Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

5th annual Bible study to focus on James

Photo courtesy Calvin College Campus Ministries

Campus Ministries is kicking off the 5th annual campus-wide Bible study. This year, the campus will study the book of James.

Chaplain Mary Hulst is excited for the challenge that James presents students.

“James doesn’t let you off the hook,” she said. “[He] is bossy, but beloved.”

Hulst thinks the word “beloved” is very important in approaching James. The people receiving the book of James the first time would have viewed it as a gift because they loved James. He gave the truth in love.

The campus-wide Bible study alternates every year between the New Testament and the Old Testament. Because the study was on Exodus, they chose a New Testament epistle this year.

Hulst said that one reason they chose James was because they’ve already done a Pauline epistle and the Gospels in the New Testament.

“…and students like James,” she said. “ If students are drawn to a book, we want to honor that.”

Many leaders will lead studies all around Calvin circles. Many of these leaders will become the Barnabas in the dorms.

Barnabas Jessi Robbert in Kalsbeek-Huizenga-van Reken agrees that James is very tangible and direct.

“Personally, I am excited to go through James,” she said. “It is very cut and dry.”

Hope Gaffner, a Barnabas in Boer-Bennink, is excited for this year’s Bible study and the community that she hopes it will form on her floor.

The campus-wide Bible study is intended to do more than increase knowledge about James around campus.

Hulst hopes the study will fulfill the need of students with a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds.

“Our goal is to create a study of the word to help all those needs,” Hulst said.

Hulst will also be preaching on James at LOFT for students who desire to “dig deeper.”

Gaffner hopes that through the Bible study her floor will bond through the bible study and it will help her residents.

“I hope [the Bible study] will help everyone adjust to college and grow in faith,” she said. “My hope is that the floor will be a community.”

Robert additionally hopes that the Bible study will serve as more than a study and that her floor will grow together. She expressed this by referring to something that Hulst said during Barnabas training.

“My hope is that through all this, you will look more like Jesus,” Robert said, referring to Hulst. “I think that is a good model for us and our work.” he added.

Hulst said that a campus-wide Bible study is on track with the college’s identity.

“It says this is who Calvin is, people of the word,” she said

Anyone can lead a Bible study group, and Hulst noted that Campus Ministries is still looking for leaders. Those interested in taking on a group can sign up online. For any questions about the study, you can email [email protected].

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