Undergraduate Seminars on Faith and Vocation:

Exploration of Faith and Work Guided by Christian Wisdom

2016-2017 Program Details:

Who: Undergraduate students seeking to answer questions about work and Christian faith

What: Small scale, relationally based seminars focusing on intentional reflection and discussion

  • Seminars organized in 5 tracks centered on specific vocational areas (descriptions below)
  • Led by local Christian professionals in mentoring roles (leader bios below)
  • Each participant who meets program requirements will receive a fellowship award in the amount of $300 to further vocational discernment and development

When: 7 sessions over the course of the 2016-2017 academic year

Where: Christian Study Center and Pascal’s Coffeehouse or seminar leader’s home

Why: To help undergraduates see the Christian faith as a way of understanding all of life, including the work they do


Want to learn more details about the program? Click the FAQ button below.

Still have questions? Email Betsy Clover (betsy@christianstudycenter.org).


“Work in the Book of Ecclesiastes” by Dr. Richard Horner
Presented at the 2016-2017 Undergraduate Seminar Kickoff Event

2016-2017 Track Descriptions, Leader Biographies, and Syllabi:

Church-Based and Non-Profit Christian Ministries
Track SyllabusThis track has a twofold aim: First, it will seek to cultivate a biblical understanding of work generally. Second, it will explore the distinctive challenges that come with church-based and non-profit Christian ministry, especially in the context of our late-modern culture. In the first case, it is important that those of us who minister to others recognize the value and importance of the work that others do – work that is generally not thought of as Christian ministry and yet should be. In the second case, it is important that we who serve in the trenches of the churches and in various non-profit ministries recognize the special privileges, responsibilities, and challenges that come with such callings – led by:

Richard and April Horner – Richard and April now have a long history in Christian ministry both in the church and in the non-profit world. Richard is ordained as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in America and has served in full-time, part-time, and unsalaried pastoral roles in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, and Florida. For the past fifteen years he has fulfilled both his pastoral and academic callings in his role as Executive Director of the Christian Study Center of Gainesville, a non-profit ministry that facilitates the faithful, thoughtful presence of Christ in the University community. April has worked for forty years as a psychiatric nurse and currently serves as a home-care nurse with Haven Hospice, a non-profit organization that provides her with the opportunity to minster to the terminally ill. April has also experienced what it means to be married to the pastor.

Richard and April are the parents of three children. Rachel, their oldest child, is a graduate of UF and now lives with her husband in Orlando where she works as an interior designer with Clem and Schaub Architects. She and her husband are also parents to Clara Grace, the Horner’s first grandchild. Richard and April’s son Ken is a graduate of UCF and now lives in Washington D.C, where he works as a civil engineer with CH2M Hill. Their youngest child, Jenna, is also a graduate of UF and lives and works in Gainesville as an artist. Richard and April are members of Christ Community Church where they have served for the past thirteen years.


Counseling, Psychology, and Helping Professions
Track SyllabusThis track is geared toward students seeking to connect their desire to serve God and their passion for helping people, particularly in the areas of mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work and psychology.  Our hope is to help students develop a deeper understanding of the call to serve others in need, particularly as it relates to the emotional, psychological, and relational needs of others – led by:

Karin Fields is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Clinical Supervisor for the State of Florida.  She is the Vice President and Supervising Clinician at LCS Integrative Counseling & Consulting in Gainesville, Florida where she counsels individuals and families and consults with schools, churches and organizations in town.  Karin is also a doctoral student in Counselor Education at the University of Florida with research interests in the areas of adoption, maternal identity, and counselor training and supervision.  She has taught several undergraduate classes at the University of Florida and serves as a supervisor to counseling Master’s students.

David Fields is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Supervisor for the State of Florida.  He is the Clinical Director at the Phoenix House, a residential substance abuse treatment facility in Citra, Florida.  Dave is also an elder at Creekside Community Church, where Karin and Dave have attended for 6 years.  Their greatest earthly joys are their three children.  They enjoy combining their professional visions by collaborating and spurring each other on.  They are excited and honored to co-lead this seminar.


Track SyllabusFor people seeking to explore how Christian faith and a deeper understanding of vocation intersects with realities and challenges across a broad range of medical and health-related professions – led by:

As Jay Lynch and his wife Laura have raised their four children in Gainesville, they have remained active in the life of their church family at Creekside Community Church and in the life of the Christian Study Center since its beginnings. Dr. Lynch’s training has taken him to the University of Virginia, Eastern Virginia Medical School, the University of Florida, and the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Oncology Program, and he now serves as a Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean for Admissions for the College of Medicine. Laura received her BSN from University of Virginia and worked as an RN for nine years in the area of pediatrics and labor and delivery. Her work now is at the CSC, but she continues to keep up her license and volunteer in the nursing field.


Open Exploration: Arts, Humanities, and Beyond
Track SyllabusThis track is for students who find themselves thinking about vocation and identity in the world with a range of enthusiasm, open-mindedness, or even uncertainty. It will include special attention to the humanities and arts, but also to those who want to consider vocation with eyes wide open to possibilities. We will read, reflect, and discuss vocation as an all-encompassing way to think about our place in the world. Above all, we will be concerned with how to think about vocation from a Christian theological framework, but also with a high premium on employing an imaginative approach to these issues. For us a theological lens will not so much answer questions as it will provide a mirror to think about ourselves and a window for seeing the world – led by:

Todd and Holli Best have been married for twelve years and have lived in Gainesville for eleven of those years. Their lives are knit together by education in various capacities. Holli’s background is in early childhood development, family studies, and birth education and family support. Her career has spanned all of those areas, often bringing them together in unique ways ranging from church-related work to public and private schools to local non-profits. Currently she is a pre-school teacher at Brentwood School and a birth doula (education and support). This past year she found herself initiating or participating in four different reading groups or book clubs, including a couple aimed at third graders.

Todd completed his graduate studies in Religious Studies at UF and has worked mostly in or around higher education. His career path has included campus chaplaincy, arts management, academic support and student development, and educational program development. Todd is currently in his 7th year as an academic advisor at UF and also teaches in the Honors Program. Previously, he served as Director of Programs at the Christian Study Center. He is an avid fan of creative non-fiction film (documentaries).

Together Todd and Holli are the parents of two elementary age children, they love the arts, and they are involved in their local downtown church – First Presbyterian. They try to involve themselves in various activities that help them connect to the community and to make their own contribution where they are able, especially in their daily work.


Science, Engineering, and Technology
Track SyllabusThis track explores God’s intention for work in our lives and how that plays out in scientific, technological and engineering fields – led by:

B.J. Fregly has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Princeton University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in the same field from Stanford University. After working as a software developer in Silicon Valley for several years, he took a faculty position at UF, where he is a full professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department.

Shirley Fregly has a B.A. in Biology and Legal Studies from Rice University and a Marketing Communications Certificate from San Jose State University. She has worked in a variety of fields including but not limited to biological research, environmental law, and public relations for high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. More recently, she has worked as a volunteer in private and public schools and at Creekside Community Church.

B.J. and Shirley met at Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, CA, and have been married for 26 years. They have two children and have served in various arenas at Creekside Community Church. They love exploring the world that God has made and serving the people that He’s brought into their lives.


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