Justice Education

Virtues & Vocations is a national forum for scholars and practitioners across disciplines to consider how best to cultivate character in pre-professional and professional education. Virtues & Vocations hosts faculty workshops and monthly webinars, and engages issues of character, professional identity, and moral purpose through our publications.


2024 -2025 Webinar Series 
We are taking a break from our monthly webinar series for the summer, but will host more conversations on Character & the Common Good beginning in August. Stay tuned for guest and registration information.

2024 Virtues & Vocations Conference

Higher Education & Human Flourishing

We hosted a conference on Higher Education & Human Flourishing from June 3-5, 2024 at the University of Notre Dame. We will post links to videos and resources from the conference in the coming weeks. Our next conference will be held May 20-22, 2025 at the University of Notre Dame. More details will be released in the fall.

Cover artwork: “Over the Rainbow” by Stephen Conroy © 2021

Reimagining Purpose

L. Gregory Jones

Higher education as an industry needs to be re-imagined. The challenges we face are too numerous to think we are just dealing with a series of complicated problems that can be attacked one at a time. Rather, they are complex problems that require creative solutions. 

Howard Gardner

As I enter my ninth decade and reflect back, I am reminded of several years ago when my friends Bill Damon and Anne Colby asked me about my sense of purpose. . . As I look back now, I can see many ways that my curiosity, though internally motivated, blossomed through collaborative relationships and still seems generative in new and sometimes surprising ways.

A Case for the Liberal Arts

Clayton Spencer

If motivating and equipping our students to live lives of meaning and contribution is a core purpose of the liberal arts, then work is central to the project. Whatever a person’s particular interests, choices, or constraints, most people wish to figure out a way to stay healthy and happy, to nourish human connection, and to leave the world—or at least their corner of it—better than they found it. 

Carolyn Woo

The search for purpose inevitably turns our sight outward to the needs of the world and how we can make life better for others near and far. Yet, ironically, the journey must start with a focus on the self. To figure out our calling, we must first probe what we wish to offer and why. Before attention to others, purpose is first and foremost the giving of self: of our talents, training and education, efforts and persistence, attention and discernments, imagination, aspiration, and passion.

This Month's Newsletters

In his reflection on "Training Happy Warriors," James E. Coleman, Jr. discusses ways he engages law students to cultivate a deep sense of purpose. "We tell our students that they will face many opportunities in their careers to act with courage and integrity, sometimes against prevailing winds," he said.

Through three sections – work, worth, and work that’s worthy – the authors explore issues around work and purpose, and give readers ways to think about their own work and the role they would like it to play in a meaningful life.

In 2016, Cynda Rushton started exploring what could be done to help nurses prepare for the moral distress and suffering that they would inevitably face as part of their work in healthcare. And the leadership at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing was on board. Dean Patricia Davidson knew how many nurses leave the profession within their first year of work, making it clear how important emphasizing the role of resilience is in preparing nurses for their careers. From there, the Mindful Ethical Practice and Resilience Academy (MEPRA) was born. Through MEPRA, nurses learn to be mindful, clarify their values, and exercise self-stewardship, all skills which then strengthen their moral resilience and help them confront the ethical challenges they face in acute care settings.

Contact Us

Erin Collazo Miller
Project Director