Vocation and the Liberal Arts: A Quest for Purpose

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The purpose of higher education is to enable individuals to make sense of the world and their place in it, preparing them to use knowledge and skills as means toward responsible engagement with the life of their times. Discernment of vocation provides for many students a synthetic and compelling focus for intellectual and practical exploration. What efforts have helped reconfigure undergraduate education as a journey toward life purpose?

William Sullivan is a philosopher, specializing in political theory, American democracy, and work and the professions. He is currently a senior scholar at New American Colleges and Universities. He is the author of several books including Habits of the Heart (1985), Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education (2011), and his most recent book, Liberal Learning as a Quest for Purpose (2016). Bill is a member of the Collegeville Institute ‘s Seminar on Vocation and Faith in the Professions, and is currently a scholar-in-residence at the Collegeville Institute.

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