Seminary Students Serve to Learn

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Waxing floors, sorting folders, hammering nails, and stocking food pantries are a few of the projects that occupied more than 100 students, staff, and faculty during Calvin Theological Seminary’s first annual Service-Learning Day this fall.

First-year M.Div. and M.A. students are taking a new course that explores the importance of personal and corporate spiritual formation and examines how habits developed during their theological education are vital to a life of ministry. On Service-Learning Day, student groups partnered with agencies and ministries all over Grand Rapids. 

M.A. student Samantha De Jong observed, “It’s easy to disconnect from the world around us when our heads are in books all day. It was refreshing because it’s not every day that we stop and take time for those who need our help. We did physical labor, really getting our hands dirty for God. In service I often feel like I am helping others but really they are helping me see Christ more clearly.”

Students also learned about the work and needs of agencies and ministries that strive daily to serve their community.
CTS staff person Ina De Moor said volunteering at Health Intervention Services was an eye-opening experience. “I never realized how many people do not qualify for Medicaid and have no other health insurance.” Many students commented that service learning is a helpful part of their training for ministry—one they’d be happy to engage in more than once a year. 

About the Author

Fiona Baker works at Calvin Theological Seminary and is part of the Making Connections Initiative.