Published by Calvin Seminary
Just weeks before his ofﬁcial retirement, Rev. Lugene Schemper, theological librarian and member of the faculty, gave the 2016 Convocation address to the gathering of students, faculty, and staff. His challenge to the Calvin Seminary community was to become both informed and well-formed through the educational project of Calvin Theological Seminary. His texts were Proverbs 19:2 and Romans 12:1-2. Here are some excerpts from his address.
As present and potential leaders in the church of Jesus Christ, our project at Calvin Seminary is not just to become informed, but to take this renewal project very seriously and become well-formed, as Paul outlines here in Romans 12:1-2.
What’s the relationship between personal spiritual growth and formation for ministry? I would encourage you to see them as quite related, and much more of one piece. Spiritual formation is not just another “something” that we add on to the curriculum; not simply another set of skills for students to work on.
It’s got to somehow be seen as part of the whole package, integrated with all of theological education.
The minute you begin to see learning skills for ministry and the teaching and learning of theology as divorced from your personal spiritual growth – you run a great risk. You are at risk of becoming a “religious professional”, performing the duties of ministry without the heart commitment and the mind renewal in Christ that Paul talks about here.
All in all—enjoy your years at Calvin Seminary. Know that you are working on a magniﬁcent project together: not simply becoming informed (as important at that may be), but through the grace of God becoming well-formed.
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