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October 05, 2022

By Rebecca Mohr, Capital University Communications Manager

Pastor Drew Expands on the Traditional Definition of Vocation

Drawing from different traditions and lives lived, Pastor Drew Tucker, University pastor and director of the Center for Faith and Learning, creates a new way of exploring one’s vocation in his debut book, “4D Formation: Exploring Vocation in Community.”

“I have done the work of vocational exploration alongside students for so long that I began to notice connections between a sophomore who is changing majors and a 47-year-old who’s changing careers. They are different experiences, but the experiences have more in common than I think we give them credit for,” said Tucker.

Designed for a broader audience, “4D Formation: Exploring Vocation in Community” allows the reader to explore the concept of vocation through a less westernized lens.

“I wanted to draw on traditions outside of Christianity. In the book, I draw on thinkers from different traditions, including Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim. Vocation, though it was conceptualized in the Christian tradition, is not owned by the Christian tradition,” said Tucker. “We are better enriched if we listen to wisdom coming from others.”

Throughout the book, Tucker is very intentional about including stories from people that historically may have had their voice silenced.

“I use Pauli Murray as an example in the book. Pauli is one of the founders of the National Organization for Women and was sidelined for a number reasons, including being both a black woman and a queer woman. Before being trans was a more commonly understood phenomenon, Pauli talked about having an inner masculinity and an outer femininity,” said Tucker. “Pauli’s different vocations included going from an organizer for the National Organization for Women to being a lawyer to when her partner died, she quit her career as a lawyer and went to an Episcopal seminary to become a priest.”

Defined as “meaningful, life-giving work for the world,” the word vocation can often be intimidating and misunderstood.

“I hope readers get a clear reminder that their vocations and their identities are two separate things. If they come away with only that, that is success,” said Tucker. “Too often, we identify ourselves by our work. If our work changes, then we feel like we have lost our identities. That’s existentially dangerous.”

Resources are included for readers just starting or continuing their vocational exploration.

“I hope readers are encouraged and understand that exploring their vocations is worth it. We have more than one vocation – family life is vocation, citizen life is vocation, being a friend is vocation, career is vocation,” said Tucker. “If nothing else, I hope they can use the word vocation a little more frequently without being so afraid of it.”

Join the Capital community on Thursday, October 6, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Schneider North in the Student Union for a book signing and reception with Pastor Drew.

For more information about “4D Formation: Exploring Vocation in Community,” visit

Connect with Pastor Drew at @lutheranfriartucker on Instagram, @FriarTuckTweets on Twitter, or on

To learn more about The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at Capital, visit