Finding Your Life Purpose

Consider what it means to live a life of significance while answering critical questions such as “What gives my life meaning and direction?” and “What am I called to do and be?” Examine diverse perspectives of the ways individuals and communities have interpreted these ideas over time while determining how you can make a difference at Furman and in the world.

Spend your first year of college engaging in meaningful exploratory and reflective activities such as a student retreat in the nearby mountains, a pilgrimage hike, meals and mentoring with faculty guests, and other unique opportunities. These events are sponsored by Furman’s Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection and connect you with readings and class discussions.

Fall Course

Religion 125: Religions of the World

Religion 125 presents you with the basic histories, theologies, beliefs, and practices of the five major religions of the World (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism) and reflect on how adherents of these religions have found meaning and value in their stories, beliefs, rituals, and interaction with each other. We will also reflect on how adherents of these traditions have related to practitioners of other religious traditions. The class also fulfills the “World Cultures” GER.

Spring Course

FYW 1252: Finding Your Life Purpose

FYW 1252 guides you to explore what various individuals and communities have thought about (and what you yourself think about) questions such as: What is the purpose of life? What does it mean to live a life that matters? In a life well-lived, what is the role of work? Family? Community? How do people discover their gifts, strengths, talents, skills and passions, and what is the best way to use these? Writing instruction is a significant aspect of the course. The seminar also fulfills the first-year writing seminar graduation requirement.

Faculty Mentors

Alfons Teipen

Dr. Teipen serves as faculty for Finding Your Life Purpose and teaches Religion 125: Religions of the World. His research focuses on the early biographies of Muhammad and the relations between Abrahamic religions as well as gender in constructions of the “religious other.”


Susan D’Amato

Dr. D’Amato teaches the FYW 1252 seminar. Her research interests include quantum theory, observational astronomy and science-humanities dialogue. As faculty associate of the Cothran Center for Vocational Reflection, her interests also include a focus on the dialogue between physics and the humanities, especially the dialogue between science and religion.

Staff Mentor

Rolyn Rollins

​A 1997 alumnus of Furman, Ms. Rollins assists Dr. D’Amato and Dr. Teipen with Finding Your life Purpose. She supports students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the larger community in vocational discernment and reflection.