Students who participate in Empower are: Empowered in Personal Formation, Empowered to Multiply the Church, and Empowered to Flourish

Competency-Based Theological Education

Collaborative and Contextual

Students who participate in Empower work with a team of three mentors - faculty, vocational, and personal - to develop competencies for ministry. The team coaches the student through a designed learning path, taking into account the student’s prior experience, individual strengths and growth areas, ministry context, vocational goals, and more.

Integrated and Practical

The student experience and program design of Empower center on guiding a student toward achieving interdisciplinary, multifaceted, and integrated competencies. Each competency encapsulates a combination of content, character, and craft. High standards are maintained through a robust process of feedback and assessment with the mentor team as students grow holistically.

Flexible and Adaptable

Each student’s Empower learning path consists of learning activities which help a student develop and demonstrate observable indicators that show progress toward achieving a particular competency. Learning activities include various combinations of instruction, interaction, and ministry practice. Students and mentors are strongly encouraged to adapt learning activities to align with a student’s ministry context.

During the initial pilot phase of the Empower program, students must participate through an Empower Ministry Partner. Ministry Partners and Partner Paths are approved by the Calvin Seminary Next Steps Faculty Committee. Partners will invite students to apply to the program.

Empowered to Serve

Students who participate in Empower are:

Empowered in Personal Formation:

Throughout a student’s learning experience, mentorship and personal growth are at the heart of the program.

Empowered to Multiply the Church:

As students are shaped for ministry, they cultivate communities of disciples. The core vision of Empower is to support the equipping of leaders for the local church, both those in ordained ministry and the priesthood of all believers.

Empowered to Flourish:

When students walk this learning path of competency-based education at Calvin Theological Seminary, what fruit does it produce in their lives and work? It is our hope that they walk forward empowered to flourish, both personally and in ministry.

Interested? Apply Now!


Aaron Einfeld

Director of Lifelong Learning and Program Consultant for the Next Steps Initiative
Wendy CTS Headshot

Wendy Fisher

Associate Director of Lifelong Learning