The Sexuality Series is an ongoing program of events for students at Calvin that explores issues of sexuality from a Christian perspective. The series launched in 2006 following the recommendations of a college task force on human sexuality, and of a campus climate study which revealed students’ desire for more opportunities to learn about and discuss these sensitive issues outside of class.
Events range from lectures to retreats to films to book clubs. The series originates its own programming, collaboratively plans events with other departments, and provides a Web schedule listing campus events related to sexuality.
Our hope is that the series will provide guidance, tools and traveling companions to help students navigate their culture in ways that honor God and promote human flourishing.
The Sexuality Series aims to provide biblically faithful, wise, and honest counsel to Calvin students in the areas of sexuality, gender, and relationships, so that a growing understanding of these topics may contribute to their flourishing and bring praise to God.
Sexuality Series Goals
- To help students develop a Christian ethical framework within which to understand God’s will for us as sexual beings - whether single, dating or married; heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
- To promote students’ safety, health and wellbeing by exploring issues of pornography, body image, abuse and assault, harassment, forgiveness, and male and female health topics.
- To encourage hopefulness about the potential for satisfying and sanctifying relationships within the community of faith for single, dating and married people.
- To encourage and increase campus awareness of the vocation to celibacy while single.
- To encourage the growth of respectful and responsible relationships by those who are dating.
- To contextualize intimate sexual relations within the marriage covenant, providing accurate information and honest reflection as many students prepare for marriage.
- To explore the biblical vision of marriage as a holy partnership.
- To promote understanding of human commonality and difference as male and female.
- To promote Christian respect for all people as image-bearers of God regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- To pursue justice in our own lives, in the church and in the world concerning issues of sex and sexuality.
What we affirm
- Our identity is in Jesus Christ. Our sexuality is important. The Bible is authoritative.
- God’s creation is good! He made it for his glory and gave us gifts for our flourishing. Sex is good, for goodness’ sake.
- God loved us when he made us, creating us to be in relationship with him. Our desires to be in relationship-to love and be loved in return-are a part of our humanity.
- Biblical standards surrounding sexuality are contrary to those of our broader North American culture.
- Knowing more about ourselves and the lives God designed us for will help us live better, God-honoring sexual lives.
- Being a sexual human being is not easy; but it’s not impossible, either. The Holy Spirit is powerful within and among us. By his power, we are able to live in this not-easy, not-impossible place.
Our Guiding Principles for Conversations Regarding LGBT
Many aspects of the work of the Student Life Division directly or indirectly impact the lives of our sexual minority students. The following goals, which flow directly from our Christian faith, express our guiding principles in this regard:
We desire to see students flourishing in all areas of life. We seek to promote a safe, Christian community where harassment and bullying are not acceptable. We desire that every student would know the mercy and love of God for them in Jesus Christ.
- Christian framework
We affirm that the defining and enduring identity of all believers, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity, is our adoption as children of God by the grace of Jesus Christ. In accordance with the CRC’s synodical statements, we seek to help students understand that feelings of same-sex attraction are not to be considered sinful per se. Consequently, Christians who experience minority sexual or gender identity, or are unsure how to interpret and integrate their sexuality, are welcome in the family of God. We affirm that sexual intimacy is intended for heterosexual marriage. We affirm that God calls each person to sexual faithfulness, whatever their orientation or condition in life.
- Promotion of civil discourse
We seek to equip students to discuss the issues well—with knowledge, respect, civility, and a commitment to the authority of scripture, acknowledging that this topic is not just theoretical, but that it touches or shapes the lives of many in our community. We desire for our educational voice to be characterized by love and courage, not by polemical rhetoric from either end of the spectrum.