Learn to use recreation as a way to restore and renew people with a wide range of disabilities.


Calvin's therapeutic recreation program, one of only two such programs offered by Christian colleges in the world, offers cutting-edge knowledge in recreational therapy and health care. The 37-hour program gives you the knowledge and practical skills you need to work in a variety of settings. The program will prepare you for the national certification exam in therapeutic recreation.

Additionally, this program allows students to specialize in child life. 

Careers in Therapeutic Recreation

  • Acute care hospitals
  • Mental health agencies
  • Physical rehabilitation hospitals
  • Substance recovery programs
  • Long-term care facilities
  • At-risk youth services
  • Schools

Careers in Child Life

  • Pediatric hospitals
  • Emergency departments
  • Surgical and intensive care units
  • Outpatient units
  • Hospice care
  • Outpatient healthcare facilities
  • Doctor's offices


New students are automatically considered for general academic scholarships ranging from $1,000-15,000 based on a careful review of their application materials.

For a complete listing of departmental scholarships available to first-year students, use the Scholarship Search ».


Donald De Graaf

Donald De Graaf
Professor; Director of Off-Campus Programs
Department of Off-Campus Programs
HH 319A
(616) 526-6225

Youngkhill Lee

Youngkhill Lee
Department of Kinesiology
SF 243
(616) 526-6030

James Timmer

James Timmer
Professor, Athletic Director
Department of Kinesiology
SF 217
(616) 526-6037

Talk to us

Ryan Rooks Ryan Rooks
Department Co-Chair
Department of Kinesiology
SF 241
(616) 526-7541

Jodie Bird Jodie Bird
Department Co-Chair
Department of Kinesiology
SF 215
(616) 526-8862

Brian Bolt Brian Bolt
Department Co-Chair
Professor or Kinesiology
Department of Kinesiology
SF 220
(616) 526-7526


Connect with your counselor via email, phone, or in person. They'd love to hear from you and answer your questions!

Or, ask us your questions on Facebook.

In the fall and spring our counselors travel throughout the world to meet with students—see if they'll be in your area!

Teach This

Interested in teaching? You can gain certification in Therapeutic Recreation as a:

Calvin's teacher education program also contains education-specific course requirements that you must complete prior to certification. See course requirements for:

Professor Robert Keeley talks about the education program.

Learn More

Explore Calvin's teacher education program.

Read the teacher education guidebook for more detailed information about certification.