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Faculty & Staff to Attend Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education Conference

Ashlie Ford

TLU is excited to participate in this year’s Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education Conference. Sponsored by the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities (NECU), this year’s conference will convene at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 10 – 12. The theme of the conference is “So That Faculty, Administrators, and Staff, Too, May Flourish.” The theme takes its name from Rooted and Open a foundational document for Lutheran higher education that calls on NECU institutions commit to serving students who are “called and empowered to serve the neighbor so that all may flourish.” In a time of staff and faculty burnout, resignations, and uneven degrees of belonging, the conference will consider how educators, too, may flourish in mind, body and spirit. Conference highlights include a keynote address by Jonathan Malesic, author of The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives and plenary sessions led by Deanna Thompson, Rev. Lamont Wells (NECU Executive Director), and many others.

Along with this conference, TLU is making good use of a new book with contributions by 15 educators from NECU institutions across the country entitled So That All May Flourish (Fortress Press 2023). The book expands on the Rooted and Open document and includes chapters on a variety of topics, such as “In the Garden of Science and Religion” and “Lutheran Values and Pedagogical Practices”. We anticipate that our faculty, staff, and administrators will utilize this book in a variety of ways, working to further our thinking about how our Lutheran theological roots and institutional practices empower us as educators not simply to survive our overlapping challenges, but to become fully alive—to flourish—in mind, body and spirit.

We are grateful to benefit from both this conference and this new book and to utilize what is learned from them to strengthen our identity as a faith-based institution This year’s delegation from TLU to the Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education Conference will include Dr. Dan Flores, director of Blumberg Memorial Library; Dr. Thelma Flores, adjunct professor of theology; Dr. David Ortiz, vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion; Dr. Drucilla Martinez, information technology consultant; and Mellissia Stewart, assistant director for admissions.