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Expanded Statement of Mission - Enacting a College Mission

A. Introduction

In the coming years, Calvin College must continue to live by the best features that have marked it from the start. Maintaining its character in changing times might require altering various policies, but its salient ends and means continue. Several such traits have characterized the college from the outset and remain guiding principles for engaging the future.

From the start, Calvin has aspired to provide formal education marked by rigor and excellence, infused in whole and in every part by a vital Reformed Christian vision. The guiding commitment and the quality of education are not regarded as options, as separate, or as being subordinated one to the other. Calvin's religious commitment undergirds its dedication to uncompromising quality of teaching, learning, and scholarship.

From the start, Calvin College has combined liberal arts and pre-professional education. It has not layered these two nor run them along parallel tracks, but so thoroughly intertwined them that education in the broader, fundamental issues of human endeavor culminates in an enriched, responsible, Christian understanding of work and vocation. Education at Calvin College aims at developing that Christian wisdom that envelops knowing and doing, that compels perspective and praxis to enrich each other.

Calvin College has long been egalitarian in its culture, faculty-run in its governance, and communal in its sociology. Calvin promotes a structure and atmosphere that equitably divide burdens and opportunities, that encourage the development of gifts of individuals and groups, and that make mutuality in service of God and to neighbor the means as well as the end of its education.

Calvin College has always participated in broader trends in higher education, yet it also serves communities of faith that are critical of many North American cultural values. For its own well-being and the fulfillment of its calling, Calvin maintains both sides of this tension. It genuinely responds to-also learns from-cultural demands and social needs but out of its own loyalties to a sovereign Lord who is calling forth a people from around the world. It maintains a critical distance that arises from a clear identity, kindles keen education, and empowers true Christian service.

While different constituencies expect different qualities from the same college, and while different cultural pressures place their demands upon the college, Calvin College continues to testify particularly to Christian education based upon a liberal arts curriculum, to scholarship that shapes a Christian mind and that demonstrates the engagement of that mind with the world, and to a life of community that acknowledges each person as made in the image of God.

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