Our mission: to accompany the whole student toward a whole life

The Seaton Center for Vocation & Career gives students a space to cultivate their identity and aspirations from a place of strength and self-acceptance

Vocation & Career

Developing our sense of vocation can help us decide which career paths we want to explore. Conversely, our experiences at a job or during a course of study can help us clarify our sense of vocation. 

The Seaton Center (or CVC) helps students integrate the concepts of Vocation and Career into a holistic understanding of the possibilities within themselves and in the wider world. 

Finlandia students can work one-on-one with our Director of Vocation and Director of Career Services to explore their vocational identity and chart a path toward their life and career goals. 

Embrace Your Strengths

All Finlandia students complete the CliftonStrengths Assessment and meet with a Gallup certified Strengths Coach. This foundational work, typically completed in the student’s first semester, allows Seaton Center staff to provide individualized, strengths-based vocational guidance and career counseling.

Expand Your Horizons

Whether it’s an internship in a new professional environment, a semester studying abroad, or time spent volunteering in the community, we learn the most about ourselves when we venture beyond our comfort zones. The Seaton Center offers guidance on internships, study abroad opportunities, and other ways to engage with local and global communities.

Express Your Worth

The Seaton Center helps students put their best foot forward. Working one-on-one with our staff, students can identify their vocation and chart a pathway toward a rewarding career. We also offer workshops and events that will help students hone their skills, enlarge their networks, and recognize their value.

Career Services

At the Seaton Center, we believe that when students are equipped to articulate their strengths and identify their place in the world, they are better positioned to realize both career and life satisfaction. The Seaton Center helps students develop the practical tools they will need to access jobs and experiences that fuel their curiosity and tap into their unique talents.  

Vocational Discernment

The concept of vocation may be new to some, but at Finlandia it is a core commitment rooted in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) values. Vocation is derived from the Latin word vocare – to call.  As such, vocation can be understood as a summons to a life where one’s personhood is bound up in the larger purposes of God to love the neighbor for the healing of the world. It is the understanding that each individual has a particular giftedness to contribute to the common good. Vocational identity informs one’s whole way of life – not just the work for which one is paid. 

A strong sense of vocation equips individuals to express their personhood thoughtfully and find fulfillment both personally and professionally. The Seaton Center provides opportunities for vocational reflection where students can wrestle with questions of meaning and purpose.  Such reflection, accomplished through assessment tools, readings, seminars, and individual and group counseling, helps students consider whether their studies or professional aspirations align with their personhood, inspiring them to be attentive to the needs of the world with their unique gifts and contributions. 

Vocational identity informs one’s whole way of life – not just the work for which one is paid – and is never a matter of the solitary individual, but a matter of intentional interdependence.”

– Dr. René Johnson


One’s vocation, or calling, unfolds and evolves over the course of one’s life. For many, this idea of hungering for a life of meaning and purpose begins in the college years. These stories from Finlandia learning community members will inspire students to listen to their own yearnings for a life of purposeful work that honors the unique contributions they have to make to the world.



After taking the strengths test, I finally feel confident about who I am as a person and what I’m bringing to the world. I know I still have a lot of learning and exploring to do, but this is just one of the many steps of finding who I truly am.

Jordan Pertile, Nursing Major

I have appreciated seeing my strengths themes and learning what they mean to me. I see differently from my peers [and] I stay true to my values and beliefs no matter what is popular. My strengths will help me throughout college for I see ahead and I see why it is important for me to work hard and finish. I can continue to grow my strengths that I may best be able to make a difference in the lives of others.

Jari Juntti, Nursing Major

When I met with Dr. Johnson, I was surprised by how she was able to explain how these strengths are connected and how I can use them in the world; it really inspired me to be the best I can be. This assessment was fun to take because it allowed me to confirm who I thought I was. 

Austin Keranen, Biology Major

CVC In the News

CVC Mentorship Class with Ella Lindgren and Andrea McAleenan
Bridge Feature: Finding Purpose

February 15, 2023

Meaningful relationships created through Seaton Center’s mentorship program

Celebrating its official launch in 2021, the Seaton Center for Vocation & Career strives to accompany the whole student toward a whole life. The center provides a space for students to cultivate their identity and aspirations from a place of strength and self-acceptance by stimulating personal and professional growth through career and vocational education.

Last spring, the Seaton Center expressed this mission, perhaps most evidently through a pilot program called Vocational Mentorship. The course […] Read More

Voices on Vocation w Ross Rinkinen & Travis Hanson
Voices on Vocation features alumni Ross Rinkinen (’04) and Travis Hanson (’08)

December 22, 2022

Take time this holiday season to reflect on vocation and meaning with the Seaton Center’s Voices on Vocation podcast!

Finlandia’s Seaton Center for Vocation & Career guides students through the discovery of self and meaning, bringing unison to both vocation and career. Voices on Vocation, produced by Dr. René Johnson and Emma Dorst of the Seaton Center, is a program that holds in-person discussions as well as podcast segments that share stories from Finlandia learning community members.

These stories […] Read More

Click to read the Bridge 2022
The Bridge magazine goes interactive

December 20, 2022

75th edition of the Bridge now available online

Finlandia University’s annual donor magazine, the Bridge, is now available online. In a new and exciting format, viewers can interact with this year’s issue like never before.

Across 32 pages of clickable stories, links and highlights, this year’s magazine celebrates Finlandia’s friends and family, including those who contributed to and supported Finlandia University throughout the year.

Highlights of this edition include the following stories:

Leadership: Finlandia University Management Team

Connect with the campus leaders on the […] Read More

Faculty and Staff

Emma Dorst

Director of Career Services


René Johnson

Director of Vocation and Servant Leadership; Assistant Professor, Religion and Philosophy

FinnU will not enroll students for 2023-2024Learn More
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