Seminarians arriving at Calvin Theological Seminary next fall will find a revamped curriculum that more tightly integrates academics with the process of pastoral formation. The curriculum will include a renewed focus on students’ overall spiritual formation.
“The new curriculum is the culmination of several years of listening to the needs of the church and our graduates,” said Professor David Rylaarsdam. “We have embarked on a major process of institutional renewal.”
Some courses on the Bible and preaching will now be combined. Students will also complete a service-learning course of approximately 100 hours that will require them to serve people who are unchurched, impoverished, or oppressed.
A pastoral leadership course and a pastoral identity retreat will help students understand how their personal ministry skills integrate with congregations and their communities.
CTS also plans to offer a one-year master’s degree in Bible and theology, as well as master’s and doctoral programs aimed at people who want to teach theology and the Bible.
“Before students graduate, we want to teach them to draw on all parts of their education in order to address concrete ministry challenges,” Rylaarsdam said.
“I’m excited about the new curriculum,” said John Lee, a 2008 graduate who was involved in the curriculum revision. “I’ve always felt that the individual components of my seminary experience were strong, but it was largely up to me to see how it all fit together and how it all fit into ministry. The new curriculum makes those two moves into a communal project.”