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«2015 – 2016 CALVIN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY Academic Catalog 3233 Burton Street SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 Phone 800.388.6034 | Fax 616.957.6101 © ...»

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Academic Catalog

2015 – 2016


Academic Catalog

3233 Burton Street SE

Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Phone 800.388.

6034 | Fax 616.957.6101

© Copyright 2015

Calvin Theological Seminary

Welcome to Calvin Theological Seminary!

You probably arrive at Calvin Seminary with certain expectations

or even assumptions. We have a reputation as a school with a

rigorous academic curriculum and a strong commitment to the Reformed faith and confessions. You will receive a solid theological education here. For 139 years, we have been working, growing and developing to serve the Church as the Church serves the Mission of God. In recent years, we have refocused our curriculum and calendar to center on “Formation for Ministry.” We are a learning community of faith. There are a number of opportunities and environments where your participation is desired and needed. We worship together. We pray together. We learn from one another.

The seminary community worships in a variety of ways through student prayer groups, community chapel services and early morning prayer times. We invite you to find a rhythm of worship – in community.

Calvin Seminary receives students from over 20 countries, who bring cultural and ethnic diversity that energizes classroom discussion and enriches community life. Through a number of opportunities we learn what God is doing around the world and experience first-hand different styles of prayer and worship. We have witnessed the formation of friendships that bridge cultural barriers that last a lifetime.

You will find study at Calvin Seminary rewarding and enriching, but also rigorous and demanding. You may become particularly stressed as you try to balance responsibilities at home, school, church and work. Please know that you have a Christian community here who supports you and prays for you. Your fellow students, your professors and, if you participate in the mentored ministries program, the group members, leader and your vocational mentor are all here to encourage you.

Again, we are excited to welcome you to Calvin Seminary and come along side you in this new stage of your Christian journey. We pray that God will bless you here, and through you bless others!

In His Service With You, Rev. Jul Medenblik President of Calvin Theological Seminary Table of Contents Table of Contents



Degrees and Programs

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

Master of Arts: Professional Specializations

Master of Arts (Bible and Theology)

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)

Master of Theology (ThM)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Diploma for Ministry

Certificate Programs

Ecclesiastical Program for Ministerial Candidacy

Mentored Ministries

Academic Calendar 2015-2016

Academic Calendar 2016-2017 (tentative)

International Student Ministries

Housing Information

Education Costs

Financial Aid


Course Numbering Explanation

Course Descriptions

Department Directory

Administrative Departments

Centers and Institutes


Calvin Seminary Building Map

Campus Map

Grand Rapids Area Map

Mission Calvin Theological Seminary exists to serve the Christian Reformed Church in North America and wider constituencies by preparing persons for biblically faithful and contextually effective ministry of the Word and by offering Reformed theological scholarship and counsel.

Communicating the good news of the gospel in today's world requires that you're theologically prepared and practically equipped. We integrate a strong academic program with supervised ministry opportunities in our ministry formation programs. In other words, you learn, and you live what you learn.

When you do, you help us fulfill our mission - to prepare people to lead in ministry, to give them what they need to respond to the Holy Spirit's call throughout their lives, to bring nations to Christ, build His church, and extend God's kingdom.

Our professors use a rich variety of academic, professional, and personal gifts to train men and women for effective ministry. They invest themselves personally in helping you develop your God-given gifts in ways that promote spiritual maturity and integrate faith and life.

To prepare you for visionary leadership in the church and world, we offer courses of study in preaching, worship, leadership, educational ministry, youth ministry, missions and church growth, and pastoral care and counseling. In each of these areas, we teach from a scripturally Reformed position. We are committed to the Bible as God's Word and to the confessional standards of the Belgic Confession (1561), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), and the Canons of Dort (1618-1619) as faithful interpretations of that Word. This perspective enables our students to interact with -- and effectively speak to -- a broader ecumenical Christian community and a post-modern world.

Calvin Theological Seminary has been equipping people to envision their participation in the kingdom of God since 1876. We will continue to do so for the glory of God.

2015-2016 Academic Catalog |CALV IN THEOLOGICA L SE MINARY 1 Faculty Over ninety percent of the full-time teaching faculty possesses earned doctorates from leading theological schools and universities. They have distinguished themselves by their writing and lecturing, by their counsel to Reformed churches and in ecumenical arenas, by their commitment to the truth, and by their defense of the faith. They are frequent participants in international projects and have developed modern approaches to theological education. As ordained pastors and active church members, they know and value the life of local congregations.

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Visit www.calvinseminary.edu/about/faculty to view the faculty directory.

A Calvin Seminary Education Can Fit Many Needs There are many reasons why a Calvin Seminary education could be right for you. Maybe it’s our Reformed perspective. Perhaps you are seeking an education that provides a solid Biblical foundation and creatively engages the multitude of joys and challenges that accompany the decision to go into ministry. There’s a possibility that you are looking to explore the impact of global Christianity or are looking for an experience that deepens your own spirituality as you learn to guide the spirituality of others.

Maybe you long for a student-friendly environment or an easily accessible campus and location. In all these ways and more, Calvin Theological Seminary is a great fit for today’s learners and today’s world.

