“Godly leadership is not about attaining recognition or glory; it’s about serving others.”
John M. Perkins, Leadership Revolution 

Calvin's John M. Perkins Leadership Fellows are a small group of students who are selected to participate in a series of leadership development opportunities during their first two years of college. These opportunities prepare Perkins Fellows to address big issues like poverty, injustice, racism and materialism. Perkins Fellows strive to be servant leaders who are committed to renewal and restoration of our communities. 

This program includes an immersive college experience the summer before they begin at Calvin, specially-designed leadership courses, dinners with prominent Calvin leaders and an all-expenses-paid spring break service trip.

Who qualifies

  • High school seniors planning to enter Calvin College in fall 2016.
  • Preference given to first-generation college students (students whose parents did not attend college).
  • Students who have a desire to be servant-leaders in their communities.
  • Open to all students considering any major. 

Application process

  1. Qualified students interested in the program must apply to Calvin by February 1, 2016. There is no separate application for this program—your Calvin application counts as your application for this opportunity. 
  2. Invitations to attend a Leadership Fellows interview weekend on February 26-27, 2016 will be sent in early February. The invitation will include a travel voucher to pay for part of your trip to Calvin. You will have the option to stay on campus. 
  3. On February 26-27, 2016, students will visit campus to learn more about the program and to interview for a chance to be selected as a Perkins Fellow. 
  4. In April 2015, 25 students will be notified of their acceptance to the program. Students not invited to participate in the program will be put on a waiting list.
  5. From July 21-August 13, 2016 students who have confirmed their place in the program will be invited to campus to participate in the Perkins Summer Program. During these three weeks, fellows will take a course for credit while living in the dorms on campus.

Program details

Each year, 25 students are selected to form the Perkins Fellows. The program spans each student's first and second year at Calvin, and the summer program is applicable only to the first year.  

Year One 
Fall Semester/Interim Spring Semester

Enroll in a late-summer academic term, available only to Perkins Leadership Fellows, and in a leadership course with other Perkins Fellows. 

Participate in an all-expenses-paid service-learning trip to the Spencer Perkins Center in Jackson, Miss. 
Attend a dinner with Calvin's President to discuss leadership.  Attend a regional Christian Community Development Association conference for free.
Year Two 
Fall Semester/Interim Spring Semester

Complete a leadership practicum, either on Calvin's campus or in the community. This could include residence hall leadership positions, service-learning opportunities off campus or many other options.

Enroll in an advanced leadership course. 
Attend leadership dinners with prominent campus, alumni, community leaders and other Perkins Fellows.  Attend a regional Christian Community Development Association conference.
  Enjoy a celebratory weekend retreat where you will develop and share your "plan of action" for how you plan to develop yourself as a Christian leader at Calvin, and beyond.