Rev. Duane Kelderman announced in February that he will leave Calvin Theological Seminary at the end of July after ten years serving as vice president for administration. The school is the seminary operated by the Christian Reformed Church.
Kelderman, 58, said he has always felt that his ministry would have “one more chapter” after his time at the seminary. His departure will coincide with that of current president Rev. Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., who also leaves after ten years in his post.
“I came to the dance with Neal and it now feels so right to leave with Neal, too,” Kelderman wrote in a letter to friends.
Reflecting on his time at the seminary, Kelderman said that he and Plantinga made good progress in their efforts to “turn the seminary more toward the church and improve the relationship between the seminary and the church.”
A high point for Kelderman was the development of a new curriculum that flows out of making “the formation of the whole person for ministry” the central focus of theological education, without losing academic rigor.
Kelderman noted that there is “pressure from every corner of the church to not require formal theological education for pastors.” He said the only way for seminaries to survive is “to deliver a product, namely their graduates, who clearly are superior preachers and leaders because they’re seminary trained.”
Before coming to the seminary, Kelderman served as pastor in three congregations, the most recent one being Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he is still a member.
Kelderman is unsure what his next steps will be, but he is not in a hurry. He looks forward to spending some time with his wife at their cottage. “Michigan falls are beautiful, but fall has always been the busiest time of my life. After that, who knows what will develop. We’re excited!”