Office of Church Relations
Church of the Brethren
Pathways: Theological Exploration of Vocation



In the fall of 2001, Manchester College received a $2 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. titled “Theological Explorations of Vocation.” The premise of the grant is, in the Endowment’s terms, “to identify and nurture a new generation of highly talented and religiously committed leaders.”

Manchester College, together with the other seven institutions of higher education related to the Church of the Brethren (Bridgewater College, Elizabethtown College, Juniata College, McPherson College, University of LaVerne, Bethany Theological Seminary and Brethren Colleges Abroad), is working to carry out the plans of the grant over the next five years.

Programs of the grant support summer service opportunities for college students, a program for high school students to explore the idea of vocation, mentoring and leadership training for pastors, having a ‘vocation’ day at the next Church of the Brethren National Youth Conference, conflict transformation workshops and several other exciting programs.

Here is a summary of the 2004 activities associated with the TEV program:

  • 27 students from five Church of the Brethren colleges participated in the Summer Service program, serving in destinations from Massachusetts to California and Washington state to Florida;

  • The Church of the Brethren Western Regional Youth Conference had a special emphasis on faith and vocation, encouraging more than 100 high school students to explore a personal understanding of God’s call for their lives;

  • 16 persons participated in a workshop on mentoring and advising students;

  • 3 students from two of the colleges participated in a Providing the Path tours, India Story, a seminar to learn about the religions, culture and life in India;

  • 7 students from 5 of the colleges and Bethany Seminary participated in a Providing the Path tour to experience Church of the Brethren history first-hand in Europe;

  • To date, 25 students from four of the colleges have planned and traveled on Imagination Grants, furthering their own theological understanding of vocation and service in 14 different countries: Nepal, Thailand, Germany, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nigeria, Guatemala, United States, Chile, China, Tanzania, Scotland, Togo and Peru.

For more information about TEV programs, please contact:

Thelma Rohrer, Director, or 260-982-5327

Wendi Hutchinson, Associate Director, or 260-982-5232

Click on photos below to enlarge
Participants in the Ireland/Northern Ireland Providing the Path trip cross the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge along the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland..

The 2003 TEV summer service students gather for a photo before leaving Rising Phoenix Retreat Center for their summer service sites.

Elizabethtown College student Kristen LeFever is journaling during TEV summer service orientation.