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Benedictine students are learning that they don't have to sacrifice values for valuables

LISLE, Ill., Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Most young people today want careers that will allow them to combine their passions and interests with their desire to make a difference in the world, according to the fifth annual Millennial Impact Report released in June by the Case Foundation.

Benedictine University Logo.

They are also looking for careers that will help pay the bills.

A new course titled "Why Work?" supported by a $50,000 Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVue) Program Development Grant from the Council of Independent Colleges and the Lilly Foundation, will help Benedictine University students learn how to balance their personal values with their professional goals.

The course helps students identify their values and beliefs and examine how they fit with career opportunities and demands in their chosen field. Students also discuss work/life balance as well as the responsibilities of giving back through volunteer and charitable activities.

"It's not just about finding a meaningful career," said Christine Fletcher, Ph.D., associate professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Benedictine, who secured the grant. "It is also about 'what can I do that will allow me to pay my bills and give me a meaningful life, and how can I mesh these two things together.' I see students really grappling with that."

The new initiative on the undergraduate level complements Benedictine's doctoral program in Values-Driven Leadership, which seeks to show corporate executives how they can deliver exceptional business results by providing leadership in the areas of ethical practice, social contribution and environmental impact.

Benedictine believes fully in a life of purpose and that values-based leaders are critical in a sometimes egocentric society. Benedictine is committed to helping students find the balance between service, sustenance and success.

"We are talking about vocation in the sense of finding purpose in life, so we think this fits right in line with our Benedictine values," Fletcher said. "And it is going to align with those values in a way that relates to people of all religions and people of no religion who still want to find a purpose in life.

"The feedback I am getting from students is that the course really helps them to focus on the big issues," Fletcher said.

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SOURCE Benedictine University

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