About 70 students from North America and elsewhere around the world will be taking seminary classes this summer as part of the “Global Institute of Theology,” a program being held in conjunction with the meeting of the Uniting General Council in Grand Rapids, Mich., in June.
The institute meets for two weeks in Chicago and then comes to Calvin Theological Seminary. It offers students a chance to take the for-credit core course “Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace,” which is the theme of the Uniting General Council meeting at which the World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council will merge into the World Communion of Reformed Churches. Students will also have a chance to take two of four other courses for credit.
“This opportunity is particularly valuable because of the international flavor of it,” says Rev. Lyle Bierma, the CTS representative who has helped to coordinate the institute. Bierma is the Jean and Kenneth Baker Professor of Systematic Theology.
As part of the institute, students will have the chance to go on a bus tour of religious sites in West Michigan. Led by Dick Harms, Calvin College archivist, the tour will feature churches and other religious structures and institutions that help make up the faith life of people who live in and around Grand Rapids.
Students will spend two weeks at McCormick Seminary in Chicago before coming to CTS at the time that the Uniting General Council starts its work. They will have a chance to participate in many of the activities and sessions connected to the merger event.