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Dear friends of Calvin Seminary, Before traveling to China for the first time last year, I read For the Glory: Eric Liddell’s Journey from Olympic Champion to Modern Martyr by Duncan Hamilton. You may remember Olympic runner Eric Liddell’s journey from the Oscar-winning movie Chariots of Fire. Hamilton’s book tells the rest of the story, including Liddell’s mission work in China, and his death in an internment camp there that seemingly extinguished his missionary zeal and passion. I say “seemingly extinguished” because Liddell’s words and his testimony live on, by the grace of God. Especially these words about discovering our God-given purpose that opens us to God’s pleasure: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure.” Eric Liddell When I stand before our students and especially when I get an opportunity to lead a chapel service, I know that feeling of God’s pleasure. I hope you can see it on my face. It’s a sweet place for me. That’s because preaching or teaching or praying is core to my calling—to my purpose—and I am so humbled to be serving as a “preaching president” of your seminary that forms preachers for the church of Jesus Christ. When do you find yourself immersed in God’s pleasure? How has God formed your purpose? These are vocational questions for all of us as children of the heavenly Father, and they are the questions we help our students explore, answer, and live out in their formational studies at Calvin Seminary. Because of you, all of us at Calvin Seminary—professors, staff, trustees, and students—are able to be purposeful in our respective callings and to enjoy God’s pleasure as we are faithful to his design in our lives. This Impact Report is one way we say THANK YOU. It’s truly because of your diligent prayers and faithful support this past year that we can tell these stories and show the pictures of 2016. Serving with you,

Jul Medenblik President


In July 2016, Professor John Bolt, Jean and Kenneth Baker Professor of Systematic Theology, met with an editorial team to consult on the translation of Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics from Dutch to English. This grant builds on past work and anticipates a completion date for all three volumes in 2019. “Our work was productive and a joyful experience. We worked together well as a team, enjoyed playing with the Dutch and English languages, and appreciated each other’s contributions. Dirk Van Keulen was essential as an interpreter of Dutch idiom and old Dutch (he also provided photocopies of the handwritten manuscript which we had to consult and argue about many times). Nelson Kloosterman’s extensive work as a translator and editor, along with his facility with online Dutch dictionary resources, helped speed things along. Jessica Driesenga and Antoine Theron each in different ways provided invaluable advice about the communicability of key phrases in translation. We opened each day with devotions led by members of the team, ate meals together, shared life and faith stories and experiences, and blessed each other as fellow followers of Jesus Christ. Each of us is eager to repeat the experience next summer.”

Professor Matt Tuininga, Professor of

Professor Mariano Avila, Professor of New

Moral Theology, requested funds in 2016 for the professional indexing of his new book, Calvin’s Political Theology and the Public Engagement of the Church, which is based on his dissertation. Publishers today do not automatically include indexing in their contracts with authors, so for a book of this breadth and depth, a wellconstructed index is essential to its usability.

Testament, utilized Faculty Heritage Grant funds this past year to complete field and bibliographical research and network with other individuals and institutions that have programs similar to the Seminary’s Certificate in Hispanic Ministry.

“The book explores the history and biblical roots of Calvin’s political theology, and then offers a constructive proposal for how that political theology might serve to guide the church in its public engagement today. The book is of direct relevance to the church, and I believe it will serve as a valuable resource, both for understanding the history of our tradition and for thinking more clearly about how we might faithfully witness to the gospel in contemporary culture. I am honored that it has received high praise from scholars such as John Witte, Jr., and Nicholas Wolterstorff. It is my hope that this book will attract good attention to Calvin Seminary as an institution where excellent research of historical and constructive relevance is taking place. It will also help launch my publishing career as a scholar on Calvin’s theology and in the fields of contemporary ethics and political theology.”

“Two and a half years ago, we started a pilot Certificate in Hispanic Ministry at Calvin Seminary that has been training 45 Hispanic pastors from the city. It has been an extraordinary learning experience that transcends regular programs at Calvin Seminary and calls for serious reflection and evaluation. The group of pastors have a considerable diversity in age, denominations, academic background, gender, and pastoral experience. Yet, all of them, remain committed to the program, have developed a significant learning community, started to trust and establish good relations across denominations, and have been transformed in their preaching, teaching, pastoral care, worship and community ministry. My research will contribute with the systematization of previous experiences and publications and also will offer a new model that promises to be unique and innovative for the theological formation of Hispanic leaders in the U.S. This is a goal that will benefit directly Calvin Seminary.”

