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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is CALL?

The Calvin Academy for Lifelong Learning (CALL) is a Learning in Retirement Institute. With the cooperation of the Elderhostel Network, Calvin College has established this program for persons 50 years of age or older who live within commuting distance of the college. CALL began in October 1996 with a pilot program of nine courses. Each semester the CALL board plans courses for men and women who wish to learn from each other and from experts about subjects of intellectual and practical interests.

What, exactly, is CALL's purpose?

Perhaps the best answer is to simply quote from CALL's Constitution:

"The purpose of CALL is twofold: first, to enrich the lifelong spiritual, intellectual, cultural, and social lives of its members, and second, to create an abiding partnership between Calvin College and senior citizens in Greater Grand Rapids who wish to share knowledge, talents and experience."

Is CALL only classes?

Not at all! As a CALL member you will be informed about field trips of all kinds: museums, opera rehearsals, drama at Stratford, local concerts—all offered to members at cost. This material is sent out at regular times to all CALL members.

Can I join CALL if I'm not a Calvin alum?

Yes! CALL welcomes everyone from the community who wants to participate. You need never have attended Calvin or any other college. If you are fifty years of age or older, and want to participate in significant learning experiences, we invite you to apply for membership.

What will it cost me?

The annual membership fee is $35 per member; the course fee schedule is $25 for each course taken. (There may be additional fees for materials). There are discounts for multiyear memberships.

And the benefits?

  • Once you become a member, you are automatically sent each issue of CALLNews by email with details of special events. CALLNews will also alert you to the monthly meetings as well as events on Calvin's campus which are open to the public.

  • Show your membership identification at the Calvin College library and you will receive a library card and access to a wealth of materials. The $10 library fee is waived for CALL member.

  • Refreshment time between some of our classes gives you an opportunity to get to know interesting fellow students.

  • Each fall and spring there is a new set of courses from which to choose. Your suggestions regarding courses are valued; your willingness to be a class leader is welcomed. The Curriculum committee is eager for your input.

  • The Passport to Adventure travelogue series is one of the nation's most successful programs, each year presenting five of the best films available. This program is also open to the public.

  • The classrooms and facilities at Calvin are handicapped accessible.

  • There is free parking on the Calvin Campus with your CALL parking pass.

  • With your CALL membership you can become a member of MVP Sportsplex with a zero enrollment fee. Monthly due are as follows:

    • See the MVP heading on our main page for detailed pricing information
    • Rates are subject to change. You must present proof of current CALL membership (your dated CALL name badge) at the time of enrollment (children are not eligible). You may also use your email confirmation when you sign up online as proof of membership. CALL members will not continue to receive the same rates at MVP if there is a lapse in CALL membership. For more information please contact the CALL Office at or 526-8777. MVP Sportsplex is located at 4035 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Please contact 616-254-8800 or to find out all the benefits of membership.
  • Join a CALL interest group and meet with people who have similar interests such as knitting, yoga, birding, or playing in a brass ensemble.

What kinds of classes does CALL offer?

Take a look at newsletters »

Future classes will result from the subjects suggested by CALL members, as well as the subjects offered by those who volunteer to lead a class.

What if I have further questions about CALL?

Please submit any questions or comments to or 616-526-8777.