Vocational discernment can be difficult and confusing, especially if it is done alone. Utilizing content created by the Catechetical Institute at Franciscan University, Vocations Outreach has designed a mentorship program that connects young adults with professed religious who help them learn to use the gift of discernment. Read about the main components of the program below.


  • Discerners are connected with a professed religious who accompanies them through the online formation workshops.

    • Vocations Outreach partners with religious from a variety of communities who serve as mentors for this program. Meet them here:  Women’s Mentors  |  Men’s Mentors

  • During the first week, the Vocations Outreach team pairs each discerner with a mentor.

    • Mentors will provide feedback on written tasks from the online formation workshops described below.

    • Discerners and mentors will be in contact via email, phone, or video call every 3-4 weeks throughout the program.

  • Mentors working with Minors:

    • Mentors working with minors are required to have completed a child safety protection training and have passed a criminal background check.

    • All email correspondence between Mentors working with minors is monitored by the Vocations Outreach team through childsafety@vocationsoutreach.org.

    • All phone or video chat communication is monitored between the Mentor and the Minor by the Vocations Outreach team. These Mentors are required to have another adult present during every conversation who will submit documentation afterwards to the Vocations Outreach team for review.


  • During the first week of the program, Discerners are asked to choose someone to be their Formation Companion.

    • Formation Companions are meant to be a spiritual, supportive friend who is at a similar level. They help keep participants accountable for their progress and can be someone with whom Discerners can candidly share their thoughts. The Formation Companion does not have to be someone in the Vocations Outreach program.

  • Discerners are responsible for choosing their Formation Companion.

    • In the event that a Discerner is unable to find a Formation Companion on their own, they can request to be paired with another Discerner in the program by reaching out to the Vocations Outreach team at info@vocationsoutreach.org.

    • Vocations Outreach pairs discerners together based on age and gender. Program participants who are under 18 will be paired with a Formation Companion who is also under 18.

  • Discerners will also have the opportunity to join a monitored online social media group where they can share general thoughts on the program and can connect with other young adults discerning religious life.

Online Formation

  • Discerners receive formation on discernment and religious life by watching video workshops created by Vocations Outreach. Each workshop is composed of 5-10 minute video segments.

  • Discerners will complete tasks and activities connected to those workshops which are meant to help them grow in their spiritual lives. These tasks may involve taking steps forward in prayer, responding to the material presented in the videos, and reflecting on passages from relevant reading.

  • The Vocations Outreach Program is composed of the following eight workshops:

– Weeks 2-5: Personal Vocation: Dr. Joshua Miller
– Weeks 6-8: Lectio Divina: Ann Lankford, MA
– Weeks 9-12: Overcoming Obstacles in Discernment: Fr. Jonathan McElhone, TOR
– Weeks 13-14: Universal Call to Holiness: Dr. Petroc Willey, STL
– Weeks 15-16: Vocational Discernment for Young Adults: Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR
– Weeks 17-19: God’s Call in Scripture: Barbara Davies
– Weeks 20-23: The Theology of Religious Life: Fr. Daniel Maria, TOR
– Weeks 24-26: Monastic Practices: Sr. Marie Genevieve, OP

Program Details

  • The program takes place exclusively through the Catechetical Institute’s online Learning Management System (LMS). View a sample workshop on their LMS here.

  • The program is free and takes six months to complete.