The Wild Hope Center for Vocation is excited to offer opportunities for alumni and friends of PLU to consider our common vocation to promote human and ecological flourishing, especially in a time of increasing polarization and environmental degradation. These presentations focus on the core of PLU’s mission to link learning with care for others, their communities, and the Earth. As a university committed to life-long learning, we are eager to welcome thoughtful discussion among our alumni and friends on pressing issues of the day. Join us as we explore various dimensions of our vocations in the world.

Our Need for Useless Rest and Reflection
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 – 4:00 p.m.
Pacific Time
In a society that rewards activity and values ‘doing’, it can be a challenge to pause and ponder the purpose and meaning of one’s life and work. And yet ancient spiritual traditions and contemporary psychology agree that thoughtful reflection adds significant value to one’s life. Join Dr. Samuel Torvend as we explore the challenges and opportunities in doing something seemingly useless – of great worth!

Dag Hammarskjöld: Servant of PeaceDag Hammarskjöld: Servant of Peace
Wednesday, September 18, 2024 – 7:00 p.m.
Pacific Time
Virtual, and in-person options (Scandinavian Cultural Center, Anderson University Center) 
In this presentation by Professor Emeritus Donovan Johnson, participants will consider the spiritual foundations of Dag Hammarskjöld’s secular vocation to peacemaking as the Swedish Secretary General of the United Nations. In a time of armed conflict and political polarization throughout the world, Hammarskjöld’s vocation can serve as a model for our commitments to peace.

Bust sculpture of Luther outside of Karen Hille Phillips at Pacific Lutheran University.Luther’s Surprising View of Political Engagement
Wednesday, October 9, 2024 – 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time (Virtual)
In this election year, the sixteenth century reformer has something significant to say for all those who are preparing to vote on November 5. Join PLU professor of political science, Dr. Michael Artime, and University Chair in Lutheran Studies emeritus, Dr. Samuel Torvend, for a rousing discussion of political engagement.

Preparing for Death, the Last Calling in Life
Monday, November 4, 2024 – 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time (Virtual)

In the month of November, most Christians throughout the world remember and give thanks for their beloved dead. In this Zoom gathering with Dr. Marit Trelstad, professor of theology whose courses include “Death and the Afterlife,” we’ll discuss the last calling or vocation to prepare for death and how that preparation can be a gift for one’s family and friends.

More than blonds with candles: The first Santa Lucia
Thursday, December 5, 2024 – 1:00 p.m.
Pacific Time
Virtual, and in-person options (Scandinavian Cultural Center, Anderson University Center)
In this illustrated presentation, participants will consider the life and vocation of St. Lucy, Lucia of Syracuse in Sicily, the much-beloved winter saint in Nordic countries. Her calling to serve the most vulnerable people of her community invites Lutes and friends of PLU to consider the university’s vocation to “care for other people and their communities” at a time of the year marked by conspicuous consumption.