Rooted in Christ, Reforming for the Future
Published by Jul Medenblik
In 1990 Jackie and I were considering a call to pastoral ministry. I had been a lawyer for five years in South Florida, but the prompting of the Holy Spirit was gently, but firmly causing us to take steps to move to Michigan so I could become a student at Calvin Theological Seminary.
In June of 1990, I was in Grand Rapids as an elder delegate for the then two-week Synod (annual gathering of CRCNA church leaders). During that Synod, I walked over to the seminary building. I don’t remember much about my walk around the seminary, but those steps were part of our taking a journey a year later when Jackie, myself and our soon to be four-year old son, Joshua, moved from Lake Worth, Florida to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Whenever I walk into our Calvin Theological Seminary building, I am reminded of the generations of support, encouragement and prayers that have surrounded our mission of providing theological education and leaders for the Church.
I sometimes think about the persons who entered a “new” seminary in 1959 and what would surprise them about 2022. I am sure that they would be amazed by the current international reach of Calvin Seminary and the technological texture of education. Chalk has been replaced by computers!
We began our plans for a major remodeling of the seminary building even before COVID with these foundational themes:
- Improving technology,
- Designing flexibility and
- Creating collaborative learning spaces.
Even with the advent of online education, we need to make sure that our “home base” is well-suited for serving the wider world through video, podcasts and classroom discussions where we can actually bring people in to learn together.
This issue of the FORUM will share about our physical remodeling, but also provide updates on vocational formation and curriculum redesign for students and the “priesthood of all believers.”
As you read more about “your” seminary that God has used since 1876 to serve the Church as the Church serves the Mission of God, I hope you are encouraged by our continuing to be centered on Christ as we “reform” and “renew” for the future!
Thank you for your continued support for people (like me in 1990) who still walk the hallways of Calvin Seminary – physically or virtually – to discern if, how and when God is calling them to seminary!
Rev. Jul Medenblik
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