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Academics: Church, Society and Ministry Minor

Minor in Church, society and ministry

The minor in Church, society, and ministry helps students in any major or professional program understand the role, function, and contributions of Christian congregations, denominations, and ministries in society, and to discern how their own gifts and interests might contribute to the mission of the church in the world. 

Program advisors

T. Cioffi (CMS),  M. Mulder (Sociology), J. Smith (Philosophy), S. Roels (Business/CMS), and J. Witvliet (CMS/Music/CICW)

Program requirements

The minor requires 22 hours, with specific requirements as follows.

1. Four courses in congregational and ministry studies (10 hours):

  • CMS 151—Church and Society (3)
  • CMS 201— Interpreting Church Practices (3)
  • CMS 251—Theological Reflection on Ministry Practices (1)
  • CMS 385—Integrative Studies in Church, Society, and Ministry (3)

Note:  a CMS interim course that explores a significant case study related to the church’s engagement with society may be substituted for 201, with departmental approval.

2. One internship course:

  • CMS 381—Congregational and Ministry Internship (3)
  • CMS 378—Jubilee Fellows (3)
  • IDIS 385—Comenius Scholars (3)

Note: Other internships which students complete as part of their major program might also meet this requirement if the internships take place in a congregational or ministry setting. Permission is required from both the CMS department and the supervising professor of the internship in question.

3. Two religion courses (6 hours)

Note: one of the courses will typically be taken for core credit.

4. One additional course

Complete one additional course with a particular focus on congregational life. This may be completed through other CMS offerings:

  • CMS 251—Theological Reflection on Ministry Practices (taken two additional times)
  • CMS 374—Youth Ministry
  • CMS 378—Jubilee Fellows Seminar

Or this may be fulfilled by completing a significant assignment (e.g., major book review or research paper) related to congregational life in another course. To receive credit for another course in this minor, students should a) complete a form available here soon b) obtain prior permission of the instructor of the course, and c) obtain prior permission of the CMS department. 

Related courses

We encourage students to pursue this congregational focus in a wide range of courses at Calvin, including, but not limited to the following courses:

ART 232—Early Christian and Byzantine Arts
CAS 240—Group Communication
CAS 253—Intercultural Communication
CAS 352—Communication Ethics
IDIS 201—Introduction to International Development
IDIS 234—The Contemporary American Religious Situation
EDUC 309—Teaching Religion to Children and Adolescents
ENGL 264—Basic Journalism
ENGL 266—Feature Journalism
RECR 203—Leadership in Recreation Programs
HIST 264—Reformation and Early Modern Europe
MUSC 236—Hymnology
MUSC 336—Musical Leadership in Worship
POLS 271—Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective
PSYC 202—Youth Faith Development and Spiritual Formation
PSYC 366—Industrial and Organizational Psychology
REL 237 – Christian Worship
REL 255—World Religions
REL 357—Religion and Education Seminar
SOC 253—Intercultural Communication
SOC 311—Religion in Society

An approved interim.