INTERNSHIP STORIES Cross-cultural internships at Calvin Seminary

provide opportunities to explore the contextual nature of ministry and are typically completed in the summer after students’ first year of

seminary as a five-week, full-time ministry

assignment. These internships allow students to practice and reflect on ministry in various contexts while facilitating an integration of

theology with ministry, a maturing pastoral

identity, and growth of ministry practice skills.


cross-cultural internship at Capas Bethel Church in the Philippines.

My time in London wasn’t characterized by remarkable conversions or romantic experiences or Sinaiesque happenings. It had mostly to do with serving people with tea and food and attention. The smallest part of what I did turned out to be the largest—listening and immersing myself into people’s worlds, walking alongside a bit of their story. It was a place where salvation hinged on breakfast meat, and where image-bearers said “meh” to Jesus in the same breath they yearned for Him. It was a time and place of diametric blessing. MATTHEW SLACK completed his

cross-cultural internship this summer in London, England where he ministered to two historically poor boroughs. In Tower Hamlets, he worked directly with a church missionary at London City Mission. In Dagenham, he worked with a local Christian center.

London tenderized my heart; sometimes with gentleness, sometimes with hammer blows, but every time softer toward people and their needs. London helped me see that grace always moves downhill, and there accumulates. London added a thickness to God’s presence I’d not seen before, provided a lifetime’s worth of reflections and memories with my strengthening family, and helped cement God’s call toward pastoral ministry. If grace always moves to downhill places like these, then Lord, let me follow you there.

This internship was a culture shock both as an American in the Philippines, and as an American Christian. Coming from a Christian culture that doesn’t exactly do much evangelizing at all, I was thrust into a Filipino Christianity which was absolutely passionate about evangelism and preaching outside of the church. Preaching in America is typically a once-a-week event. Filipino pastors preach every day. Preaching isn’t just a craft that we cultivate for the pulpit, it’s something we take into the streets, to the market and to the barrio. For the first time in a long time, my faith left the abstract world and came face to face with people that didn’t care about my seminary education—they just wanted to know if God was real; not in the Atheist kind of way, but in the way where God sees and meets them where they are now. My hope and prayer for myself and for everyone at Calvin Seminary is that we are so soaked in the Gospel, so filled with it, that we will always be prepared and ready at all times to share the truth that has changed our lives, regardless of whether or not we’ve had weeks to prepare or have a pulpit in front of us.

Andrea is assisted by her son in leading a worship service.

ANDREA BULT completed her cross-cultur-

al internship at Baruch Senior Ministries as a chaplain in a number of their nursing homes where she visited residents, prepared Bible studies, led worship services, and pastored family members.

Working with the elderly felt like an ongoing oral-comp exam. The questions they had challenged everything I knew or thought I knew. Is my husband in heaven or in the grave until Jesus returns? Was it God or evil that allowed my children to die in a car accident? Where exactly is my wife now that she can’t talk or eat or recognize me? I am grateful for the experiences I encountered in this internship, even the difficult ones. I think of Dr. Weima’s recent chapel where he said that a rubber band is useless until it is stretched. This internship stretched me to my limit, but I believe that those experiences contributed the most to my growth not only as a future pastor but even just as a person living in God’s world with God’s people. Many of these residents ministered to me and taught me that God is at work in people until the moment He takes them home, like my friend Gloria, who has been blind and completely immobile almost her whole life, who said, “Andrea, God is so good to me and you better testify that He is good to you, too.” So I will, Gloria. I’ll testify. God is good.


Taste & See travel course: 27 students

joined professors Amanda Benckhuysen

and Sarah Schreiber on a thirteen day tour of Israel and Palestine in January, drinking in the rich history and culture and earning class credit along the way!


The Canadian Exchange

Rate Grant: With the con-


tinuing disparity between

the Canadian and US dollar, Calvin Seminary approved






JAN. FEB. MAR. a grant for all first level Masters students from

Canada to help alleviate

some of this financial burden that stems from lack of


and Canadian dollars.

birthday of the Seminary, by sharing breakfast with professors and

parity between the U.S.

Calvin Seminary students continue the legacy of Dies Natalis, the

staff, then enjoying some levity through skits and “awards� before enjoying a day away from the classroom. Due to confidentiality

agreements with the participants who were spoofed, no images

can be released. Just know that there was a lot of hearty laughter and good fellowship around the tables in the Student Center.


