Engaging the Mission Seminars

The Engaging the Mission Seminars provide new employees with an opportunity to discuss the mission-related topics in greater detail in a setting intended for community building. Presentations on the mission, vision and commitment of the institution are hosted by the Center for Mission and Identity on the Lisle campus and are intended to help our faculty and staff better understand who we are as a Catholic and Benedictine University.

Seminar discussions are more in-depth conversations based on presentations from the prior week's Conversatio gathering. Attendees of these seminars are strongly encouraged to read the suggested pre-reading listed below.

The Engaging the Mission Seminars are by INVITATION ONLY as part of our New Employee Orientation Program.  For additional information, please contact Tim Marin, program director, Engaging the Mission Program at tmarin@ben.edu.

Seminar 1

Thursday, September 22, 4:30-6:00 P.M. - Kindlon 5th Floor
This will be a more in-depth discussion based on the September 16th Conversatio presentation by Abbot Dismas Kalcic, OSB: "Who Are We? – We are Benedictine University. A History of the Benedictine Order, the Monks of St. Procopius Abbey, and Benedictine University."

  • Provide programmatic overview.
  • Present background information on the Benedictine order and the monks of St. Procopius Abbey.
  • Discuss the evolution of the Catholic University (and Benedictine University particularly) and its connection/relationship with the Church.
Suggested Pre-Readings: Discussion Questions:
  • How does Benedictine University continue to be perceived by the University community and its supporters as ‘effectively’ and ‘operationally’ Catholic and Benedictine?
  • What is the relationship between “Catholic” and “Benedictine?”
  • How is the vocation of professed monastics reflected in the vocations of current University community members?

Seminar 2

Thursday, October 20, 4:30-6:00 P.M. - Kindlon 5th Floor
This will be a more in-depth discussion based on the October 14th Conversatio presentation by S. Judith Ann Heble: "Lay and Monastic Benedictines – Responsibility for Charism."

  • Understand the concept of charism.
  • Discuss the role of the laity and monastic community to the carry out the Benedictine charism on the University campus.
Suggested Pre-Reading: Discussion Questions:
  • How does an institution like Benedictine University maintain the charism of its founding congregation in light of declining members of the professed religious?
  • How do I as a community member carry on the Benedictine charism in my role and work here at the University?

Seminar 3

Thursday November 17, 4:30-6:00 P.M. - Kindlon 5th Floor
This will be a more in-depth discussion based on the November 11th Conversatio presentation by Abbot Austin Murphy: "University Mission, Vision, and Commitment to Catholic Benedictine Higher Education."

  • Provide a brief overview of important terms related to Catholic higher education – Catholic social teaching Catholic intellectual tradition, Benedictine wisdom tradition and Ex corde Ecclesiae among others.
  • Understand the purpose and intentionality of the Benedictine University mission.
Suggested Pre-Readings: Discussion Questions:
  • What is unique about the Benedictine education experience in comparison with other institutions of higher education, both secular and non-secular?
  • Are there ways you can support the mission as a Catholic or non-Catholic – in the classroom, as a mentor/advisor, administrator, staff member, etc.?
  • What are ways the Catholic and Benedictine mission and identity are integrated into the programming in your department or area of expertise?

Seminar 4

Thursday, February 16, 4:30-6:00 P.M. - Kindlon 5th Floor
This will be a more in-depth discussion based on the February 10th Conversatio presentation by Fr. Julian von Duerbeck: "Benedictine University as a Welcoming Inclusive Academic Community (Seeing the Other as Christ – Monastic Interreligious Dialogue)."

  • Understand the diversity within the Catholic Church.
  • Discuss the meaning of being a “welcoming inclusive academic community.”
  • Develop community by seeing the other as Christ.
Suggested Pre-Readings: Discussion Questions:
  • On a Benedictine campus, what are the expectations of a Catholic to be “welcoming” and “hospitable?” What are those of a non-Catholic?
  • What more could each of us do to help our colleagues and co-workers feel valued and appreciated?

Seminar 5

Thursday, March 16, 4:30-6:00 P.M. - Kindlon 5th Floor
This will be a more in-depth discussion based on the March 10th Conversatio presentation by Fr. David Turner, OSB:  
"Integration of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and its Impact on Academic Freedom."

  • Understand the compatibility and integration of faith and reason in the search for truth.
  • Appreciate academic freedom in the context of the Catholic intellectual tradition.
  • Recognize the intellectual as spiritual.
Suggested Pre-Readings: Discussion Questions:
  • How do we witness the grace and goodness of God through our work, scholarship and relationships with others?
  • How does the Catholic university apply academic freedom to everyone, including students and staff, who keep the university operating on a daily basis?

Seminar 6

Thursday, April 27, 4:30-6:00 P.M. - Kindlon 5th Floor
This will be a more in-depth discussion based on the April 21st Conversatio presentation by S. Karen Nykiel, OSB: "Application of Catholic Social Teaching in the Academy (Service to the Common Good)."

  • Understand the concepts of Catholic social teaching and their mandate for service to humanity.
  • Discuss the integration of the Catholic social tradition at Benedictine University.
Suggested Pre-Readings: Discussion Questions:
  • How do the concepts of Catholic social teaching connect to our Benedictine Hallmarks and values?
  • How can you and your program area, department, and the university demonstrate priority of the search for truth and the objective of service to the common good and the Church?


Rev. David Turner, O.S.B., Ph.D., D.Min. (Prin.)
Special Assistant to the President
for University History and Mission

Phone: (630) 829-6245
e-mail: dturner@ben.edu
5700 College Road Lisle IL, 60532