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Academic Symposium — October 18–19

An Academic Symposium in honor of the inauguration of Michael Le Roy, PhD was held on Thursday, October 18, and Friday, October 19, 2012, with Dr. Julia Stronks (Whitworth University) speaking on “Education for Shalom: A Theology of Citizenship for a Complex World” and Dr. Mark Noll (University of Notre Dame) speaking on “The Bible in Calvin College’s Reformed Past and Worldwide Future.” Downloads of the speeches and alumni responses are available in the links below. You may also access the videos here.

Education for Shalom:
A Theology of Citizenship for a Complex World

Julia K. Stronks, JD, PhD
Edward B. Lindaman Chair
Professor of Political Science
Whitworth University



In what way does a Christian liberal arts college respectfully and appropriately educate global citizens to navigate a complex world in which religious practices and beliefs compete? How will Christian students refrain from falling into relativism or vague spirituality if they are working with people committed to different worldviews? One answer lies in the development of a theology of citizenship. Introducing a technique that the U.S. Supreme Court has developed, this presentation will demonstrate how Christians can hold firmly to the convictions of their faith while still working in a religiously diverse environment.

Download "Education for Shalom: A Theology of Citizenship for a Complex World" (PDF format, 205 kbs)


Cheryl K. Brandsen, PhD
Dean of the Social Sciences and Contextual Disciplines
Calvin College

Alumni Respondents

Moses Chung, MDiv (1993)
Director of Home Missions
Christian Reformed Church in North America
Chung response (PDF format, 106 kbs)

David L. Schutt, PhD (1987)
Chief Executive Officer
SAE International
Schutt response (PDF format, 115 kbs)

The Bible in Calvin College's Reformed Past and Worldwide Future

Mark A. Noll, PhD
Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History
University of Notre Dame



Because Scripture is foundational in the Christian Reformed Church's Three Forms of Unity and because it was crucial in the inspirational educational work of Abraham Kuyper, the Bible has always been important for the work of Calvin College. But because of the college’s Dutch Reformed heritage, its reliance on Scripture has differed in important ways from how the Bible has been used by other Protestants in America. One of those distinctives has been concentration on the grand arc of biblical narrative (creation-fall-redemption-last things) and the implications of that narrative for all academic disciplines. But now, given the shape of world Christianity, the Dutch Reformed heritage faces a new challenge. In burgeoning Christian movements throughout the world, Scripture has become a guidebook for imitating biblical deeds of charismatic power. This address will ask how the riches of Calvin’s biblical tradition might still be used for the benefit of other believers even as Calvin learns from the great diversity of biblical approaches that now characterizes a rapidly expanding Christian world.

Download "The Bible in Calvin College's Reformed Past and Worldwide Future" (PDF format, 135 kbs)


Claudia Beversluis, PhD
Provost, Calvin College

Alumni Respondents

Bethany Keeley-Jonker, PhD (2005)
Assistant Professor of Communication Arts
Trinity Christian College
Keeley-Jonker response (PDF format, 94 kbs)

Willie Jennings, MDiv, PhD (1984)
Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies
Duke University Divinity School
Jennings response (PDF format, 94 kbs)