Gordon Launches Career and Connection Institute—A Learning Ecosystem

Gordon College announces the launch of the Career and Connection Institute, a new initiative that will greatly expand the reach and scope of career services and professional development for Gordon students.

The Institute will be a vital resource in connecting classroom learning to real-world experience with a comprehensive approach to four years of discovery, development and deepening. This integrated process of preparing students personally, professionally and even spiritually can be summed up in the Institute’s centering principle—the Hebrew noun Avodah, a word that encompasses the concepts of work, worship and service.

“It’s an elegant expression of God’s purpose of vocation for Christians,” says President Michael Lindsay. “You cannot have work without service, or service without worship. They are all connected.”

Corey McLellan, executive director of the Career and Connection Institute

Newly appointed Executive Director of the Career and Connection Institute Corey McLellan agrees. “This is a project in faith formation,” he says, and one that will connect a holistic Christian education to lifelong professional development and a greater sense of purpose. An experienced corporate businessman, pastor and entrepreneur, McLellan brings more than 20 years’ experience in a variety of organizations, including church planting and launching and selling a software startup.

In addition to enhancing workplace and graduate school preparation for students, the Institute will expand mentorship opportunities and support for prestigious post-college scholarships and fellowships. Its holistic approach will follow students from Orientation through graduation and beyond. One goal, says McLellan, is to “strengthen the bonds of the alumni community at the College”—not only to connect current students to networking and internship opportunities with alumni, but to be a resource for Gordon alumni as they grow in their own careers.

Longer term goals for the Institute include plans to engage experts in broad segments of the economy to serve as resident liaisons between students and industries. McLellan hopes to enhance curricular offerings and community connections, elevate thought leadership, and partner with Gordon’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in expanding co-curricular programming.

“In the popular imagination, there’s a real skepticism about whether a private Christian liberal arts education is worth it,” says McLellan. “The Institute is an opportunity to partner with faculty and students to answer with a loud ‘yes!’”

“We look forward to the many ways this new Institute will enhance and raise the standard of excellence for all Gordon students through personal and professional development, internship and networking opportunities, a sense of God’s calling in their lives, and a lifetime of vocational and career fulfillment,” says President Lindsay. “This should be an exciting endeavor as we move forward.”

For McLellan, who holds a B.A. in history and an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia as well as an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, “the opportunity to meld the ministry and business aspects of my background—to bring both of those things to the table where it’s often been one or the other” was exciting. Plus, “We definitely have a soft spot for Gordon,” he says, as his wife, Pamela (Britton) McLellan ’98, will celebrate her 20th reunion this year.