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Jubilee Fellows: Past Jubilee Fellows

Meet the 2009 Jubilee Fellows

Twelve Calvin juniors were selected to participate in the 2009 Jubilee Fellows.

Nicholas Baas

Nicholas BaasNick Baas has been interested in ministry since his participation in the Facing Your Future program at Calvin Seminary. He is a Religion, Philosophy, and Greek major from Grand Rapids, MI. He is grateful for this chance to use his gifts in a community and is thankful for those who have supported him as he finds his place in the Kingdom of God. He is excited to learn more about faith in action after so much study of faith in theory. He plans to attend seminary and is interested in combining active ministry with scholarly studies.

Summer internship placement: South Bend CRC in South Bend, IN. Nick plans to use his experience as a Worship Apprentice at Calvin to help SBCRC evaluate their worship ministry. He'll be helping to plan and lead worship for their weekly services, as well as participating in the leadership of several other ministry areas.

Rachel Bergman

Rachel BergmanRachel is from Orono, Maine, and is majoring in psychology.  After graduating from Calvin, she hopes to earn both a master's in social work and a seminary degree, and is eager to explore how church ministry and social work might intersect in her life.  Rachel has a particular interest in working with families, and hopes to discover how churches might best address the pressing physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people in their communities.

Summer internship placement:Bridge to Life Church in Sacramento, CA. Rachel will use her family's background in church planting to assist this young CRC plant in their strategic planning, and she will participate in all of the active ministries of the church. She'll also spend part of her time at the neighboring GreenHouse community enrichment center developing relationships with those in the community where the church serves.

Jonathan De Ruiter

Jonathan De RuiterJonathan, who is majoring in Greek, spent the early years of his childhood in the mission field of the Dominican Republic, and for the past 12 years has lived in Alger, Washington. He is eager to use the gifts God has given him to serve Him and His people during this coming summer. After Calvin, he plans to attend seminary, but is eager to explore any specific areas of ministry that he is being called to.

Summer internship placement:Granite Springs CRC in Lincoln, CA. Jonathan will spend time learning about the day to day life of a pastor, as well as participating in ministries such as community outreach, pastoral care, worship planning, and family ministries.

Brandon Haan

Brandon HaanBrandon Haan is from Lansing, IL. His first two years at Calvin were spent in the Education Program, but he is currently a Pre-Seminary student majoring in both English and Religion.  The change came after realizing that God is, in fact, calling him to consider ministry. Although Brandon is unclear of exactly how he will serve God in the future, he is confident that the Jubilee Fellows program will help him to discern God’s calling. Brandon is currently a Resident Assistant, and he is looking forward to the Jubilee Fellows program as the next step in both his personal development and his service to God. He is excited for the different possibilities, seeing them as an amazing opportunity to be like Christ to others.

Summer internships placement: - New Life Community Church in Artesia, CA. There is plenty of work at New Life to occupy Brandon. He and Josh Kuipers will spend time working with children and youth, and in pastoral care, worship, and leadership ministries.

Blake Jurgens

Blake JurgensBlake is a Byron Center, MI native and is majoring in philosophy and Greek.  Through mission trips, coaching middle school football and preaching the gospel, it is clear to him that ministry is not just a hobby, but a passion. His plans after college include attending seminary and earning his Masters of Divinity.  He hopes that Jubilee Fellows will allow him to gain hands-on experience in the field of pastoral ministry while gaining a better perception of the body of Christ here in North America.

Summer internship placement: Grace Community Church in Hilton Head Island, SC. Blake will spend time with several of Grace's pastors learning about and participating in a variety of ministries: teaching, worship, pastoral care, children, and youth.

Josh Kuipers

Josh KuipersJosh is from Abbotsford, British Columbia, and is an interdisciplinary major in Religion, Anthropology, and Kiswahili.  In 2005, Josh spent nine months living in Kibera, Kenya, and this experience, along with many others, has burned a passion for ministry on his heart.  He feels a specific calling to serve the hurting and marginalized of this world.  Josh is excited for the adventure that following Christ brings, and knows that Jubilee Fellows will help him as he is in the constant state of becoming.

