Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling
In the formation of both its curricular and its co-curricular expectations, Hendrix College appeals to two founding traditions: the liberal arts and the United Methodist Church. The educational ideals of both traditions hold that education is not merely about what our students know but who they become, not about mere information gathering but character and spiritual formation. An educational mission shaped around these ideals asks those who are learning, and those who are teaching, to make education speak to the questions of vocation: Why am I here and what shall I do with my time and talents? Who am I, and what kind of person should I strive to become? What sort of life’s work will I find fulfilling and meaningful? What is it my enduring passion to do and what does the world need what I have to give? What does my God ask of me? Providing programming that encourages and assists students in the exploration of vocational questions and the consequent discernment of call is the purpose of the Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling.
"Deep gladness meets the world's deep hunger"
The Miller Center provides multiple pathways for individuals to explore the content and nature of their life’s true calling. Following theologian Frederick Buechner’s wisdom that one’s calling may be found where the individual’s “deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet,” many of the Center’s programs involve students in individual and group service projects in the local area, across the United States, and in other countries. Students, faculty, and staff who wish to be involved in service to the world and to use that experience for the exploration of their passions and calling will find numerous forms of support from the Miller Center.
The Miller Center is committed to the idea that the life of wholeness and vocational fulfillment is marked by the successful integration of information and value, faith and knowledge, secular duties and faith commitments, material concerns and spiritual strivings. The Center therefore provides a variety of curricular and co-curricular activities designed to help participants explore the intersection of their academic study, their ethical ideals, and their religious understanding. The Center provides retreats, domestic and international mission trips, internships at non-profit agencies and faith-based institutions, conferences on faith and the academy, and undergraduate research opportunities on vocation. The Center supports the development of courses on vocation and workshops for faculty and staff on the vocation of teaching at a church-related, liberal arts college.
The Miller Center seeks to create a space where listening to the call of one’s religious faith is respected, nurtured, and woven into the intellectual life of the collegiate community. The Miller Center provides programming for individuals across all religious and philosophical perspectives; however, in honor of the Methodist heritage of the College, some elements are designed specifically to assist those exploring a Christian vocation, whether through professional ministry or active lay leadership. Through the Center, students may participate in a ministry exploration group, apply for support to visit seminaries, intern with pastors, attend spirituality retreats, and experiment living in an intentional Christian community through on-campus themed housing.