Explore a variety of small groups available to connect with others who share your passions and/or struggles. These are small, safe groups for you to come with your most pressing questions.

Email the group leader or mentoring@calvin.edu to sign up.

Active groups

Jesus Behind Bars

Come worship with inmates in the Kent County Jail. Experientially learning is the goal of this group even though what we “do” is lead a worship service for inmates in the jail. The truth is that we don’t need too much help in the leading of worship—so don’t let that part scare you. Rather, get excited about the experience of worshipping with “the other”. “Criminals” are easy to stigmatize but the point here is to see that all of us are made in the image of God. Getting behind bars raises questions about society, faith, justice, God’s love, etc… in ways that no other method of learning is capable of doing as quickly. Therefore, be ready for some personal transformation to happen to you if you sign up for this group.

We meet from 12:40 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the third Sunday of every month at the Kent County Jail. Please contact Nate Bradford at chap.nate@calvin.edu if interested.

Past groups

Book discussion - The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Carol Rienstra, member of the Restorative Justice Coalition for Kent County board of directors and leader of The Micah Center Beyond Prisons Advocacy Group, will facilitate a review and discussion of Michelle Alexander’s book.

Equip Your Prayer Life

Are you looking to deepen your relationship with God and grow in your prayer life this semester? Want to enjoy prayer more? Looking to hear from God more clearly? Hoping to learn how to have your prayers for God’s Kingdom to be advanced in and through your life answered more often? Then we have the perfect opportunity for you! Led by RD Jared Votaw in the Bennink basement, will focus on and practice a different type of prayer each week. Always open to newcomers.

Faith & Doubt: All Questions Fair Game

“I really want to believe but I’m not sure I can anymore.” “I’m not sure what to do with the passages of scripture that embarrass/ anger me.” “How can I be a Christian when the church is full of so many hypocrites?” “I feel like I have to turn off my brain when I enter the church.” If any of these sound familiar, please join us for conversations about the intersection of faith and doubt.

Follow your Heart without Losing your Head: A Women’s Discussion Group

Honest conversations starting with our identity as women and how we’ve been shaped by our families, friends, and culture, and then delving into topics of dating, sex, marriage and singleness, especially through the lens of our Christian faith. Facilitated by Lisa Jousma and Dr. Laura Champion. Email mentoring@calvin.edu to sign up; space is limited so please make sure you can commit to all six weeks.

Fruits of the Spirit: A Discipleship Group for Men

Fruits of the Spirit: attitudes and practices that keep our hearts and minds in a teachable place so we can grow to be more like Jesus every day. The information we’ll cover is only one part; the brotherhood, practical application, and encouragement help make it real.

Honest Conversations for Women:

So we know men and women are equal, but often our experiences and choices can look pretty different. This six-week discussion group is about being female--what does this actually mean? How has our view of femininity been shaped by our family, friends, the media, and our faith? How do we navigate dating, marriage and singleness? Facilitated by RDs Laura Van Gelder and Kate Westrate.

Incarnate Leadership

Join in reading and discussing this book by President LeRoy’s mentor, Bill Robinson. Robinson will be speaking at Calvin College on March 17. Led by Associate Chaplain Aaron Winkle and Prof. Bob Eames. The cost for the book and lunch is only $5. Please email rhe2@calvin.edu to sign up.

(See http://www.calvin.edu/innovation/events/incarnateleadership.html)

Inductive Bible Study on the Psalms

Led by CALL teacher and former pastor Daniel Bos, this group will look at Psalms 113–18, commonly known as the Egyptian Hallel. God’s Old Testament people used these psalms in worship, especially at the yearly Passover Feast. By custom, the first two were sung before the family Passover meal and the remaining four after it. So these were probably the psalms Jesus sang with his disciples at the Last Supper as Matthew 26:30 records it: “When they had sung a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives.” It is fitting as we approach the Lenten Season to immerse ourselves in these psalms of praise as we look back to our great deliverance brought by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Landscape Walks

Led by Bob Speelman, Calvin’s Landscape Operations Supervisor, this will be a chance to learn about our trees and landscaping while enjoying some conversation.

Principles of Servant Leadership

Conversations of leadership lessons from serving and working within the Church. Led by Brian VanderArk, Senior Pastor of Family Ministries at Ada Bible Church.

Sexual Wholeness and Healing

For female students who are plagued by their current or past behaviors, experiences, questions, addictions and thoughts, and who long to find healing and hope. Students struggling with issues related to sexual activity, lust, pornography or masturbation welcome!

What does it mean to be a man in today's culture? Men's Discussion Groups

Honest talk about how our families, faith, culture, and media have shaped our ideas about being men. Includes free lunch.

Talk to a Chaplain

Our chaplains would love to meet with you. They are willing to listen & discuss whatever’s on your mind. Common topics are relationships, doubt, anger, wonder, vocation, regret, forgiveness, sadness, sin, wanting to grow, or needing encouragement. Not seeing what you want to talk about? That’s okay too; there’s no topic that’s off limits.

If you would like to set up an appointment to talk with one of the chaplains, please email us at campusministries@calvin.edu and we will work with you to find a time to meet.

Also available (through our Broene Counseling Center)

Read more about Broene Groups and Workshops.

If you would like to request a small group to explore a certain topic, please email campusministries@calvin.edu with your suggestion. Campus Ministries is here to serve you and we are adaptable to your needs.