Biblically Grounded • Rooted in Reformed Theology • Committed to Personal Spiritual Formation • Academically Excellent • Designed for the Practicing Pastor • Interdisciplinary Courses and Instruction • Relationship-based • Cross-Cultural and Inclusive • Responsive to Global Christianity • Innovative Learning and Teaching • Spiritually Alive •

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We provide a range of degrees and programs to equip you to act on your call, no matter what form it takes. You can be prepared for ordained ministry in the church, train for specialized ministries, do advanced study, even prepare yourself for ordained leadership in the Christian Reformed Church after studying elsewhere.

Since timing is different for everyone, you can choose options for full-time or part-time study as a residential student, or participate in Distance Learning.

Mentored Ministry internships -- as short as a few weeks or as long as a year -- give you an integrated education in the real world.

Students may apply for transfer credit for courses taken at a graduate level at another accredited institution. The Registrar, in conjunction with the Associate Academic Dean, determines whether courses taken elsewhere are a good match for courses required for the student’s program at Calvin Seminary. If so, up to one half of a student’s program requirements may be met by way of transfer credit. Up to half of a completed program elsewhere may be accepted as transfer credit.

2015-2016 Academic Catalog |CALV IN THEOLOGICA L SE MINARY 3 Master of Divinity (MDiv) At Calvin Theological Seminary you'll find all of the elements you need to construct a solid foundation for your life and for your ministry. The MDiv curriculum provides the building blocks for every dimension of a biblical, authentic, contextual, and life-changing ministry and is focused on the personal and spiritual formation of every student.

Admission The admissions process reflects Calvin Seminary’s goal to train capable stewards of the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. A strong liberal arts education provides an excellent foundation for graduate level theological education. A liberal arts education shapes well-rounded, intellectually and culturally astute graduates. Therefore, it is recommended that a candidate’s baccalaureate preparation consist of courses in the liberal arts, including English, philosophy, history, literature, social science and natural science.

The Registrar’s Office, with oversight from the Admissions and Standards Committee, will examine the academic, professional and ministry background of each applicant. If an applicant would benefit from further study in a particular area, a learning plan will be developed which could include specific seminary electives or additional courses from another academic institution.

In some circumstances an applicant without a bachelor’s degree, or with a bachelor’s degree from an unaccredited institution, may be admitted into a degree program at CTS under a special provision of the Association of Theological Schools. In such cases, the Registrar under the supervision of the Admissions and Standards Committee will determine the program the applicant must take in order to meet the requirements for graduation.

To apply to the MDiv program you must have a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college and have a grade-point average of 2.67 (B-) or higher. (Non-native English speakers need to submit a minimum internet based TOEFL score of 80 total, with 23 in the writing section, OR a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5, with at least a 6.5 in the writing section.) You should also give evidence of academic and personal preparedness for theological education.

Continuation Requirements Continuation in the MDiv program requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.67. While a student is not immediately expelled for falling below 2.67, s/he may be placed on probation and allowed to remain on probation for only two terms. Any student who has a 2.50 GPA or lower will be terminated from the seminary program. Funding sources such as the Veterans Administration, ecclesiastical bodies (e.g. local church or classis), and the guaranteed student loan program will be promptly notified when a student receiving funds is placed on probation or terminated.

MDiv Program Curriculum Your preparation for ministry should include the same components that make for a good sermon. It should be biblical, authentic, contextual and life-changing. The Master of Divinity curriculum is built on these four cornerstones—a foundation that connects the best of the Reformed tradition with the contemporary ministry practices essential for tomorrow's leaders.

Residential students live in West Michigan and complete their studies in three years (although some choose to stretch it out to four years or longer) at the Grand Rapids campus. They will be able to attend weekly chapels, participate in club activities and interact with peers on a daily basis.

The distance learning M.Div. maintains the same high quality of education as our residential program.

Taking approximately 3 courses per semester, Distance Learning students will complete much of their work online, traveling to the campus in Grand Rapids twice a year for five-day intensives. Formation for ministry is a strong emphasis as students experience the program in learning cohorts, engage in a wide range of internship opportunities, and receive support through mentoring groups.

2015-2016 Academic Catalog |CALV IN THEOLOGICA L SE MINARY 4 Sample course sequences for the MDiv program are below. Residential students who have not completed their Greek language studies prior to enrollment should follow Chart A. Residential students who have completed their Greek language studies should follow Chart B. Distance Learning students will follow Chart C.

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Note: This program assumes a student will achieve Advanced Standing in Greek. This can be achieved by successfully completing a minimum of 3 semesters of Greek elsewhere or taking an Advanced Standing Exam at Calvin Seminary.

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If granted, Advanced Standing reduces the number of credit hours needed to complete one’s degree and can open doors to additional internships and specialized coursework. M.Div. students can obtain Advanced Standing for a maximum of 12 credits.

Duration Our accrediting agency requires that all course credits applied toward the requirements for this degree be earned within ten years of the awarding of the degree.

A Developmental Curriculum At Calvin Theological Seminary, we are concerned with not only what we teach but also how we teach it.

Our developmental pedagogy begins with basic literacy in all curricular areas, followed by increased indepth analysis, and culminating in multi-disciplinary integration.

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Concentrations MDiv students may choose a concentration. Concentrations allow for more specialized study related to a student's ministry interests and calling. Concentrations also provide more thorough preparation for students who are considering doctoral study in a particular field.

To obtain a concentration, students must take six elective credits (generally 3 electives) in their area of concentration. All of those credits can be used for elective credit in their M.Div. program.

The following concentrations are available:

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