Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS) seeks to “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13). CTS is committed to formation for ministry— developing character, knowledge, and skills in the context of Christian community.
The Center for Excellence in Preaching continues to offer high quality resources through conferences, small group seminars, and its website at cep.calvinseminary.edu. Exegetical resources, cultural analysis, and links to recommended websites for people who prepare sermons are added to the website regularly. The site now has preaching resources for every Lord’s Day of the Heidelberg Catechism.
As part of the new Formation for Ministry (FFM) program, all new M. Div. and M.A. students have pastoral mentors and are part of a faculty- or pastor-led Formation for Ministry small group of seven or eight students. The groups are designed to be communities of trust and reflection in which spiritual formation and ministry skill development can take place.
CTS’s first Service Learning Day was a great success. Over 100 students went to 11 different locations to rake, paint, canvass, listen, and serve in many other ways. FFM group leaders and other faculty members joined in helping students reflect on this ministry formation experience.
CTS began a new program of cross-cultural internships this past summer. More than 40 students gained significant cross-cultural ministry experience in ministry sites in West Michigan, across North America, and around the world.
To address the need for more pastors, CTS continues to develop its Discerning Your Calling program. In the past year, Heidi De Jonge, the seminary’s pastor for discernment, had more than 300 conversations about discernment with people at eight Christian colleges and four high schools from across North America.
CTS’s goal is to renew a “culture of calling” in the CRC, in which local congregations more intentionally identify people with gifts for ministry, encourage them to consider God’s calling to ministry, and support them as they prepare for ministry.
CTS sponsored several Libronix seminars in Grand Rapids and across the country. During these seminars, students and pastors learn to use the powerful Libronix biblical studies computer program. CTS is at the forefront in North American seminaries in integrating the study of original biblical languages, the use of biblical studies software, and biblical exegesis for preaching.
Further information is available on the seminary’s website or from the CTS Forum.
- The master-of-divinity (M.Div.) degree is a three-year program that prepares people for ordained ministry as pastors.
- A significant number of M.Div. students are launching a second career and attend seminary part time.
- The master-of-arts (M.A.) degree in educational ministry, missions, church planting, or worship is a two-year degree program for people who desire specialized training for unordained service.
- This year more than 1,000 pastors and other church leaders attended seminary-sponsored continuing education events across the United States and Canada.