monday and Tuesday.

Led by Jimmy McGee, executive director of the Bitumen Group, formerly with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

Vocation in the Reformed Tradition

Consider the work of the three ordained offices in the Reformed tradition—minister, elder, and deacon— and how a better understanding of the history of the deaconate leads to a broader witness of faith. Monday and Tuesday.

Led by Elsie McKee, Princeton Theological Seminary’s Archibald Alexander Professor of Reformation Studies and the History of Worship.

Vocation and Globalization

Discuss how employees working in the changing business world can influence their cultures through an informed understanding of vocation and leadership. Monday and Tuesday.

Led by PTS’s Rimmer and Ruth de Vries Professor of Reformed Theology and Public Life Emeritus, Max Stackhouse, who will discuss the intersection of theological ethics and public life.

Vocation and Theological Education

Gain knowledge about the resources seminaries can use to present a broader understanding of a theology of vocation, during this Lilly Foundation program. This approach examines how to form pastors in the role of ministry to equip the saints (the worshipping community) for their vocation that all are called to be a witness. Thursday and Friday.

Led by the Reverend Christian Andrews, pastor of Outreach Red Bank in New Jersey.

A Moderated Conversation on Ministry

Explore the role of middle-governing church committees in helping ministry candidates discern their gifts. Those serving on Committees on Preparation for Ministry are encouraged to participate. Thursday and Friday.

Led by Ruth-Aimee Belonni-Rosario, an ordained Presbyterian Church (USA) minister and former pastor, and now associate director of admissions at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Building Monday's Vocation upon Sunday's Foundation

Learn ways to draw strength from your faith by using proven techniques to achieve a more fulfilling understanding of your career and vocation. Thursday and Friday.

Led by Stephen Payne, Ph.D., who will discuss his work with A New Equilibrium, an organization dedicated to helping leaders draw on their spiritual gifts to excel in the workplace.


The Institute will begin with a banquet breakfast on Monday, July 18. The schedule is provided below. Please note there will be breaks included in the times allotted for track-related instruction. Late afternoons are intentionally unscheduled, providing an opportunity for continuing the dialogue, Sabbath rest, taking advantage of the Seminary and greater Princeton resources, or self-directed travel to area attractions. For those remaining on campus, dinner is available from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Lodging and Meals

On-campus lodging options include student dormitories and the Erdman Center, based on availability. Dormitories provide single or double rooms. All dormitories are air-conditioned and have hall baths. The Erdman Center offers single rooms, rooms with one double bed for a couple, and family suites. Many rooms have private baths. Some single rooms share a bath with one other single room. There are a few wheel-chair accessible rooms, both single and double. All rooms in Erdman are air-conditioned and have telephones and voice mail. All resident and commuter participants will receive meal cards.


For resident participants, the institute costs $600, which includes all programming, refreshments, meals (lunch on Monday through lunch on Friday), and lodging in a single room in the Erdman Center. Room upgrades are available.

For commuters, the morning program costs $125 and $25 for each two-day afternoon program. Meals, which must be paid for in advance, are also available. There is no cost to attend worship or the Bible study.

Please note: A limited number of need-based scholarships are available for this program. Please download and fill out this scholarship application (.doc) to be considered.


Please read the Registration and Cancellation Policy. You may register online by clicking here. Registration is available via phone at 609.497.7990 or by downloading this registration form (.pdf) and returning it via fascimilie or postal mail. 

Additional questions may be asked by telephone at 609.497.7990 or by e-mail at [email protected].