Calvin College, a private 4-year school is located in Grand Rapids, MI. It was founded in 1876 by the Christian Reformed Church in North America as Calvin College and Theological Seminary and named for the Reformer, John Calvin. In 1901, Calvin admitted the first women to the school; in 1906 it was known as John Calvin Junior College. The campus was relocated to its present location in 1973 after purchasing the grounds in 1956. The center point of the 400 acre campus is the Chapel, sitting on the highest point in the academic circle. Its octagonal shape and ‘in the round’ seating arrangement cause it to stand out on campus; services are held daily, each with a specific focus. Along with miles of pathway and greenways is a tunnel that connects three of the buildings, providing safe, comfortable passage in cold or stormy weather.
Calvin College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission and offers Bachelor’s Degrees and Master’s Degrees in 109 majors. Presently, the school offers online courses as a summer program only, but Calvin vigorously supports internships – over 82% of all students complete and internship as part of their academic experience. The College has 39 departments and is recognized for its Nursing, Speech, Teacher Education and Music programs. The largest programs on campus are Business, Health-related fields and Education. According to the Mission statement, “Calvin College equips students to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world.” Continuing, “A Calvin education will form your heart and mind in ways that get you ready for your future. Research, expansive global opportunities, service-learning and hands-on experiences contribute to the success Calvin graduates have in careers and further graduate study. In all of these things, Calvin’s excellent Christian faculty walk alongside you to ensure that you find God’s path for you in the world.”
There are nearly 4000 students enrolled in Calvin College. There are over 70 student-run organizations and clubs including club sports and intramurals. For the varsity athlete, the Maroon and Gold Knights field teams in 10 sports and participate in NCAA Division III competition. One tradition is “Chaos Day”, where residents of the 7 residence halls decorate their dorm to a unique theme, dress in costumes and compete in relay races and similar games. Student experience exceeds academics; “The college fosters scholarship that creates new knowledge, performs creative work, and sustains natural and cultural resources. A Calvin education, marked by scholarly engagement with enduring questions and emerging concerns, prepares students to answer God’s call to live and serve in God’s world as agents of renewal.” According to the school, “we strive to understand what is and live our lives in light of what can be. After all, what is a vacant lot can become a community garden. What is a muddied river can become a fresh water supply. And what is a broken relationship can become reconciliation in action. With the right lens, and God’s transformative hand in the world, an unsolved problem can become the catalyst for a game-changing solution.”