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Spanish-Language Online Courses Coming to Calvin Seminary

Spanish-Language Online Courses Coming to Calvin Seminary
Professor Mariano Avilo (center) with graduates Laura Madrigal-Goméz (l) and Arturo Esquivel.

Calvin Theological Seminary, in response to an expressed need from churches, is set to offer two master’s level courses online taught in Spanish. Taught by professor Mariano Avila, a class on Ephesians will begin in early September; an Old Testament course begins in early February 2019.

Already offering Spanish-language courses at its Grand Rapids, Mich., campus over the past seven years, the seminary of the Christian Reformed Church is addressing requests from pastors and church leaders from across the continent. “We are offering these online courses in Spanish in order to serve the wider church, including those who do not live near our campus,” said Ronald Feenstra, the school’s academic dean.

Feenstra expects that most of the course participants will be Spanish-speaking people serving in churches in the U.S., Canada, or Latin America. Some might also be in a master’s level program at Calvin Seminary or another seminary.

Avila, New Testament professor and director of certificate in Latino ministry, has been with Calvin since 2001. He said the new online courses “will open the doors to people otherwise excluded.​”

The development of the online Spanish-language courses is a continuation of the seminary’s growth in Spanish-language programs, which started with just one course. The school has recently applied to its accrediting agency to offer a master’s program in Spanish, which it hopes to implement once sufficient response is met for these courses.

The school’s board of directors has discussed offering courses in other languages and is currently planning to offer a course taught in Korean in January 2019. Taught by professor Young Ahn Kang, visiting professor of Philosophical Theology at Calvin Seminary, this course will be held on campus. A couple of decades ago, the seminary offered a Korean-language master’s program for one cohort of students.

Founded in 1876 (as De Theologische School), Calvin Theological Seminary originally taught courses in Dutch. There was some overlap instructing in both Dutch and English until English became the primary language of instruction.

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