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Storytelling and Vocation

Storytelling and Vocation

A NetVUE Regional Gathering

October 23-25, 2024


In the classroom and cafeteria, on the ball fields and in conversations with friends, all of us are storytellers, casting visions that help foster community.

In these mountains storytelling and vocation share a long history. With guidance from seasoned storytellers, a shared sense of importance of vocation, and time to reflect together, the NetVUE Storytelling & Vocation conference offers a welcoming space for educators to engage with an array of professional storytellers as we consider how storytelling supports students in the process of vocational discernment.

Join us in October 2024 as we ask:

  • What stories can we tell to help students explore and clarify their callings?
  • How can we develop our own storytelling to encourage students to reflect, as well as act?
  • How and when can we encourage students to tell their own stories?
  • Why do different kinds of stories, told through varying kinds of media, summon our hearts?
  • Where are our stories grounded, and how does place affect our storytelling?

Whether in our own stories, our sacred texts, or our art and music, there is always a before and after to calling. This gathering focuses on that connection by bringing writers podcasters, journalists, playwrights, singers, filmmakers, and others into the conversation with college educators in the Southern Appalachian region.




This conference will run from Wednesday evening, October 23, through noon on Friday, October 25, 2024. Events will include panel discussions, workshops, a concert, and a visit to the Smithsonian-affiliated Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Educators from King University will host and facilitate, and most sessions will be held on King’s scenic campus – which, dependent on weather, offers a great home base for seasonal leaf peeping.



The act and art of storytelling belongs to everyone, and so this conference is intended to include many disciplines and interests. While there is a clear affinity with the humanities, we hope that faculty in the sciences, business, and medical fields will join in, along with staff in student services, religious life, advising, athletics, and other areas with significant contact with undergraduate students.


Meals and Sessions

Most sessions will be held at King University, a short drive from the hotel. A shuttle will be provided if necessary.


Schedule (Work in progress – events may be added)

Wednesday, October 23

4.00-7:00 p.m.             Registration

7.00 p.m.                      Welcome

7.15 p.m.                      Session

8:15 p.m.                      Wine reception


Thursday, October 24

8:00-9:00 a.m.              Breakfast

9:00-10:00 a.m.            Session

10:00-10:15 a.m.          Break

10:15-11:15 a.m.          Session

11:15-12:30 p.m.          Lunch

12:30-1:30 p.m.            Session

1:30-1:45 p.m.              Break

1:45-2:45 p.m.              Session

2:45-3:45 p.m.              Transport to hotel/Break

3:45-5:00 p.m.              Visit to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum

5:00-6:00 p.m.              Break

6:00 p.m.                      Banquet


Friday, October 25

8:00 a.m.                       Breakfast

9:00-10:00 a.m.            Session

10:00-10:15 a.m.          Break

10:15-11:30 a.m.          Session

11:30 a.m.                    Closing remarks

12:00 a.m.                    Dismissal



For those coming from farther afield, there is a regional airport (TRI), located about 30 minutes from the conference hotel. We will provide transportation for anyone arriving by plane who needs it; some may wish to rent a car for convenience.


Conference Hotel

The multiple award-winning Bristol Hotel will house us. Comfortable, situated downtown, featuring a fine rooftop bar, and only a five-minute drive from King, this hotel is exceptional. The hotel guarantees the conference price of $176.27/night for those wishing to come before the conference; those wishing to stay after  will be offered a discount price of $245/night – fall leaves are around their peak at this time, and some may wish to stay to enjoy the natural beauty of the area (this is also why the price is high; those wishing to stay after also have an array of other hotel options that are less expensive). We are near the Virginia Creeper Trail, the Appalachian Trail, South Holston Lake, and several state parks. The Bristol Hotel is downtown, near a wide array of shops, galleries, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Participants are encouraged to explore during their free time.



This event is made possible by the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE). NetVUE is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges with generous support form Lilly Endowment Inc.