Vocational Exploration Programs

In a society where ethics and values appear to be constantly in flux, the School of Divinity community is educating public religious leaders who are prepared to take their place alongside other public leaders who have different professional formation and to bring religious perspectives and practices to the most pressing questions of our day.

You are invited to participate in one of our ministry and vocational exploration programs to aid in your own discernment and to engage being an agent of justice, reconciliation, and compassion in churches and communities.

Upcoming Opportunities

Vision 2020: Faith-Based Advocacy for LGBTQ Justice

Saturday, November 9, 2019 | 8:30am – 3:00pm

A Wondrous Call: Vocational Retreat for Bonner Scholars

November 15-17, 2019

Discerning, Becoming, Thriving: A Webinar Series

Mondays in October and November


Rayce Lamb
Director of Ministry and Vocational Exploration

Vision 2020: Faith-Based Advocacy for LGBTQ Justice

Saturday, November 9, 2019
8:30am – 3:00pm
campus of Wake Forest University

Registration coming soon.

If you are a prospective student at the School of Divinity, you can register for free. Prior to registering, please contact the Office of Admissions for a promo code to use on the online registration.

A workshop for LGBTQ faith-based advocacy, including two panels with local (NC) non-profit agencies, and hands-on workshop time to create an implementation plan for advocating with faith communities. The workshop is led by Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart, a nationally known legislative advocate, preacher, teacher, and speaker

Headshot of Naomi Washington-Leapheart by Zamani Feelings PhotographyNamed one of the 9 LGBTQ faith leaders to watch in 2019 by the Center for American Progress, this workshop will be led by Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart. She is an ordained minister affiliated with the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. From 2013 to 2015, Rev. Washington-Leapheart served as the only Black minister at Wisdom’s Table at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In that time, she fully came out as queer, and the congregation remained committed to ensuring that she was “treated equally in terms of power, compensation and pastoral responsibility.” She currently serves as the faith work director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, the nation’s oldest LGBTQ advocacy organization. The Rev. Washington-Leapheart is also a professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University, where she received the 2019 adjunct faculty award for teaching excellence.

A Wondrous Call

November 15-17, 2019
Camp Dickenson
Fries, Virginia

Apply now.

Application Deadline: Friday, October 18
Decision Notifications: Wednesday, October 23

This retreat is for Bonner Scholars from or in the Appalachian Region.

A Wondrous Call is a regional discernment retreat sponsored by Wake Forest University School of Divinity and the Forum for Theological Exploration for low-income, under-represented Appalachian students who serve their collegiate community as a Bonner Scholar. Rooted in the ethic of place, this retreat will offer participants the opportunity to ask deep questions about their passions and purpose while engaging the rich historical, environmental, cultural, economic, and theological realities that come from growing up in the Appalachian region. Through creative discernment practices, dialogue across difference, and reflection of place, this event will encourage its participants to answer the question, “What is my next, most faithful step?”

When and Where?

A Wondrous Call will take place November 15-17, 2019 at Camp Dickenson in Fries, Virginia.


A Wondrous Call is designed for low-income, under-represented students from the Appalachian region who serve their collegiate community as a Bonner Scholar.


Due to generous sponsorship by the Forum for Theological Education there are no additional costs to participants outside of transportation to and from the retreat. Food and lodging will be provided.

The complete schedule is still being finalized. Check-in begins on Friday, November 15 at 5:00pm and all participants are encouraged to arrive by 6:00pm in order to settle in before the night’s activities begin. The program will officially end by noon on Sunday, November 17.

Discerning, Becoming, Thriving: A Webinar Series

In October and November, the School of Divinity will be offering three hour-long webinars on navigating your wondrous calling. Through these webinars you will actively engage your call to serve in ministry by discovering more about the many streams of religious leadership, the questions you should consider, and the formative opportunities available to you at the School of Divinity.

Use the tabs to the right to register for each webinar.

These webinars are open to all exploring theological education.

Discerning: What is my next, most faithful step?
Monday, October 28th at 12:00pm [45 minutes]

Discerning one’s vocation is a sacred, but challenging endeavor rooted in the art of listening. For many of us, we have never been taught how to listen to our authentic selves and we find ourselves listening for direction everywhere except from within. This webinar is designed to help you listen authentically to God’s voice within you through a mosaic of self exercise exploring your talents and passions.

Register now.

Becoming: Seminary, Graduate School, or None of the Above?
Monday, November 4th at 12:00pm

You are called to ministry! Congratulations, but now what? Should you go to Seminary? Divinity School? Graduate School? Is there really a difference? This webinar will answer all your questions about exploring and applying to Graduate Theological Programs with a special emphasis on how to put your best self forward in the application process, regardless of which route you choose.

Register now.

Thriving: Practicing Self-Care on your Vocational Journey
Monday, November 11th at 12:00pm [45 minutes]

In his book, “Let Your Life Speak,” Parker Palmer writes, “self care is never a selfish act–it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have.” As you begin your vocational journey, it is important to develop a self-care toolbox that helps you practice comprehensive wellness. This webinar will explore the different sides of wellbeing with a special emphasis on financial and spiritual wellbeing. 

Register now.

Recent Programs

The Queer Power of God

Friday, October 12 – Saturday, October 13, 2018
Wingate Hall, Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

LGBTQ identified Christians often experience the power of social norms through the lens of church and claims that communities speak on behalf of God. “Because it is God’s Word…” is often heard as justification for the exclusionary exercise of such power. Queer theology resists this kind of exclusionary power as a misrepresentation of God. Come and see how theological education gives you the resources to ask difficult questions about how Christians understand power, in particular God’s power, through biblical texts, theological images, and worship practices. Together as a community, we will learn to claim understandings of the Bible, images of God, and experiences of Spirit that enrich and enliven the creative diversity with which each of us is wonderfully made.

Accommodations are available on a limited basis for participants who register by the deadline.

Friday, October 12

Time Session
8:30 – 9:00am Introducing Theological Studies at the School of Divinity
9:00 – 10:30am Session 1: Queer Power, Divine Power
10:30 – 11:00am Break
11:00am – 12:30pm Session 2: Power, Pride, and Prejudice in Faith Communities
12:30 – 1:30pm Lunch On Your Own
1:30 – 2:15pm Campus Tour
2:15 – 3:30pm The Joy of (Biblical) Texts
3:30 – 4:0pm Break
4:00 – 4:30pm Closing Worship

Saturday, October 13

Participants will be invited to join Pride Winston-Salem as our community celebrates our culture, honors diversity, inspires engagement, promotes inclusion, provides community outreach, and educates our friends, allies, and supporters on equal rights for all.