Professor Larry Herzberg
Professor Larry Herzberg

Renewing the Whole World for Christ

Chinese was added to the Calvin curriculum in 1984, and Japanese was added just a few years later. Currently more than 100 students study these languages. In 2004 Calvin added an Asian studies major, which now boasts 25 students. And this past summer, 14 Calvin students interned in China and Japan.

"Calvin takes very seriously its mission to prepare students to transform the world for Christ."

~ Larry Herzberg, Calvin professor of Chinese and Japanese

"To my knowledge we are the only Christian college that offers four years of instruction in either language," says Larry Herzberg, professor of Chinese and Japanese. "Most comparable colleges offer not more than one year in either language; we offer four years in both.

"Students have a variety of motives for taking Chinese and Japanese," says Herzberg. "Japanese pop culture has gotten the attention of American students, and Chinese is the world's most spoken language. The Chinese economy is growing faster than any in the world, and students are interested in being a part of the Chinese economic revolution.

"But my hope is that it goes beyond that. Calvin takes very seriously its mission to prepare students to transform the world for Christ. How are you able to effectively do that if you can't ask for an apple from the store, much less begin to make friends with people of other cultures?"

David Smith, Carol and Milt Kuyers, and President Byker
David Smith, Carol and Milt Kuyers, and President Byker

All over the World there are Christian Schools Springing Up

During the past year, the Kuyers Institute's Web site has engaged educators in the following places:

  • Japan
  • Finland
  • Croatia
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • Canada
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Estonia
  • Ukraine
  • Mozambique
  • Ireland
  • Poland
  • Czech Republic
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • Chile
  • Ghana
  • Cyprus
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • New Guinea
  • Brazil

In its first year, has reached educators from nearly every continent. A virtual treasury of free articles, lectures and e-books, the Web site — sponsored by Calvin's Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning — has become a valuable resource for educators around the globe.

"All over the world, there are Christian schools springing up," says David Smith, director of the Kuyers Institute. "You can put up the bricks and mortar and get the kids into the classroom to learn, but then how do you make this a thoroughly Christian school? How do you teach math in a Christian way? People are looking for models of fruitful teaching and learning."

Although Calvin has long led the philosophical discussion of what Christian education is, the Kuyers Institute is focused on how it is done, says Smith. Through its Web site, lectures and seminars, the Kuyers Institute stimulates thinking and research on the "how" of Christian education.

Milt and Carol Kuyers, whose generous gifts to Calvin have made this institute possible, see infinite possibilities for its influence: "We believe this institute will give Calvin a leadership role in what they have done so well in the past, which is integrating faith and teaching and learning.

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