Seymour Van Dyken, 92, a dedicated scholar, visionary ecumenist, and devoted pastor and preacher passed away on July 31.
Van Dyken was born in Grand Rapids and grew up in nearby Wyoming Park. He attended Grand Rapids Christian schools, graduating in 1939.
Responding to a deep desire to serve God in the ministry, he enrolled at Calvin College and Seminary and graduated in l946.
Van Dyken served the following Christian Reformed congregations: Bauer CRC, Hudsonville, Mich.; North Side CRC, Clifton, N.J.; Ridgewood (N.J.) CRC; Lafayette (Ind.) CRC; and Neland Avenue CRC, Grand Rapids, Mich. He also served East Congregational Church of Grand Rapids, retiring from the ministry in 1986.
Gifted intellectually, he earned a Ph.D. degree, cum laude, from Princeton Seminary. From 1970 to 1972 he lectured at Calvin Theological Seminary. He also taught philosophy at Grand Rapids Community College.
Van Dyken was widely read and was known to have a firm grasp of historic and modern theology. With so much still to explore, he never allowed himself leisure time or the luxury of hobbies. His practices of pastoral care and church administration were undergirded by exhaustive research. It was his firm conviction that the human sciences had much to offer in bringing the Word effectively to people. Preaching and teaching were the love of his heart.
This scholarly man, however, was deeply concerned about believers’ relationship to God. He and his wife, Barbara, wrote Becoming Like Jesus: Nurturing the Virtues of Christ, a book dedicated to help readers move toward positive Christian living with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Intensely interested in the affairs of church, state, and society, Van Dyken served on many boards, several of which he served as president. For many years he was on the Board of Chicago Theological Seminary.
Van Dyken is survived by his wife, Barbara.