Summer internships placement: - New Life Community Church in Artesia, CA. There is plenty of work at New Life to occupy Josh. He and Brandon Haan will spend time working with children and youth, and in pastoral care, worship, and leadership ministries.

Kate Oswald

Kate OswaldKate grew up in the New York Metropolitan area of New Jersey.  She did one year of mission work in Matamoros, Mexico, before attending Calvin. Kate is a psychology major with a minor in religion.  Her future plans include attending grad school, seminary or possibly doing another year of domestic or foreign missions. Her hope for life is that she would always be growing in her faith, fully utilized by Christ and purposeful in her actions. Kate is grateful for the opportunity Jubilee Fellows is providing her and is eager to experience serving in an American church setting.  Kate knows it will give her direction for her future by helping to define her passions, interests and gifts.

Summer internship placement: First Presbyterian Church Of Fresno in Fresno, CA. Kate will be one of several undergraduate interns at FPC this summer. There will be a strong emphasis on mentoring, and Kate will focus a largely on their high school ministry.

Katie Pruss

Katie PrussKatie came to Calvin from Saline, MI, near Ann Arbor. Being a nursing major, Katie has found it impossible to separate physical care from spiritual care. Therefore, she has joined the Jubilee Fellows program to grow as someone who can minister to the soul as well as the body. She dreams of starting a ministry in rural Africa and spreading the good news of the gospel along with excellent healthcare. Katie delights in learning other people's stories, feels strongly that there are no ordinary people, and hopes to know the heart of God and others more deeply through Jubilee Fellows.

Summer internship placement: Kansas Parish Nurse Ministry and First Presbyterian Church in Wichita, KS. Katie, a nursing major, will spend time with a parish nurse at FPC who also directs a ministry to train parish nurses across Kansas. Katie is looking forward to integrating her love of nursing with her passion to bring God's love and peace to those who are hurting.

Charlotte Sandy

Charlotte SandyCharlotte is new to Calvin this year, having attended the University of Michigan for two years. She came to Calvin in order to study religion and have opportunities that would help her discern her call to ministry. She is a psychology and religion major and comes from Birmingham, MI. Charlotte has attended church all her life, but at 18 she decided that she was going to fully live for Christ. God has blessed her with many opportunities in ministry so far, such as being an assistant chaplain at the UM hospital and studying theology for a summer in the Holy Lands. Charlotte is passionate about teaching people the Word of God, and she is excited to explore that in the Jubilee Fellows program.  Her specific ministry interests are youth and family ministry, pastoral care, counseling, and community.

Summer internship placement: Heartland Community Church in Rockford, IL. Charlotte will participate in many of the ministries of this large non-denominational church in the Chicago area, focusing on counseling and recovery ministries. She will serve in the youth ministry programs and community outreach programs, and will spend time learning about the administrative aspects of this congregation.

Tracie VerMerris

Tracie VerMerrisTracie is from Dorr, MI, where she was an active participant in her church. She is majoring in Music in Worship and Vocal Performance and has a passion for both music and worship. Tracie is excited to be part of the Jubilee Fellows program to explore her gifts and interests, and she hopes this will be a valuable learning experience in worshiping God and serving a Christian community.

Summer internship placement: Calvary CRC in Holland, MI. Tracie will continue to pursue her passions in Worship and Childrens' Ministries at Calvary CRC. She will work alongside a handful of other college and high school interns learning about and participating in the day to day work of the church in a variety of ministry areas.

Philip Vestal

Philip VestalPhil is from Manhattan, Illinois. He first came to Calvin to study Physics, but is now majoring in religion after feeling God’s call to ministry. After Calvin, he plans to attend seminary to work towards a Masters of Divinity. He is extremely excited to preach and bring the Good News to people all over the world. God has also given him a heart for the poor and a passion to spend some time serving the least of these, whether it is at home or abroad. Phil is also extremely excited about the Jubilee Fellows program and feels very blessed to have such an amazing opportunity to serve in the body of Christ.

Summer internship placement: Bellevue Christian Reformed Church in Bellevue, WA. Phil will participate in youth, men's and recovery ministries, among other things. After spending time learning from the pastor, he will have the opportunity to preach a sermon toward the end of the summer.