Indiana Wesleyan University is taking the next step in helping students utilize their college experience to fully realize their life's purpose as it opens the School for Life Calling and Integrative Learning this fall on the residential campus in Marion.
"This school's primary responsibility is helping bring coherence and integrity to the 'First Two-Year Experience' for our students," said Dr. Brian Fry, associate dean of the new school.
The flagship course of the new school is LDR-150: Introduction to Life Calling. Required for all freshmen and transfer students, the class helps ground new students in the University's mission to develop every student in character, scholarship and leadership, and applies Christian principles to their understanding of their purpose in life.
Dr. Bill Millard, IWU's Terry Munday Endowed Professor of Life Calling, developed the course, which is also taught for college credit in more than 40 high school across the United States, as well as schools in Panama and Hong Kong. The course has been taught at IWU for a number of years but is only now becoming a campus-wide requirement.
"It's really good for helping students discern their life calling, understanding their giftedness, some of the liabilities that perhaps come with those gifts and having a plan for your life," Fry said. "It's trying to teach them to think that college isn't a pause in your life—college is a part of your vocation."
In addition, the School for Life Calling and Integrative Learning will oversee general education, advise pre-declared majors, offer life coaching and leadership studies and work with other departments, like the Dean of the Chapel Office and Student Development, to ensure a unified experience for students across the University.
"We're just kind of asking ourselves, 'How can we cooperate?" Fry said.
The new school is an outgrowth of the Center for Life Calling and Leadership that has received national recognition as a center for life calling research and assistance in higher education.
Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical Christian comprehensive university of The Wesleyan Church, which has its world headquarters in Indianapolis. The University was founded in 1920, and is committed to liberal arts and professional education.
More than 3,200 students are enrolled in traditional programs on the University's main campus in Marion. Another 12,200 adult learners attend classes at education centers in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, and online.