Hope College

About inVocation Fellows

The  inVocation Fellows initiative is a group journey for Christ-followers in their 20s toward this “North Star,” becoming disciples who embrace and live out this conviction:

“We are called to follow Jesus by creatively working in love for others, especially toward God’s mission of redemption in the world, through particular relationships, roles, places, tasks, and moments.”

-Michaela O’Donnell

Who Can Be a Fellow?

The inVocation Fellows initiative is open to professing Christians who are connected to a local church and have graduated from college within the past five years.

What Do Fellows Do?

Fellows gather once per month on Saturday mornings for a time of head-heart-and-hands learning and discussion with leading thinkers on Christian discipleship, culture, and vocation. The program begins in late August with an opening retreat and continues to early May for our closing retreat. Our journey together is marked by authenticity, fun, illumination, teachableness, prayerfulness, and community.

Aims of the Fellows Program

As we spend time together learning, discussing, creating, and praying…and as Fellows go out and practice and apply…and come back to discuss and reflect…our hope is that they will:

  • grow deeper in their relationship with God, particularly in their practice of listening to Him;
  • gain enhanced skills in intentionality, self-awareness, reflection, alertness to cultural pressures and idolatries, vocational discernment and stewardship, and healthy life rhythms,
  • increasingly practice a Spirit-dependent, “whole-life stewardship” that brings flourishing to the Fellows and to others, in and through their daily work and callings, and
  • build a peer and mentor community of fellow sojourners pursuing an authentic Christian life of flourishing personally and professionally.

Fellows Program Leaders

Beth Snyder | inVocation Fellows Director

Beth Snyder leads The inVocation Project, a five-year, $1.5 million Lilly Endowment grant awarded to Hope College in 2018. The purpose of this grant is to work with Christian congregations on programs related to calling. In 2022, the inVocation Fellows Program was launched to specifically support the faith formation and vocational needs of recent college graduates in West Michigan. Prior to Snyder’s move to Hope College, she resided in Dallas, Texas, and worked with the ExxonMobil Foundation handling the foundation’s philanthropic investments in health, environment, and women’s economic development and education. Beth lives in Holland, MI and serves on several boards including Western Theological Seminary, Holland Bureau of Public Works, Upward Bound, Evergreen Commons, Max De Pree Center for Leadership, and Camp Geneva.

Dr. Amy L. Sherman | inVocation Lead Faculty

Amy is a Senior Fellow at the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research. Named by Christianity Today in 2012 as one of the fifty most influential Evangelical women in America, she is the author of seven books and over 100 articles in a variety of Christian and secular periodicals including First Things, Books & Culture, Common Good, The Christian Century, Philanthropy magazine, and Christianity Today. Sherman’s book Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good seeks to help marketplace Christians live missionally, advancing foretastes of the Kingdom of God through the strategic deployment of their vocational power. Her most recent book (2022) is Agents of Flourishing: Pursuing Shalom in Every Corner of Society.

Donna Lowry, MD | inVocation Fellows Mentor Program Director

Donna Lowry leads the mentor program for the inVocation Fellows initiative, matching Fellows with mature encouragers keen to support them in their faith formation and vocational stewardship. Prior to this consulting role, Donna was the President/CEO of Ready for School and Medical Director of Reach Out and Read Michigan, initiatives focused on creating equitable communities for children to thrive from the beginning of life. Before this, Donna served patients as an OB/GYN in both academic and private practice settings.  In addition to professional work, her call to “awaken the possibilities in others” has looked like serving the greater Holland community on multiple Boards and through mentoring college/public health/medical students and young professionals.  She resides in Holland with her husband, David, and is the grateful mother of three grown sons who live across the United States.