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Expanded Statement of Mission - Shaping a College Mission

A. Introduction: Bridging Traditions

Calvin College 's mission originates in the commitments that have shaped the college's identity since its beginning. These commitments are well expressed in the quotation from John Calvin inscribed on the college seal: "I offer my heart to you, Lord, promptly and sincerely." Our mission begins with faith and the call to serve God.

At Calvin, the Reformed tradition of Christian faith has been and continues to be our guide to hear God's voice and to respond obediently to God's call. It is a living tradition of Christian faith that draws upon historic confessional statements of the Church, both past and present, in a continuing effort to understand God's redeeming purposes toward creation. This confessional identity informs all that we at Calvin seek to do. It shapes our vision of education, scholarship, and community.

Enduring confessional traditions are realized in the faith and practice of specific communities of God's people. The Christian Reformed Church is the community that gave birth to Calvin College . It continues to be the confessing community that immediately supports the college as its covenantal partner in mission. The college and church draw strength from one another as they together engage in the work that God has given them to do.

These two interconnected aspects of the college's identity, our confessional identity as a Reformed Christian college and our covenantal identity as a partner with the Christian Reformed Church, provide a framework within which decisions about the implementation of mission can be made. Calvin's confessional identity encourages and directs us as we reach out to form ties with those who share the substance of our Reformed Christian commitments and vision. Our covenantal relationship with the church secures our commitments and vision and reminds us to nurture, challenge, and draw wisdom from the people whose history we share.

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