Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content
Larry Herzberg teaches a class

About Us

Asian Studies at Calvin

Image of Lu Gong BinAt Calvin, we prepare students to serve as agents of God's renewal in every aspect of culture and society. Asian studies at Calvin prepares students to follow God's calling to be his hands and feet—whether in international development, business, education, medicine, law, missions or in other areas—to an increasingly important area of the world, Asia.

Our program provides progressive language instruction in Chinese, Korean and Japanese, and in-depth study of the histories, religious traditions, philosophical schools, economics, politics, and fine arts of Asia.

Programs and opportunities

The Asian languages program at Calvin includes majors and minors in both Chinese and Japanese, as well as courses in the Korean language. Students can pursue both Chinese and Japanese through the 4th-year level, and are encouraged to take advantage of the many study-abroad and internship opportunities available.

Our students

The Asian Studies major currently has 53 students, with 10 graduates in the 2007-08 school year. Many more have already graduated with the equivalent major under the option of an “interdisciplinary major”.

Over 200 students participate in Chinese, Japanese and Korean language courses each semester, while many more participate in courses related to the philosophy, history, literature and religion of East Asia.

Our students go on to work in many fields related to Asian studies both abroad and in North America. Recent graduates have taught literature and worked with Christian Reformed World Mission in Japan, worked for a computer company in China, and served as a translator for an American company doing business in China.


Professor Larry Herzberg, Associate Professor of Chinese is the director of the Hubers Asian studies program. More than ten faculty members teach courses within the program.

With the help of grants from the Freeman Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Calvin professors in departments like history, religion, philosophy and political science have been able to pursue scholarship in topics related to East Asia. They then incorporate their study into the curriculum, teaching classes such as "History of Modern China," "Buddhism" and "Chinese Thought and Culture."

History of the program

Just a few years ago, the Asian studies program included a handful of students in an unofficial, self-designed major. Now, more than 50 students are majoring in Asian studies, a program that includes courses in Asian languages, philosophy, history, religion and art. Among all Christian colleges and universities in North America, Calvin is the only one with an Asian studies program of its scope and size.

The Asian studies program was formally established in 2001 as an academic administrative unit with the responsibility for encouraging and promoting the development of Asian studies courses and other resources and opportunities for students from any department. Asian studies and Asian languages majors began in 2004. In 2007 the program was named the David and Shirley Hubers Asian Studies Program. The expansion of the program has also been aided by generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Freeman Foundation.


Quick Facts

Calvin is the only Christian College to offer four years continuous study in Chinese and Japanese.

10 professors, most holding PhDs, teach in the program.

Offers three distinct majors and five minors.

Korean language classes will be offered fall 2009.