The Vocati Experience
At the Vocati Institute, we envision a relationally intensive program where nominated high school students — from those who have completed 9th grade through those who have graduated 12th grade — will be invited to experience a robust, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational program of theological exploration, spiritual discernment, and cultural engagement. These students will journey for one year with professors and Biblical Studies undergraduate students in an intentional interactive learning community.
During the summer, students who attend the Vocati Institute travel to the Lone Tree Ranch. Students will be immersed in a daily routine rooted in the centuries-old rhythms of the monastic hours of prayer. Mornings will begin with the ancient prayer, “O Lord, open our lips,” and the days will be punctuated with regular psalm reading, responsorial prayer, silence, and songs. Following this time of morning worship, faculty will present lessons focusing on Christian ideas from scripture and the church fathers. Participants will be asked to read selections of theological texts prior to the weeklong residency and then to engage with these ideas both in lessons and in small group settings. These intergenerational groups of high school participants, college-aged mentors, and adult faculty, will rotate through different interactive classes that integrate the instruction through meditations, artistic expression, and self differentiation. These groups will encourage personal reflection and sharing across multiple generations. Throughout the week, students will also spend time writing, praying in solitude, and making presentations. Students will archive their assignments in a portfolio that they will submit at the end of the yearlong program. Each of these activities will help students cultivate their spiritual discernment through attention to God’s call upon their lives.
8:15 Morning prayer
9:15 Daily thematic orientation
9:30 Theological presentation
10:30 Interactive classes
11:45 Midday prayer
12:30 Recreation and reflection time
2:00 Interactive classes
3:30 Free time
5:30 Evening prayer
6:30 Porch Time (Coffee, Cocoa, & Conversation)
7:30 Evening worship and reflection
8:30 Small group discussion
10:00 Cabins — Compline & Grand Silence
11:00 Lights out
Vocati in Action
Once students complete the residency, students, mentors, and professors continue their journey with Vocati in Action from September through June. During Vocati in Action students build upon their weeklong experience with ongoing support, guidance, and connections. Students will have access to lectures, readings, and forums where they will continue to interact and build upon the relationships formed during the residency. Specifically, the online component will enable the students to engage their changing cultural context. They will identify significant points of social justice engagement between Christian discipleship and local/global opportunities and then develop and implement a missional service-project that incorporates and pulls from the yearly theme.
A significant component of the Vocati Institute is the student’s community mentor. A community mentor is an adult from the student’s congregation, school, or community who commits to serving alongside and mentoring the student throughout the year. A community mentor is an advisor, conversation partner, and supporter for the student they will be sponsoring. A mentor offers the student a safe place for reflection, conversation, and prayer throughout the Vocati program. The mentor is responsible for assisting their student and ensuring that they meet the project milestone and is actively engaged with their student. At the end of the year, it is our hope that the mentor will be able to join their student at Lubbock Christian University when we gather to celebrate what God has done through them and the Institute.
At the end of Vocati in Action we will host a celebration for the successful completion and good Kingdom work that has been accomplished throughout the year. Participants, alumni, teachers, mentors and all friends and family are invited to attend as participants present portfolios and are recognized and awarded their certificates of completion.