Challenges and Opportunities: My vision for the Calvin Theological Journal

Date Published

October 1, 2016

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Published by Karin Maag

Director of the Meeter Center for Calvin Studies and Adjunct Professor of the History of Christianity; Co-Director of the Master of Theology (ThM) Program

In 1966, Seminary president John Kromminga described the mission of the Calvin Theological Journal in its inaugural issue: “to serve the community of Reformed theological scholarship, and through it, the ministers and members of the Reformed churches.”

As I begin my editorship of the journal, I have been reflecting on this mission and on the very real challenges this publication faces. e seminary currently underwrites the costs of producing and distributing the journal. e current readership largely comprises graduates of the seminary. Some read the journal cover to cover, while others at most glance at the title page and then put the journal aside. e articles in the journal are scholarly. Getting enough high-caliber submissions is an ongoing challenge. Finally, the journal is little-known in the wider Reformed world. I would like the journal to be a publication the seminary, the denomination, and the wider Reformed community find compelling and engaging. I envision a greater fit between our readership’s interests and the journal’s content.

So where do we go from here? We will begin by surveying the readership to get their input on the journal and its contents. One of my aims is to make the journal more helpful to its primary readership by including one or more shorter articles in each issue focusing on aspects of ministry. We will boost the journal’s profile by soliciting contributions for the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dordt. At the same time these articles will help church leaders commemorate these anniversaries. I also plan to work with the Center for Excellence in Preaching to have a regular feature offering a sermon or two provided by pastors in the denomination. With the disbanding of the Sermons for Reading Services committee in 2015, pastors and lay people in the denomination have had a harder time getting access to complete sermons for devotional use and seeing how others have approached a specific text. Together, these steps should help ensure that the Calvin Theological Journal continues to serve both Reformed scholarship and the members and ministers of the Reformed churches, both in North America and worldwide.


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