The concept for the Center for Life Calling and Leadership came out of a comprehensive strategic planning process begun by Indiana Wesleyan University in September 1997.
A vision developed to design a center that would guide all students at IWU in finding their purpose or calling in life rather than just a career. It would then empower them to achieve this purpose through leadership development that inspires them to serve those whom they lead. Such a flow of purpose and life calling into leadership development follows what Ron Heifetz proposed in his book "Leadership Without Easy Answers" (1994, p. 274) when he said, “Leadership requires, perhaps first and foremost, a sense of purpose — the capacity to find values that make risk-taking meaningful.”
On the basis of the strategic plan, the University subsequently took steps to help achieve this vision, with the first steps being to form a team to lead the process. In November 1999, IWU named Dr. Bill Millard as director of the Center for Life Calling and Leadership to take the lead in its development.
While students began using the services of the Center for Life Calling and Leadership during the spring semester of the 1999 – 2000 school year, it was in the fall of 2001 that full operations began. One of the early significant changes that occurred at IWU was that students who were still exploring options for a major now had an advocate and a place where they could be supported as they explored God’s direction for their lives.
The Center now serves hundreds of students every year as they seek God’s purpose and as they discern how His purpose for them is linked to the world’s great need.