Senior Retreat


The Class of 2017 experienced CC Senior Colloquium in a new format this fall—a 26-hour stay at Lindenwood Retreat and Conference Center near Plymouth, Indiana. The focused gathering was designed to guide seniors in reflection, integration, closure, and transition at this significant moment in their lives.

For many years the CC Senior Colloquium (CC 499) consisted of weekly class meetings, readings and discussions about vocation, and the preparation of practical transition resources such as resumes, personal statements, interview tips, and help in applications for graduate school
or employment.

The new Senior Colloquium retreat was conceived through a collaboration with Valparaiso University’s Assistant Vice-President for Mission and Ministry, Rev. Brian Johnson; Director of the Institute for Leadership and Service (ILS), Dr. Elizabeth Lynn; ILS Program Associate/AmeriCorps Member and 2016 World Relief Campaign chair Katie Bernabei ’16; and Christ College administration and staff. Former Dean of Christ College, Mark Schwehn ‘67, co-editor of Leading Lives that Matter: What We Should Do and Who We Should Be, was featured speaker.

In addition to meeting rooms offering views of Lake Gilbraith, seniors enjoyed a natural setting for contemplation, including attractive grounds, a large labyrinth, and the inspiring Ancilla Domini Chapel. Activities included communal meals, an “Inventure” exercise, small group discussions about short readings on aspects of vocation, and a Holden Evening Prayer vespers.

Each senior completed the course by writing a substantive autobiographical narrative and course evaluation. Based on student response so far, we think this model is effective in launching students into their senior year experience with a stronger sense of the meaning and character of their future work in the world.

The retreat was funded by a grant from the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), a nationwide network of colleges and universities formed to enrich the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation among undergraduate students. This initiative is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges with generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc.