University hosts virtual event for Devito Lecture Series

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On Thursday Feb. 25, from 7-8 p.m. Waynesburg University hosted another section of the Rosetta Kormuth Devito Lecture Series. This lecture was hosted as a fireside chat with Dr. Nicholas Pearce, author of “The Purpose Path: A Guide to Pursuing Your Authentic Life’s Work.” The lecture took place virtually on Microsoft Teams to discuss the intersection of race, faith and purpose and discuss his book. 

The lecture opened with Assistant Provost Marie Leichliter-Krause welcoming and introducing Pearce to the audience. 

“[Pearce] is a scholar, speaker, entrepreneur and pastor,” Leichliter-Krause said in her opening statement. “Dr. Pearce’s word has been featured in many respected global media outlets including “Christianity Today”, CNN, The Discovery Channel, “Forbes”, “Fortune”, “Harvard Business Review”, “National Geographic”,”The New York Times”, “News Week”, NPR, and “The Washington Post”.”

Leichliter-Krause also said that Pearce had been honored for his leadership and scholarship by the White House and other institutions. 

After the  opening introduction, Leichliter-Krause turned over the lecture to Anne Maxwell, a Waynesburg University alumna and current resident director of Ray and Denny Hall, to ask questions throughout the lecture. 

Maxwell asked why Pearce decided to start off his book with a quote from Henry David Thoreau. The quote reads, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

“What really motivated the book was meeting everyday people from all walks of life,” Pearce said in his answer. “What I found was that a lot of people weren’t living free.”  

Pearce explained that he had met people who were successful, but felt like they weren’t doing what they were uniquely put on the planet to do. 

“They were successful by other people’s definitions but by their own they felt like they weren’t doing very much,” Pearce said.  

Maxwell also asked Pearce to elaborate on the five key questions that he wrote in the book that we should be asking ourselves to pursue in our authentic life’s work. 

Pearce said that he had chosen not to develop the book around a series of commands, but rather to build its structure off of these five questions. Pearce wanted to be able to speak to a wide audience and thought that the best way to do that was to ask a set of questions that would be relevant to anyone.   

Pearce explained in the lecture that the answers to these questions may change for the readers as they progress through life and as their perspectives change.

Another question Maxwell asked was what vocational courage is and how we can get it, as it is one of the key points in the book.

“Vocation comes from a latin word meaning calling,” Pearce said. “Many of us get on this career trajectory and we feel like we’re on a hamster wheel going nowhere fast. We’re just very active but not making progress because activity and progress are not the same.”

Pearce said that to have vocational courage is to have clarity around what everyones’ calling is and how it is reader to the One that is calling us. 

“Calling depends on a connection with the Caller,” Pearce said. “So prayer and spiritual disciplines and such become critically important so that we can hear the voice of our Caller.”

The other part of vocational courage is commitment. Those who have gotten the clarity from the Lord must do what they are being called to do.

“There are people that have books in them that have gone unwritten,” Pearce said. 

Throughout the lecture, 10 people were chosen from the virtual audience to receive a free copy of Dr. Pearce’s book, which can also be purchased here at