The BHFH Vocational Discernment Project

Many of us are yearning for work more fulfilling and meaningful than just a career.


We’re asking deep questions about who we are; about what our values are, and how we might live in alignment with them; about where our gifts and skills meet real needs in the world; we’re asking, “to what end is our labor?” and considering what we’re putting out into the world in addition to what we gain from employment.


Quaker faith and practice offer tools that will equip both Quakers and non-Quakers with what they need to not only discern their call now, but to continue that discernment journey throughout their life, work, and ministry.


In 2020, BHFH residents asked for opportunities to explore their vocations and careers together — and were curious about what practices Quakerism had to offer around vocational discernment. Greg Woods and Jen Higgins-Newman began working on this project for residents, and quickly realized it would be useful in a broader context. Below, you’ll find some resources from our take on vocational discernment rooted in Quakerism but for a wider audience. 


This work has been generously funded by the Forum for Theological Exploration. You can learn more about FTE here.

Upcoming Events

The curriculum

An explanation of how we are thinking about/approaching this curriculum as facilitators. This presentation was given as part of a Friends Association for Higher Education event. 

This is an example of our slideshow presentation for these workshops. It can be adapted for various workshop lengths based on the length of the Clearness Committees. 

A typical “run of show” for one of these programs. 

The workbook

What participants have said:

I believe I learned the most from the clearness committee section. I loved the opportunity to be held in community without the pressure of an immediate response to people. I loved your presentations as well and the structure around testing or fog clearing questions.
It's so refreshing to be in a space of uplifting and warm community. It's easy to forget these spaces exist and lovely and encouraging to remember goodwill among people and that we all share so many of the same questions.
I am taking away a renewed appreciation for, awareness of, and ability to practice Patience. In practices of sharing silence, asking the same question of my heart multiple times, and listening to others, I was reminded just how slowly my own ideas and callings can shift and emerge. I’m taking away a direction to look and move as I approach future steps. I’m taking away any number of exercises, for myself and my spiritual companions, and a familiarity with new language and framing for being in these conversations with others.
I really think the Quaker Clearness process is very powerful and one of real gifts to share with the world. This program offers Clearness so nicely to both Quakers and non-Quakers.
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