January Conversation

"Getting a Life: Finding Meaning Beyond Employment" 

7–8 p.m. CST | Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022

Virtual and in-person event in Barry Auditorium; limited seating


Record rates of employee turnover are changing the American workplace today. New expectations for personal well-being and fulfillment are provoking workers to leave their jobs, often without another in hand. Employees are quitting most often because they feel undervalued and do not find belonging. In pandemic times, they seek purposeful work and meaningful participation. Work needs to matter more than ever.
These rising aspirations could improve workplaces that engage only one-third of employees and cause nearly half to look to leave. However, these expectations could have the opposite effect of further encouraging a mindset that values work above all and sets workers up for burnout and resignation. Such “workism” and its “do what you love” ethic should perhaps be replaced with less work, lower expectations, and sources of meaning beyond employment.
How does work need to change to support human flourishing? You are cordially invited to join a hybrid in-person and virtual conversation about this and other questions with Jonathan Malesic, a leading American thinker on work and author of the ground-breaking book, "The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives."

Lorentzsen Center Mission

The Lorentzsen Center for Faith and Work was reimagined in 2012, built on the foundation of the Center for Ethical Leadership under the direction of Dr. Jim Legler, professor emeritus of management and leadership.

Built on the legacy of critical thinking on ethical and values-based leadership on campus and in the Fargo-Moorhead community, the Lorentzsen Luncheons offer the opportunity to hear from a diverse array of speakers.

The center honors the life and work of the late Norman M. Lorentzsen, esteemed philanthropist, former CEO of Burlington Northern, alumnus of Concordia College, and former member and chair of its Board of Regents.

Interim Director

Dr. Per Anderson
Professor Emeritus of Religion, Concordia College
Interim Director, Lorentzsen Center for Faith and Work


Dr. Per Anderson is professor emeritus of religion at Concordia following 35 years of teaching and administrative service at the college. He joined the faculty in 1986 after the study of philosophy and theology at St. Olaf College, Harvard University, and The University of Chicago. Anderson chaired Concordia’s religion department and participated extensively in faculty governance and institutional development. He led the college’s global learning program for 15 years.


In addition to his role as interim director of the Lorentzsen Center for Faith and Work, Anderson serves on the board of directors of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and the Theological Ethics Advisors Working Group of the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He has participated continuously in institution building and thought formation of the ELCA and the Lutheran World Federation, including service as co-chair of an ELCA social statement task force on genetics. Anderson writes on Christian ethics with a focus on education and technology. He is currently working on a book on Lutheran higher education in the 21st century.


Carol M. Hedberg

Office Assistant for Budgets and Events Offutt School of Business (Office)