Calvin Theological Seminary, mindful that healthy marriages and families can enhance the opportunity for flourishing ministry, is joined with Soulcare Ministries to offer enrichment and support to spouses of students.
A non-profit ministry founded and directed by Carol Muller, Soulcare seeks to enfold, encourage and equip the spouses of students at Calvin Theological Seminary. As spouses may well assume leadership positions in their church and community following seminary, Soulcare prepares them by maturing their Christian faith and worldview and by developing leadership skills and God-given gifts.
And since clergy spouses tend to be the primary source of support and encouragement to pastors, Soulcare strengthens them by providing mentors, raising awareness, supplying resources and furnishing refreshment.
Soulcare is a place where every spouse fits in: from U.S. citizens to International folks, from those familiar with the Christian Reformed Church to those for whom the CRC is new, from stay-at-home moms and dads to chief bread winners. The special bond uniting these spouses is faith in Jesus Christ and the call of a husband or wife to study at Calvin Seminary.
Contact Information for Pastoral Carol Muller
Address:200 Lago Lane NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
See Calender here.
Soulcare ministers with CTS spouses by providing classes on relevant subjects. Spouses gather in a home setting, less than 10 minutes from Calvin Seminary, to worship, study, pray, and fellowship over good food and drink. Soulcare offers six semesters of classes studying the Christian Disciplines, Christian Caregiving, Discerning God’s Will, Hospitality, How to Give Away Your Faith and Christian Leadership. Classes meet weekly in the Fall (from September through early December) and again in the Spring (from February through early May). Our studies this year focus on Discerning God’s Will and Christian Disciplines. Classes and materials are free, but a commitment to attending regularly and completing assignments is expected.The day classes host Soulcare Kids, where children two and up are blessed with kids’ worship, Bible stories, crafts, and organized play activities; where infants and toddlers enjoy a fun, safe, loving environment while moms and dads pursue personal and spiritual formation.Three classes will be offered this year, Tuesday mornings from 9:30-11:30 am, Tuesday Evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 pm and a special Thursday morning class for International spouses (whose first language is not English) 9:30-11:30 am.
Pictures from past events here.
Once a year, CTS student spouses gather at a local hotel or retreat center for 24 hours to address a common challenge many ministry families’ face. Retreats in the past have included such topics as: Boundaries, Transitions, Marriage, and Friendship. Each retreat balances learning sessions with worship, community building, fun and rest. Although there are no childcare provisions during the retreat, nursing mothers may take their infants.2010 This year’s retreat is planned for the weekend of February 5 and 6, from 4:00 pm Friday through 4:00 pm Saturday. Boundaries is our topic. Watch for information and registration details (pdf).
2010 Registration Form (pdf)
2009 Michelle’s Retreat Report
To encourage CTS spouses and prepare them for the unique challenges ministry families face, Soulcare is hosting dinner discussions throughout the seminary’s academic year, bringing together CTS student spouses with local, seasoned pastor’s spouses. Last year our topics ranged from Discerning the Call, Moving, Loneliness, Safe Persons, Healthy Marriages, Healthy Pastors’ Kids, Sabbath Rest, and Boundaries. Discussion Dinners this year will fall on the 3rd Thursdays of the month from 6:00 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 8:00 pm in the months of October, November, February, March and April. Spouses choose the topics.
See list here.
To acclimate spouses to the Grand Rapids’ area and to facilitate community building in a non-classroom setting, Soulcare has organized a variety of field trips for parents and their children. Participants have enjoyed trips to a pumpkin patch, the Grand Rapids’ Children’s Museum, Meijer Gardens, Paterson Ice Arena and participation in a creative movement class. This year we plan to visit nearby Koetsier Greenhouse, especially suited for small children, involving a hay ride, pumpkin painting, and play area.
A fitting volunteer opportunity available for CTS spouses this year is helping out in the warehouse of Theological Book Network (TBN), whose mission is to provide quality academic books and journals to the libraries of seminaries, colleges and universities in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East that provide theological training toward the development of leaders, teachers and clergy in the Christian Church. TBN’s new location is minutes away from the seminary at 3529 Patterson Ave. SE. Soulcare is scheduled to volunteer during the first week of March 2010.