2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Date Published

May 1, 2016

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Published by Calvin Seminary

The Calvin Theological Seminary Board of Trustees this year named two recipients for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. The award is given annually to recipients who have brought unusual credit to their alma mater by their distinction in Christian ministry. For 2016, the recipients were REVEREND LUGENE A. “ARCHIE” BAZUIN and REVEREND DR. LEANNE VAN DYK.



LUGENE A. “ARCHIE” BAZUIN is a 1950 graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary. His first pastorate was in Kanawha, IA (19501954), followed by pastorates at First CRC in Fulton, IL (1954-1958) and Jewel CRC in Denver, CO (19581963). His final pastorate—and one of the then rare long-term pastorates within the CRC denominationwas at First CRC in Munster, IN (1963-1992). During his ministry, even in retirement, Archie served as a “bishop” and counselor to many. He also served as a long-time pastor and leader at Cedar Lake Camp in NW Indiana, where camp experiences served to develop relationships and friendships as brothers and sisters of Christ from a wide range of churches and backgrounds. He continued that ecumenical and evangelistic work as chaplain at Village Woods (retirement home) for 22 years. Retirement was just a change of address for ministry. (Archie just stepped away from the Village Woods Chaplain position at 90 years of age.)

Preaching has been Reverend Bazuin’s passion. He preached in 100 churches in his days as a seminary student due to a shortage of pastors in the churches at that time.

During his ministry, he also served nine times as a delegate to the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church. He was a regional pastor for 15 years for Illiana Classis. He promoted missions and chose to visit missionaries in lieu of a sabbatical.

In each community Reverend Bazuin served, he was a popular speaker and spoke at many conferences throughout the denomination. During his pastorate at First CRC in Munster, IN, he was part of a live broadcast of their Sunday evening services for 25 years.

As a pastor, he was a lover of people, and he wanted to share their joys and sorrows. The testy ones he claimed as friends.

Now retired, Reverend Bazuin and his wife, Ellie, enjoy friends and family (three children and six grandchildren), with thanks to our Lord for the wonderful life they were given.

Reverend Bazuin offered these words of encouragement to the graduating students this year:

You are beginning a wonderful life of service. Always remember this is not only a profession, it is a high calling. People come to church, not to hear your wisdom, but to see Jesus. Finally, love people, all people. Those in your church and the community have been created in God’s image and must be treated with respect. May the Lord richly bless you and those you serve.




REV. DR. LEANNE VAN DYK is a 1987 graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary. As one nominator stated—“Rev. Dr. Van Dyk’s record of achievement as a scholar, teacher, and academic leader is clearly outstanding.” Rev. Dr. Van Dyk first obtained a bachelor’s degree in music and education from Calvin College, followed by a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Western Michigan University. Those degrees prepared her for her early career as an elementary school teacher. In responding to her call to Christian ministry, she undertook study at the Theologische Hogeschool van de Gereformeerde Kerken in the Netherlands and obtained her M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1987.

Rev. Dr. Leanne Van Dyk holds degrees from Calvin College (B.A.), Western Michigan University (M.A.), Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Princeton Theological Seminary where she earned her Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, magna cum laude. Rev. Dr. Van Dyk served as a faculty member at San Francisco Theological Seminary and Graduate Theological Union from 1993 to 1998, and at Western Theological Seminary (WTS) from 1998 until 2015. At WTS, she quickly took on an ascending series of leadership roles, as Dean of the Faculty (20022005), Academic Dean (2005-2006) and Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs (2006-2015). In 2015, she was appointed and began service as the 10th President of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.

Rev. Dr. Van Dyk’s other professional experience besides serving as a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS); a member of the Wabash Center’s Consultation on Theological Education; and on various projects with the Office of Theology and Worship for the Presbyterian Church (USA). One of her efforts remembered by many in the PC (USA) was as a member of the Catechism Committee which completed its work in 1998. She also participated in the Re-Forming Ministry project with the Office of Theology and Worship.

She has served on the editorial boards of Perspectives, the Journal of Reformed Thought, and the Scottish Journal of Theology. Rev. Dr. Van Dyk has published several books, including A More Profound Alleluia: Theology and Worship in Harmony for which she was also editor (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005); Believing in Jesus Christ, part of the “Foundations” series sponsored by the Office of Theology and Worship of the PC (USA) (Geneva Press, 2002); and The Desire of Divine Love: The Atonement Theology of John McLeod Campbell (Peter Lang Publishers, 1995).

Rev. Dr. Van Dyk offered these words of encouragement to graduating students:

Surely one of the biggest challenges of Christian ministry is facing down the constant temptation to limit God. C.S. Lewis once memorably said that God is not safe but God is good. This worries us. We would prefer a safe and predictable God. I encourage you to be constantly amazed at the wild goodness of God. What an adventure ministry is! I congratulate you on this day of your graduation and wish for you the warmth of God’s face shining upon you.


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