“I thank you on behalf of my family for supporting the ministry here at Calvin Theological Seminary. God has used it to help me through one of the most difficult times of my life. And I believe he is giving me the skills and resources necessary to care for people and lead them to the hope of the gospel.”
Second-year M.Div. student Travis Jamieson used these words to conclude his address at the annual Calvin Seminary scholarship reception that invited donors, students, faculty, and staff to share stories and build relationships. Jamieson said that when he began seminary, his mother-in-law was in declining health; the support he received at Calvin Seminary, financial and otherwise, was crucial. His words of gratitude and hope mirror the experience of many students who benefit from the contributions of Calvin Seminary donors, who award almost $1.5 million each year in scholarships. These funds help the school continue its mission to equip church leaders who cultivate communities of disciples.
In many ways, the scholarship dinner is a celebration of relationships—the pairing of students with donors. Stories are shared of God’s faithfulness and calling. These relationships go beyond the monetary to become relationships of encouragement and support.
Two other students also shared their stories of overcoming challenges and listening to God’s call on their lives.
Fourth-year M.Div. student Joy Lawrence and first-year M.Th. student Lunfei Liu both shared stories of loss and fear and spoke of how, in moments of grief and confusion, God provided glimpses of hope and clarity.
The seminary also recognized the Jen family with a Legacy Award for the impact they’ve had through their family’s scholarship. Their scholarship funds Calvin Seminary students from China, a ministry with deep roots in the Jen family beginning with Rev. Isaac Jen’s ministry through Back to God Ministries International.
Today Jen’s children and grandchildren contribute to keep this fund going strong, and many Calvin Seminary students and alumni have benefited. These supportive relationships demonstrate a lasting impact.
Just ask Joy Lawrence, who at the banquet expressed her gratitude to those who have come alongside her and been there when she needed it: “You have helped catch me—did you know that? You have been the arms of Jesus, the body of Christ in my life.”