We gathered on April 15, 2016, to hear the “Last Lecture”

of Professor Arie Leder as we celebrated his retirement after 29 years of teaching from the Old Testament. At the close of the lecture, Arie’s brother, John Leder, stepped forward to announce that the Leder Charitable Foundation will be supporting an endowed chair at the seminary:

The Arie C. and Olga H. Leder Chair in Bible and Missions.



At commencement on May 21, we honored 81 graduates in

seven different degree, diploma, or certificate programs and honored two distinguished alumni: Rev. Lugene A. “Archie” Bazuin, class of 1950, and Rev. Dr. Leann Van Dyk, class of

1987, the first woman alumna to be honored by Calvin Semi-

nary. Rev. Bazuin is retired and Dr. Van Dyk serves as the 10th president of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.


Synod met on the Calvin campus so faculty and staff had opportunity to walk over and witness the presentation of candidates for the ministry. Synod also approved

Dr. Danjuma Gibson, professor of pastoral care and the first African-American

professor at Calvin Seminary, as well as Dr. Geoff Vandermolen, Director of Vocational Formation.


President Medenblik and Aaron Einfeld, Director of

Admissions & Enrollment Management (far right), visited


We hosted a two-day conference on Loving Your Neighbor Today

that featured Dr. Rich Mouw as our keynote speaker, with other

presentations by our more recently appointed faculty members:

Dr. Amanda Benckhuysen; Dr. Cory Willson; Dr. Danjuma Gibson, and Dr. Mary VandenBerg.


These presentations can be reached through this link:

several provinces in China in order to forge connections with some Christian leaders in churches and schools.

They learned that the religious landscape in China is more complex and varied than the stories that filter back to

the West and that the ministry context for churches in different cities in China can be quite different. But the

JUL. AUG. SEP. hunger and need for theological training is great.


We love welcoming new students to Calvin Seminary even as

we welcome back our returning students. A week of orientation and hospitality culminates with opening Convocation and an all-seminary picnic.


A nation divided after a contentious election was an important opportunity for the Seminary community to listen in love to one another about our varied hopes and fears. We dedicated a Town Hall to careful listening and prayer in the context of a newly drafted “life together” statement.


Calvin Seminary had the pleasure of hosting Sharon and

Terry Hargrave for a seminar introduction to the relation-

ship-strengthening MarriageStrong program they founded.

Born out of a desire to see ministry couples strengthened in

their marriages, this program is “committed to helping couples develop valuable relationship skills that will not only help their marriages, but also dramatically change the way they interact with others in their families, friendships, places of work, and


within the Body of Christ.”


An annual celebration that builds the connections of community is our Christmas Around the World internationally-flavored pot

luck. We share carols, traditions, and of course, delicious food— and our joy-filled reality of knowing and being known by our Lord Emmanuel. Yes, God is with us in wonderful ways at Calvin Seminary.











M.Div. 148 M.A. 22 M.T.S. 22 Th.M. 53 Ph.D. 29 EPMC 29 Other 22 Handlon Prison 49 Timothy School in Florida 2 Grand Rapids Hispanic Pastors 90


PASTORS AND PARISHIONERS LEARNING WITH CALVIN SEMINARY Church Renewal Learning Lab 668 CEP seminars 53 Book of the semester guests 51 Lilly-CEP preaching groups 100 Worship Symposium 1500 (with Calvin College) Loving your Neighbor 142 Today Conference Regional Pastor Seminars 250


CALVIN SEMINARY ESTABLISHES LEGACY AWARD TO HONOR MULTI-GENERATIONAL FAITHFUL GIVING The seminary’s inaugural Legacy Award, specifically designed to recognize and cultivate philanthropic and charitable giving from one generation to the next, was presented to members of the Gary and Matilda Vermeer family and the Harry and Bernice Vermeer family and officers and directors of the company’s Charitable Foundation at the Seminary’s annual scholarship and donor dinner.

family, Jason Andringa, who is president and CEO. Bob Vermeer, the company’s Chair Emeritus and President of the Vermeer Charitable Foundation, acknowledged that

his parents, Gary and Matilda, both now deceased, had impressed upon their children and grandchildren the importance of supporting Christian causes. “We knew that if we were blessed we should give to others,” he said.

