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Current Visiting Scholars

Each year the Calvin community is enriched by the presence of several visiting scholars. This year we are pleased to welcome:

Chris Brewer

Chris received a Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews and a M.Div. from Grand Rapids (Michigan) Theological Seminary. His dissertation focused on a natural theology of the arts. While a visiting scholar with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, he plans to explore how divisive issues in Christian communities might be addressed in and through the worship practices of the church, themes that are central to his work at The Colossian Forum. In addition, he will harvest insights from his graduate work as he pursues publication of essays related to theology and the arts.


Hosted by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, April 2016 to May 2017, Brewer CV |
Kai Ton Chau

Kai Ton Chau has pursued worship and music ministry as a lifelong vocation. He began as a church choir member in his pre-teen years, and most recently he served as a member of the teaching faculty in music and worship at Kuyper College, Grand Rapids, MI. He has a Doctorate of Worship Studies from The Robert E. Webber Institute of Worship Studies; an MBA from Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON; and a Master’s of Music in conducting from the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri, Kansas City. His calling and vocation revolves around serving, learning, and teaching.

Dr. Chau is ethnic Chinese and desires to serve the Chinese Christian churches in North America and beyond by building a better understanding of Christian worship and helping congregations to become worshipful communities. While a visiting scholar at Calvin, Dr. Chau will develop networks among ethnic Chinese churches in North America; convene conversations regarding the needs and opportunities in worship ministry; and develop resources for worship and church music ministry.

Hosted by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, November 2014 to June 2017,

Crow, GarrettGarrett Crow

Dr. Crow recently retired after teaching taxonomy for 33 years at the University of New Hampshire and serving as Director of the UNH Herbarium and chair of the Department of Plant Biology. He has served on the faculty at Au Sable Institute as well as helping in the Calvin College Herbarium. Additionally he is continuing botanical research at the Michigan State University Herbarium-recently having completed the taxonomic treatment of Utricularia (bladderworts) and Pinguicula (butterworts) for Flora of North America North of Mexico. While having a broad interest in floristics (including botanical expeditions to Tierra del Fuego, Siberia, Crimea and Caucasus, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Amazonia, and Mexico), much of his research has focused on aquatic plants of temperate and Neotropics regions. He is co-author of Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Northeastern North America, 2 volumes (G.E. Crow and C. B. Hellquist, Univ. Wisconsin Press). In 1999-2000 he spent a year-long sabbatical in Costa Rica under a Fulbright Fellowship where he wrote a bilingual field guide, Plantas acuáticus de Parque Nacional Palo Verde, Costa Rica (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, Costa Rica), which is widely used by students studying at the Organization for Tropical Studies field station at Palo Verde.

Hosted by the Biology Department, September 2013 to June 2018, Crow CV |

Steven DeRose

Dr. DeRose is a Computational Linguist specializing in text databases, electronic documents, and analysis of "big text" collections. He began working with document systems as a student of graphics and hypertext pioneer Andries van Dam, on the FRESS system. FRESS is considered the first hypertext system used in teaching, the first application to support "undo", and one of the first systems used for academic word-processing. After completing his dissertation on Hidden Markov Models for part-of-speech identification in English and Greek, and a stint with Wycliffe Bible Translators, DeRose co-founded Electronic Book Technologies in 1989 to create "DynaText," software to deliver, render, and search large-scale document sets using SGML. DynaText was used by Novell, SGI, DEC, Sun Microsystems, and many others to deliver large, complex documents via CD-ROM, LANs, and later the Web. EBT grew to 150 employees and was sold in 1996. DeRose was one of 11 core creators of XML, and has worked on many other standards underlying the modern Web, open electronic book systems, and scholarly practice in the digital humanities. DeRose has also been contributed to the scholarly side of these fields, publishing two books and dozens of articles, teaching a variety of seminars as adjunct faculty in the Brown University CS Department, and as a member of several journal and conference boards.

Hosted by the Computer Science Department, April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2018
DeRose CV |

Rev. Lisa Weaver

Rev. Lisa M. Weaver is completing her dissertation at The Catholic University of America, Washington DC, in the areas of liturgical studies and sacramental theology. She plans to pursue several goals while a visiting scholar at Calvin:

  • to continue research on Christian initiation rites, baptism, and pneumatology in an environment where the fruit of her dissertation findings can find contemporary relevance and application,
  • to engage an interdisciplinary group of scholars as both resources and conversation partners in the many aspects of and considerations in liturgy and liturgical planning, and
  • to more deeply engage the people and resources of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in order to learn from and serve the broadest possible ecumenical audience.

As one who finds the fullest articulation of my vocation in the convergence of faith, research, and praxis and as one who fully believes in the transformative nature of liturgy, Calvin College and the Worship Institute together provide a robust environment where my vocation and my beliefs can find both deeper anchoring and greater expression.

Hosted by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, June 2015 to June 2017
Weaver CV |

About the Visiting Scholars Program at Calvin ==>