Vocation and Orientation

IST 1000 1: Vocation & Orientation

Winter 2019

Instructor: Caran Ware Joseph Email: cwarejoseph@iliff.edu Phone: 303.765.3111
Student Hours: I will be contacting you to discuss some of your personal learning goals but I also want you to know that I am available by appointment during the quarter. Please, contact me by email or phone to make an appointment.

Welcome! In this course, we will learn from spiritual practices, each other, texts, music, film, poetry, visual art, and a variety of communities. This course is designed to meet some of the learning goals for your

Degree Learning Goals Supported by this Class


4. Demonstrate personal and professional self-awareness and emerging competency in characteristic practices of religious leadership

4.2. Describe strategies for their continued spiritual development and self-care

4.3   Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of social location (race, class, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability/disability, etc.) for self-understanding and professional practice

4.6   establish an effective presence as a leader in the vocational context to which they feel called, and demonstrate adequate self-awareness of their characteristic styles of interaction, commitments, strengths and limitations as they move into new contexts

4.7   to clearly interpret one's beliefs and behavior to the community one serves


  1. Students will identify and critically evaluate the ways in which their personal, religious, and cultural experience, along with their activities in pastoral and spiritual care, shape their theology, moral orientation, and vocational formation.
  2. Students will learn an engaged or clinical approach to spiritual care that will help them identify and work with the differences between their own religious/spiritual worlds and the spiritual/religious worlds of those receiving care.
. It might also offer a few surprises along the way.

Through our work together over the quarter in a small group setting, we will attend to the following purposes:

  1. Providing a small group “sacred space” where you can come to know one another, including your different faith understandings and traditions, at a deeper level than is usually experienced in your other courses. Sacred space has the expectation of honesty, transformation, and healing. It may sometimes be uncomfortable, much as athletic training can be challenging in a way that does not harm, but yields greater strength and skill.
  2. Introducing you to Iliff (if you're a new student), and assisting you in understanding and adjusting to the framework and characteristics of theological education, which is somewhat different from those in other kinds of educational programs you may have experienced in the past. You will be invited into agency about your negotiation of these experiences throughout your time at Iliff.
  3. Assisting you to reflect theologically on and speak about your personal and professional identity, and your ongoing vocational discernment. The focus will move back and forth between who we are as unique individuals and the needs of institutional contexts for particular kinds of leaders.
  4. Empowering you to engage in spiritual practices that enable you to navigate a vocation towards and/or in social justice.
  5. Providing you a space to practice spiritual, imaginative, courageous and nonviolent dialogue around complex social justice concerns.
  6. Assisting you in accomplishing an additional goal you may wish to achieve as a result of taking this course. I will be in conversation with students individually about what they are hoping to achieve in this course.

You will not need to purchase a text for this course. All readings will be posted on Canvas.

This course is graded. This course may be taken pass/fail, but you must request this during the first two weeks by emailing me. You do not need to provide a justification for your request.

It is my sincere desire is that you do well in this course. All of the assignments are designed with the intention that you can and will do them because they are interesting and they are ultimately about your vocational/ministerial development. Against that background, here is my invitation to approaching this course:


This course is graded. This course may be taken pass/fail, but you must request this during the first two weeks by emailing me. You do not need to provide a justification for your request.

You will be evaluated based on the following rubric:

All of the assignments require you to write/create, tell, listen and reflect. Completion of each of the assignments requires both online postings and discussions. With respect to writing, our assumption is that students in a masters program can be expected to produce academic work that is above average (in comparison to undergraduates). Therefore, the modal grade we assign is B+. A paper will earn a B+ if it fulfills all of the requirements of the assignment. A paper will earn a grade higher than a B+ for exceptional quality. A paper will earn a grade of B or B- if there are minor to moderate shortcomings. Grades below B- are reserved for papers with major shortcomings.

Please, look at Course Requirements for more details on each of the Preliminary Assignments and the Final Project.


Credit Hours: For each graduate credit awarded by a course at the Iliff School of Theology, students should be spending approximately one hour (50 minutes) in contact with the instructor and three hours (150 minutes) on course work outside of class per week over the equivalent of a 10-week quarter. This applies to residential, intensive, online and hybrid classes alike. For more details see Iliff's Credit Hour Policy.

Absences : As published in the Masters Student Handbook, absence from classes equivalent to 20% of course work (two weeks for a ten-week course) may be grounds for suspension from a course with WF (Withdrawal Failing) recorded on the transcript.

Academic Integrity and Core Values: All students are expected to abide by Iliff’s statement on Academic Integrity, as published in the Masters Student Handbook .  All participants in this class are expected to be familiar with Iliff’s Core Values .

Accommodations : Iliff engages in a collaborative effort with students with disabilities to reasonably accommodate student needs.   Students are encouraged to contact their assigned advisor to initiate the process of requesting accommodations.  The advising center can be contacted at advising@iliff.edu or by phone at 303-765-1146.

Writing Lab: Grammar and organization are important for all written assignments.  Additional help is available from the Iliff Writing Lab , which is available for students of any level who need help beginning an assignment, organizing thoughts, or reviewing a final draft.

Inclusive Language: It is expected that all course participants will use inclusive language in speaking and writing, and will use terms that do not create barriers to classroom community.

Jan 10, 2019ThuTheological Autobiographydue by 06:59AM
Jan 17, 2019ThuSocial Location Chartdue by 06:59AM
Jan 22, 2019TueReading - Week Twodue by 06:59AM
Jan 22, 2019TueLife Themedue by 06:59AM
Jan 29, 2019TuePreparation for Week Threedue by 06:59AM
Jan 29, 2019TueSpiritual Autobiographydue by 06:59AM
Feb 05, 2019TueReading and Preparation for Week Fourdue by 06:59AM
Feb 05, 2019TueVisual Responsedue by 06:59AM
Feb 12, 2019TueReading and Preparation for Week Fivedue by 06:59AM
Feb 12, 2019TueMissing Storydue by 06:59AM
Feb 14, 2019ThuReading and Preparation for Week Sixdue by 06:59AM
Feb 23, 2019SatReading for Week Sevendue by 06:59AM
Mar 05, 2019TueReading and Preparation for Week Eightdue by 06:59AM
Mar 05, 2019TueCommunity Storydue by 06:59AM
Mar 08, 2019FriReading and Preparation for Week Ninedue by 07:00PM
Mar 16, 2019SatFinal Project and Celebrationdue by 05:59AM