The Sacred "Can't Not": Vocation and Discernment

A Spiritual Formation Elective*



March 17-20, 2019


100% of us have been called to do God’s work in the world – and 100% of us have the gifts to do that work. So what about when we feel like we’ve lost our sense of our vocation – or seem to have challenges discerning what it is in the first place?

Join us for a gathering that will expand our understanding of what “vocation” is and how we can sustain its vibrancy across the seasons of our life. Vocation isn’t just the jobs we have or something that we “figure out” – it’s the response we make with the whole of our lives to the call of God, and our work is often a part of that. As such, it will shift and change over time – because we all shift and change over time, as does the world. Using readings from Christian mystics both medieval and modern, we will reframe our understanding of vocation and learn practices of discernment that help us keep our ears tuned to God, ourselves, and the world that needs the work of our hands.


Helen Blier, Director, Office of Continuing Education, PTS, and B.J. Woodworth, Lead Pastor, The Open Door, Pittsburgh, Pa., and Spiritual Director

Registration / Lodging / Schedule / Directions / CEUs

Registration Fee: $380 / Includes Monday and Tuesday lunch and dinner, and refreshment breaks. All other meals and lodging are the student's responsibility.

*This class is open to all regardless of their participation in the Spiritual Formation Certificate Program. If you are interested in learning more about the certificate program, please e-mail us for details at or visit the Spiritual Formation website.

Lodging: Limited lodging is available on campus. Reservations can be made by contacting our Reception Office at or 412-924-1397. Be sure to bring confirmation of your reservation with you. 

Schedule: Download the general schedule for this class.

Directions to the Seminary. Free parking is available on campus behind the chapel and library.

CEUs: 2.0; Certificate available upon request


Please do your best to read the required books before your arrival. If you wish to be in the Spiritual Formation Certificate program, you should prepare a one-page reflection paper for each required book; these will be collected the first evening of class. If you do not plan to seek the certificate but are taking the class for personal enrichment, the reflection papers are not required but we strongly encourage you to read the texts to get as much as possible from the class time.


Palmer, P.J. (2000). Let Your Life Speak.Listening for the Voice of Vocation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

An assembly of readings that will be provided as a PDF in early February 2019.

One text from a list of suggested volumes. Participants will be expected to read this text after the class has its face-to-face meeting.


E-mail or call 412-924-1345.