Management Center hosts third annual Spirit in Work conference May 1 and 2

The St. Thomas Management Center will host its third annual Spirit in Work conference, "From Career to Calling – Integrating Faith, Spirituality, and Ethics at Work," beginning at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 1, and ending at 5 p.m. Friday, May 2.

Using three main themes — listening, responding, and transforming — the Spirit in Work conference will support people’s pursuit for a career that resonates from a genuine calling.  The conference, co-sponsored by the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought, will include three plenary sessions, and several breakout and discussion groups.

Father Thomas Keating, one of the architects of the centering prayer movement and Contemplative Outreach Ltd., an international ecumenical organization that provides support for those on the Christian contemplative path, will speak about listening in the first plenary session, "The Contemplative Dimension of Professional Life."

Imam Abdul Rauf Feisal will present "The Prophetic Dimension of Professional Life" in the second plenary session on responding to a career calling.  Feisal is the imam of Masjid al-Farah in New York City.  He works to promote religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue, as well as help Muslims seek and discover their faith from the Qu’ran and Islamic ritual teachings.

In the third plenary session, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Finding Spirit at Work," Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaefer will discuss how conditions can be created within corporations that allow people to bring their whole self to work.  Gross-Schaefer has a diverse educational background with experience as a congregational rabbi alongside practice in law and accounting.  He is a full professor of business law and ethics at Loyola Marymount University, and a consultant to the California State Library System.

During the conference, the 13th annual Stakeholder Dialogue will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, in Thornton Auditorium, Terrence Murphy Hall.  William May, the Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics at Southern Methodist University, will speak on "Professional Leadership: What Kind of Calling?"  May is recognized as one of America’s leading scholars in medical ethics and has written extensively and lectured internationally on ethical issues related to religion, politics, business and the professions. 

The Stakeholder Dialogue will include reactions from Helen Meyer, associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Ron James, president and CEO of the Center for Ethical Business Cultures, a nonprofit organization that assists business leaders in fostering ethical and profitable business cultures at all levels, from local to global.

Cost of the conference is $295 and includes all plenary and discussion sessions, as well as four meals.  St. Thomas faculty and staff who wish to participate are eligible for a 75 percent discount, and alumni of graduate programs in business at St. Thomas can receive a 33 percent discount.  Enrollment is on a space-available basis, and space is limited.

For more information, or to register, contact the St. Thomas Management Center at (651) 962-4600, or visit its Web site.