Do you feel a calling to witness to people from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds? Are you adaptable and compassionate? Consider studying missions at Calvin.


The missions minor features six courses that range from religion to economics to sociology. You can choose to pair a minor in missions with nearly any other academic program—whether you're studying to be an engineer or a violinist, the missions minor will help prepare you to do God's work in a variety of countries.

Careers in Missions

  • Relief Worker
  • Chaplain
  • Pastor
  • Teacher
  • Missionary

See job placement rates for Calvin grads.

Student involvement

Join Intervarsity Christian Fellowship; go on a spring break trip with the Service-Learning Center; volunteer within the Grand Rapids Community at schools, churches, blood banks, hospitals, senior centers and more; intern at a local church or non-profit organization; help plan the Faith and International Development Conference.

Course Requirements 2013-14

Missions minor

(18 semester hours)

  • REL-251 Christianity and Religious Plurality
  • REL-252 Introduction to Missions
  • SOC-253 Intercultural Communication
  • Three courses (chosen in consultation with an advisor) from:
    • REL-255 World Religions
    • REL-352 Judaism
    • REL-353 Islam
    • REL-354 Hinduism
    • REL-355 Buddhism
    • REL-356 Confucianism
    • GEOG-320 Introduction to Cultural Geography
    • GEOG-240 Latin America
    • SOC-153 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
    • ECON-337 World Poverty and Economic Development
    • IDS-201 Introduction to International Development
    • area study courses:
    • an appropriate interim course
    • other courses approved by the advisor as part of an introduction to holistic missions

The missions minor is for students interested in missions and other cross-cultural ministries. D. Obenchain is the advisor for the missions minor.

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Calvin College Course CatalogCurrent students please download your course catalog for complete degree requirements.


Dollar amounts reflect awards given for the 2014-15 academic year.

Dr. and Mrs. Harvey J. Bratt Medical and Missions Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,300
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need considered; interest in service to the poor and needy
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
John and Marjorie Cooper Family Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • junior or senior
  • GPA 3.0+
  • financial need required; dedicated to the cause of Christian missions
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
Eugene and Joan Deur Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,200
  • sophomore or junior education major, pursuing a pre-ministry program or missions
  • GPA 3.0+
  • financial need required
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
Jennie and Sylvia Stielstra Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,100
  • any class level
  • HS GPA 3.0+; Calvin GPA 2.7+
  • financial need required; preference given to children of missionaries
  • prospective students submit a letter to the Financial Aid Office ( describing your qualifications by February 1; returning students apply through the Calvin Portal
Joseph and Ralph Gelmer Vander Laan Memorial Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,300
  • junior or senior
  • GPA 2.5+
  • good academic record
  • financial need required; interest in medical missions
  • apply through the Calvin Portal
View all scholarship opportunities


Diane Obenchain

Diane Obenchain
Department of Religion
HL 377
(616) 526-8669

Richard Plantinga

Richard Plantinga
Department of Religion
HH 309
(616) 526-6316

Todd Vanden Berg

Todd Vanden Berg
Professor, on leave spring 2013
department chair
Department of Sociology
SC 227
(616) 526-6705

Talk to us

Diane Obenchain Diane Obenchain
Program Director
Department of Religion
HL 377
(616) 526-8669


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