The History of the Van Lunen Center
For over ten years, the Richard D. Van Lunen Foundation funded large charitable grants to Christian schools across America. Many new and effective programs were launched, and numerous building projects were funded, impacting thousands of teachers, families, and students.
But, while selected Christian schools were funded through the Foundation, the overall movement of Christian schooling continued to reflect a pattern of struggle, slow improvement, lack of growth, and questionable financial sustainability. After early due diligence research in 2006, the mission and true potential legacy of the Van Lunen Foundation became clear: provide world-class executive management education for heads of schools based on the historic Christian faith. The Van Lunen Center was established for that purpose at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Center, which began operations in 2007, brings together heads of schools from a wide spectrum of the historic Christian traditions including: Lutheran, Reformed, Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Church of God, Evangelical, Mennonite, and Southern Baptist. We have chosen the “Big Tent” as a metaphor, and underscore its importance to the program by incorporating a profile of a tent in our logo. The Big Tent community is a distinctive and valued aspect of the Van Lunen Center experience. It builds valued and long-lasting relationships that transcend the traditional boundaries of Christianity.