Project Transformation National recently launched a new, PT Chapter-wide initiative aimed at improving the collective understanding, practice, and evaluation of the young adult vocational discernment experience at Project Transformation. For 20 years, Project Transformation has produced impressive results with young adults discerning calls to ministry and service; however, as the network of PT Chapters expands across the country, we want to ensure we take a deeper look at what is most important in helping college-age young adults discern their calling. This initiative will strengthen our vocational discernment intervention strategies through sharing the collective wisdom between PT chapters, listening to new perspectives from theologians and researchers, and establishing an aligned outcomes plan for more effectively measuring our impact on young adults’ vocational discernment.

Supported by an investment from the Young Clergy Initiative of the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Forum for Theological Exploration, PT National convened 21 staff and alumni last month from all eight Project Transformation Chapters at Wesley Theology Seminary in Washington, D.C. for a two-day consultation on vocational discernment. We were blessed to have the gathering hosted and facilitated by Rev. Beth Ludlum, Wesley’s Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and a member of the Project Transformation National Leadership Council Chapters. We were also very grateful to the following experts who joined us for the consultation and brought their extraordinary wisdom and unique perspectives to the vocational discernment conversation:

Larry Duggins, Executive Director, Missional Wisdom Foundation
Kim Bloom, Director of Applied Research, WorkWell
Estrus Tucker, Past Board Chair & Facilitator, Center for Courage & Renewal

Here is what some of our attendees had to say about the consultation:

My key takeaway is the value of our shared work together as leaders of PT, and how much we can learn from one another from our experiences both from PT and throughout our life. Programmatically, I’m really excited to see how we can continue to work together, to share what we’ve learned and to share our common understanding of vocation as we develop practices that will help the young adults become fully who they are and become the people that God wants them to be.”  – Scott Bostic, PT Washington DC board member

I feel really compelled by our common understanding of what we want for our young adults, as far as discerning vocation, considering where their faith leads them to action, but also by our common belief that faith in practice is this open and diverse community of people seeking equity and justice in whatever way that presents itself to them.”  – Sarah Nichols, PT Oklahoma Executive Director

We are a learning community, and we serve with a posture of openness…. I’ve just appreciated being in a space where we are together learning: learning about who our young adults are, learning about the ways that God is inviting them to live a life of ministry, and specifically, the ways that God is invited us to walk alongside them.”  – Courtney Aldrich, PT Tennessee Executive Director

We look forward to sharing what we learn about helping young adults discern their vocation and calling.