Christians often think of “missions” as referring to missionaries, those women and men called to spread the Gospel through evangelism across the world, plant churches internationally, and translate the Bible into different languages. While these images of missions are still relevant, today many Christians think of missions more broadly. For instance, missions can also include medical and health services, economic development, urban planning, political advocacy, and a host of other such efforts. At Calvin, we understand Christian missions to include both sets of activities; and we think of missions as international and domestic, traditional and ever-changing. This understanding is reflected in the framework of the ministry leadership minor in missions.
Requirements for Ministry Leadership Minor: Missions
1.CMS 151—Church and Society (3 hours), or approved interim
2. One additional 200 level Religion course beyond core, in Bible or Theology, (3 hours). If students have taken Biblical Foundations II as their second Religion core course, then they should take one course from REL 230-235 to fulfill this requirement. If students have taken Theological Foundations II as their second Religion core course, then they should take one course from 211-224 to fulfill this requirement.
3. Cluster of courses with an emphasis in MISSIONS (9 hours)
- REL 252 Introduction to Missions (3)
A general introduction to Christian missions in biblical and historical perspective. This course surveys the biblical and theological foundations for missions, and the church’s interpretation implementation of the task of spreading the gospel. The methods, challenges, successes, and failures of Christian missionary activity will be considered. Prerequisite: Religion 121 or 131.
- SOC 303 Anthropology of Religion (3)
This course takes a comparative approach to the study of religion — focusing on the universal characteristics of religious beliefs such as myth, ritual, and the sacred. Students will develop a critical understanding of the approach anthropology takes to the study of religion and will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of that approach particularly from a faith perspective. Emphasis will also be given to grappling with the reality of personal faith in a global context of religious diversity, including the diversity in expression of Christianity.
- One additional course from REL 255, REL 251, REL 352, REL 353, REL 354, REL 355, or REL 356 (3)
4. 3 credit hours from a complementary area of interest:
Students will choose a course they did not count toward the requirements listed in number 3 from the following:
- CMS 251-- Theological Reflections on Ministry Practices (1 hour), which may be taken up to three times
- CMS 374 -- Youth and Family Ministry (2 hours)
- CMS 378 -- A Christian Calling: Proclaiming Jubilee as a Christian Leader
- CMS 375 -- Ministry, Leadership, and Community Development
- REL 237 -- Christian Worship
- MUSC 236 -- Music in Worship
5. CMS 381 Ministry Studies Internship (3 hours), with specialized placements in the area of student interests/emphasis
KEY FACULTY PERSON: Professor Todd Cioffi