Congregational and ministry studies at Calvin
Formed in 2009, the congregational and ministry studies department aims to provide opportunities for classroom learning, research and apprenticeships to help students critically examine how every other major and program in the college contributes to the life of the church and its ministries. In addition, the department will be a focal point for faculty scholarship and professional development in this field of study.
The department will promote student and faculty engagement with the church by:
- offering ministry studies courses, including ministry-related interim courses
- housing the Ministry Leadership minor
- holding interdisciplinary discussions among students and faculty members on relevant research related to the church and society
- promoting ministry internships, Jubilee Fellows, Worship Apprentices, and Perkins Leadership Fellows
- making ministry-related books and multimedia available through the Ministry Resource Center
Why congregational and ministry studies at Calvin?
Along with other contributions in culture and society more broadly, academic preparation for knowledgeable contributions to the church is crucial. The concern for the academic study of lay ministry is grounded in the Reformed tradition’s emphasis on the role of all people in ministry and in the emerging vitality of ministry studies as an academic field.
The congregational and ministry studies department will be the academic home for faculty who serve in the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, for the college chaplain, and for the college’s programs related to ecumenical organizations, especially the newly formed World Communion of Reformed churches.
The department also sponsors an interdisciplinary working group of faculty and staff who teach or conduct research related to congregational and ministry studies. The working group is led by Prof. Todd Cioffi.
The group has narrowed its work to address the issue of emerging adulthood, faith identity, and the church. The basis of this work is Christian Smith's work on emerging adulthood and religious identity. Several Calvin faculty have been identified who are working on this topic, and they have been gathered into a working group to read, discuss, and prepare their current scholarship on the topic for publication.