RNS Press Release Service

Institute aims to shape global Christian higher education

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary leaders announce the establishment of the Kuyper Institute for Global Faculty Development, named in honor of 19th-century Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper. The institute, established thanks to a generous gift by Rimmer and Ruth de Vries, will enable Christian leaders and faculty to deepen their understanding of the Reformed tradition broadly, and Kuyperian thinking particularly.

“Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary are grateful to Rimmer and Ruth for their commitment to advancing public theology and cultural engagement,” said Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin College. “We are honored to be partners in this purpose as we work together to shape Christian higher education.”

Princeton Theological Seminary founded The Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology in 1998. Now, Calvin College and Calvin Seminary are reimagining the center as the Kuyper Institute, building on Princeton’s work and adding new initiatives to further advance a Kuyperian world-and-life view in the academy.

“We are grateful that Calvin is committed to advancing Kuyperian thought in the academy and beyond,” said M. Craig Barnes, president of Princeton Theological Seminary. “We were honored to host two decades of extending Kuyper’s thought leadership through the Kuyper Center, and now we are excited to witness the fresh ways that Calvin will advance this worldview around the globe with the reimagined Kuyper Institute.”

The institute will carry on the work of the Kuyper Center by continuing the tradition of awarding an annual Kuyper Prize and hosting an annual Kuyper lecture and conference. To that end, Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary are happy to announce that the next conference will be April 23 -25, 2019 on Calvin’s campus.

An additional gift from the de Vries family provides seed money for a program that will further equip faculty from every discipline of study at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary with a Christian world-and-life view grounded in a Reformed understanding of faith and cultural engagement. The institute will also engage Christian faculty and leaders from around the world in this vision through seminars, conferences, independent projects, and by sharing access to digital teaching and scholarly resources.

“Abraham Kuyper’s world-and-life view has profoundly shaped the intellectual and theological work of both Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary,” said Jul Medenblik, president of Calvin Theological Seminary. “Calvin College and Calvin Seminary’s ability to share Kuyper’s Reformed vision depends on the extent to which our faculty embrace a deeply Reformed Christian mission and vision, are themselves shaped and formed by it, and are able to translate this vision into every part of their teaching, scholarship, service, and global outreach. So, this center provides an ideal platform for us to equip both our faculty, and Christian leaders around the world.”

With the establishment of the Kuyper Institute, Calvin is now home to 12 centers and institutes—all of which animate Kuyper’s worldview as they serve a variety of people and institutions in the world. The centers and institutes help Calvin promote Christian thought and action in key areas of education and culture.



Matt Kucinski
[email protected]
(616) 526-8935