The Vermeer Charitable Foundation and members of the family that established and continue to operate Vermeer Corporation were honored for extraordinarily generous and faithful support of Calvin Theological Seminary throughout the generations. Founded in 1948 in Pella, Iowa, Vermeer is a manufacturer of industrial and agricultural equipment distributed throughout the world and is now being led by a third-generation member of the

Left to right: Ralph De Haan, Derek De Haan, Anna De Haan, Lois Vermeer, Bob Vermeer, Stan Vermeer, Jul Medenblik

Derek De Haan noted that his grandparents, Harry and Bernice Vermeer, helped “instill that idea of a generous heart. God calls us to be generous to others. It’s not ours to begin with. It’s His. We’re using God’s gifts to make an impact in His kingdom.” President Jul Medenblik said Calvin Seminary has benefited from the Vermeer family support for three generations, and pointed to a list of key programs and initiatives that the Vermeer families or the Foundation have helped seed and flourish. “The Vermeer families and the Vermeer Charitable Foundation have been stellar and strategic partners for us over the past 65 years,” said Medenblik. “It is the seminary’s hope that this Legacy Award brings glory to God and inspires many other families to practice biblical stewardship and model extravagant giving for their children and for the generations still to come.”


The fifth annual Presidents’ Legacy Society Luncheon drew a record crowd to hear a delightful presentation by Dr. Larry Gerbens. who introduced his revised edition of The Father and His Two sons: the Art of Forgiveness in a lively interview by John Witvliet, professor of worship and Director of the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship.


100 golfers spent June 6 at the Stonewater Country Club to help grow the Annual Formation Fund by over $100,000 even as they enjoyed great fellowship on the links—with only one Michigan downpour.


Calvin Seminary Regional representatives & spouses gather for encouragement with President Medenblik. We are grateful for these ambassadors who extend the care and convictions of Calvin Seminary to our ministry partners throughout North America.

Toni Ablee, Jennifer Schroder, Barb Mustert, and Jane Wong

Left to right, front row: Nelly Veldhuizen, Lynn Likkel, Mary Lee Workman, Jackie Medenblik, Celia De Jong

Back row representatives: Loren Veldhuizen, Allen Likkel, Dave Bardolph, John Vander Haag, Jr., Dave Morren and son Jay Morren

Stan Workman, Jul Medenblik, Bert De Jong


On Day One of Grand Rapids’ world-class Art Prize, Calvin Seminary hosted its GRAM Annual Formation Fund kick-off event

CELEBRATING NEW SCHOLARSHIPS 2016 Henry A. and Bertha S. Bos Women in Ministry Scholarship Ethiopian Student Scholarship Phil and Mary Frens Scholarship Arie C. and Olga H. Leder Chair in Bible and Missions John Malestein Homiletic Award Martin and Irene Martinus Scholarship Herman and Ted Minnema Scholarship (Revised) Mike and Ruth Reitsma Family Endowed Scholarship Steve and Jennifer Schroder Family Scholarship Calvin Seminary is deeply grateful for the scholarship support for our students answering God’s call to serve his Church


$6,000,000 $5,500,000

Annual Fund





$4,500,000 $4,000,000

$2,269,239 $1,226,534

$3,500,000 $3,000,000


$2,500,000 $2,000,000 $1,500,000








$1,000,000 $500,000


$0 2013-14


FY 2016 OPERATING REVENUE $7,665,260 1%


4% 17%





16% 16% 6%


1% 32%

█ Instruction

█ Institutional Support

█ Tuition

█ Release from Restrictions

█ Public Service

█ Employee Benefits

█ Ministry Shares

█ Miscellaneous Revenues

█ Academic Support

█ Plant Administration

█ Gifts and Grants

█ Student Services

█ Student Financial Assistance

█ Estate Gifts

BOARD OF TRUSTEES July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016

Rev. Andrew Vander Leek, Region 1 (Vice-Chair) Rev. Victor Ko, Region 2 Ms. Wendy Gritter, Region 3 Mr. Keith Oosthoek, Region 4 Rev. Jeff Klingenberg, Region 4 Pastor Sergio Castillo, Region 5 Rev. Scott Elgersma, Region 6 Rev. John W. Dykhuis, Region 7 Rev. Timothy J. Ouwinga, Region 8 Dr. Karen De Mol, Region 8 At-Large Rev. William Sytsma, Region 9 Rev. Timothy Howerzyl, Region 10 Mr. Myles Kuperus, Region 10 At-Large Rev. Curtis Walters, Region 11 Ms. Teresa Renkema, Region 11 At-Large (Secretary) Dr. Donald Belanus, Region 12 Ms. Susan Keesen, At-Large Dr. Yudha Thianto, At-Large Mr. Sidney Jansma, Jr., At-Large (Chair)

3233 Burton Street SE

Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546

Calvin Theological Seminary 2016 Impact Report  
Calvin Theological Seminary 2016 Impact Report