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Academic Programs: Physical Education Major: Exercise Science

Exercise Science Mission

The exercise science emphasis provides opportunities for students to interpret God's revelation through an understanding of how physical activity and applied physical exercise affect the human body. The study of the human body leads to a fuller understanding of God as Creator because of the discovery of the continuity from microcosm to macrocosms in God's universe. The unique or specific area that separates Exercise Science from the other sub-discipline in Kinesiology is in the application of physical science to human physical conditioning, disease prevention and rehabilitation. As in every area of study for the Christian, exercise science seeks not only to know God more completely through knowing one's self better, but also seeks to restore culture/creation to the way it is supposed to be, Shalom. It is within the context of Shalom that we view conditioning of the human body, prevention of physical debilitation, disease as interpreted through lack of exercise and debilitating health behaviors and the rehabilitation from the results of such behaviors.

A Christ-centered person with an understanding of exercise science has a unique opportunity to discover the joy and wonder of the restorative benefits of exercise and hopefully a higher awareness of the awesome Creator God we worship and serve.

Impact

Students gain expertise in a variety of areas of the discipline, including anatomic and mechanical kinesiology, exercise physiology, motor learning, and nutrition, enabling them to pursue a vocation with a broad spectrum of clients through personal training, cardiac rehabilitation, health club leadership, or corporate fitness programming. Students are also well-prepared for further graduate studies in exercise science, nutrition, physical therapy, occupational therapy, sports medicine, and medicine.

Exercise scientists have a unique chance to interpret God's revelation to others through the delight of human movement through play, leisure, sport and performance. Man, created in the image of God, is saved by God taking on the nature of man, not that we may have life, but that we may have it more abundantly. The essence of exercise science is to discover or rediscover the joy of human movement in the pursuit of the whole, abundant, balanced life.

Program Information

An undergraduate Liberal Arts degree in Physical Education-Exercise Science is a science-based major pursued by students interested in exercise physiology, biomechanics, sports medicine, sport psychology, sport nutrition, pre-physical or occupational therapy, and pre-medicine. The Calvin College Exercise Science curriculum is closely aligned with the American College of Sports Medicine's Health/Fitness Instructor certification requirements. Students gain expertise in a variety of areas of the discipline, including anatomic and mechanical kinesiology, exercise physiology, motor learning, and nutrition, enabling them to pursue a vocation with a broad spectrum of clients through personal training, cardiac rehabilitation, health club leadership, or corporate fitness programming.

Some specialties require further preparation at the graduate level, and/or certification by the American College of Sports Medicine or National Strength and Conditioning Association. Calvin Exercise Science majors who pursue graduate degrees are highly competitive. The most recent Calvin graduates have been accepted into graduate programs at the University of Michigan, Wake Forest University, Northwestern University, the University of Pittsburgh, Indiana University, University of Texas-Austin, Mayo Clinic, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Washington University in St. Louis. Exercise science internships are encouraged, but not required. Students have recently interned in cardiac rehabilitation at Charlevoix and Spectrum Health hospitals; corporate fitness at Johnson Controls, Zondervan Publishers, and Shape Corporation; Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; and the health club industry at Champion Fitness, East Hills Athletic Club, MVP, and the Gottlieb Health & Fitness Center-Chicago. The Huddleston Exercise Science Scholarship is available for qualified students to help support internships.

The exercise scientist has an unparalleled opportunity to discover the joy and wonder of the positive benefits of exercise in preventing and rehabilitating disease, and in restoring people to balanced lives of health and wellness. Exercise scientists have a unique chance to interpret God’s revelation to others through the delight of human movement through play, leisure, sport and performance. The essence of exercise science is to help others discover or rediscover the joy of human movement in the pursuit of a whole, abundant, balanced life.

For more information about the Exercise Science program at Calvin College, please consult Dr. Nancy Meyer or Dr. Julie Walton.