Mission and Ministry, a new division with new initiatives

Saint Vincent de Paul blessing the first Sisters of Charity, including Saint Louise de Marillac, shown in a stained-glass window by Pierre Fritel inside the Church of Saint-Laurent in Paris.Faculty and staff who participate in the Vincentian Mission Institute visit the site, which is home to many artifacts highlighting the life of Saint Vincent de Paul. (DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)
Saint Vincent de Paul blessing the first Sisters of Charity, including Saint Louise de Marillac, shown in a stained-glass window by Pierre Fritel inside the Church of Saint-Laurent in Paris. Faculty and staff who participate in the Vincentian Mission Institute visit the site, which is home to many artifacts highlighting the life of Saint Vincent de Paul. (DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)
Last year, in preparation for DePaul’s new strategic plan, University Ministry and the Office of Mission and Values reorganized their units to create one new division: Mission and Ministry​

Led by the Rev. Edward Udovic, C.M., vice president of Mission and Ministry, the new division is designed to meet the goals of Grounded in Mission, with a primary focus on deepening the university’s commitment to its Catholic, Vincentian and urban mission in service to our students.

“Our hope is that our new unit will build on a firm foundation of mission engagement at DePaul and help prepare us not only for 2024 but far beyond,” Fr. Udovic says.

With programming designed for students as well as faculty and staff, the Division of Mission and Ministry serves the entire university community. The division also supports mission-related scholarly research and houses the Vincentian Studies Institute.

Student programs
Student programs within Mission and Ministry focus on community service, faith formation, and leadership development. 

”One of the primary areas of focus in our division is leadership development among students,” says Georgianna Torres Reyes, associate vice president for student engagement. “We are working to develop student leaders to do peer to peer mission integration for students with different faiths, identities and cultural backgrounds.”

For example, the Vincentian Service and Formation team seeks to empower students to promote the inherent human dignity of all people, especially marginalized communities. Students participating in this program – known as Vincentians in Action – work collaboratively with all areas of the university, especially those engaged in community service. 

Torres Reyes oversees student programming within Mission and Ministry, which also includes Catholic Campus Ministry and Religious & Spiritual Diversity.  

Faculty and staff engagement
Mission and Ministry also is developing a new area of programming dedicated to faculty and staff mission engagement. From the Vincentian Mission Institute to the welcoming of new employees, the goal is to empower and equip faculty and staff to actively integrate the mission into everyday life and work. 

“We want to enhance mission engagement among faculty and staff,” says Mark Laboe, associate vice president for faculty and staff engagement. “How can we build out a continuum of mission engagement?” 

Laboe leads the development of faculty and staff programs, which are listed on the Mission and Ministry website. Faculty and staff may also sign up to receive updates about upcoming programs. 

Mission and Ministry also sponsors the Vincentian Endowment Fund. All DePaul faculty, staff and students are eligible to apply for the grants, which support projects that directly enhance the identity of DePaul as a Catholic, Vincentian and urban university. The deadline to submit a grant application for the 2018-19 academic year is Oct. 15. 

Scholarship
Founded in 1979, the Vincentian Studies Institute is sponsored by DePaul University within the Division of Mission and Ministry. As the premier international resource for scholarly research, the institute serves a wide range of external constituencies and offers annual research grants for projects designed to enhance scholarship on the Vincentian tradition, past or present. 

“The Vincentian Studies Institute represents DePaul’s continual investment in understanding Vincentian heritage from a research and scholarly perspective,” says Scott Kelley, associate vice president for mission integration. Kelley manages the institute as well as all communications for Mission and Ministry.

In order to enhance mission engagement both at DePaul and around the globe, the institute aims to make its resources widely available. For example, the peer-reviewed Vincentian Heritage Journal is now available for free and back issues are available in a digital repository

Throughout the 2018-19 academic year, Newsline will take a deeper look at programs sponsored by the Division of Mission and Ministry. Visit the division’s new website to get involved and sign up to learn more about Mission and Ministry today.