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

Seminary events inform students

Photo by Katelyn Bosch

This week Calvin hosted two events to help students explore their interests in seminary: a workshop titled “What is Seminary?” led by professors Matt Lundberg and Todd Cioffi and the seminary fair, in which a host of seminary representatives came to visit with interested students.

Aaron Einfield, the admissions counselor for Calvin Seminary, says that seminary prepares students for a large range of vocations.

“Seminary is intended to provide students with the practical ministry skills and deep theological understanding to serve well,” Einfield said.

Cioffi also said that seminary is not just for people who want to be ordained. He adds that the percentage of students who are planning to be ordained will say something about that institution.

“If a seminary has 50-50 students going into church that’s going to say a lot about your experience as opposed to a seminary with 70 percent going into the church,” Cioffi said.

Cioffi said that one thing people find surprising is that the seminary, although affiliated with the CRC, has students from all denominations.

Half of the students that go to Calvin Seminary are not CRC, which provides a diverse learning environment, according to Einfield.

“Students are drawn to the quality of the academic experience, but also to the way in which Calvin Seminary strives to make a seminary education practical,” Einfield said.

For students looking into whether they want to go to seminary and which ones to consider, Cioffi said it’s a question of “Where have you been?”

Lundberg encourages anyone who has an “inkling” that seminary may be a good next step to talk to any one of the pre-ministry advisors. He said one-on-one is the best way to figure out what’s a good fit for you because “it’s so person-specific.”

Einfiled says that if you are interested in seminary, the best thing you can do is keep asking questions.

“Ask your trusted mentor or professor, but also be sure to visit the different seminaries you are interested in. There is no substitute for interacting with people on a campus to get a sense for what life is like there,” Einfield said.

Lundberg also encourages students to talk to representatives from various seminaries to see what that institution is like.

“That’s why we have a seminary fair here at Calvin every year: to chat with students about where they are coming from to see how that school might or might not be a good fit for them,” Lundberg said.

Lundberg encourages anyone considering work in a long-term ministry to consider going to seminary.

“The experiences [and] the depth of training are needed to sustain that for the longer haul. If they want to do ministry for the longer term they need a deeper well of resources,” Lundberg said.

Cioffi agreed with Lundberg and added, “We say that not because we are big fans of seminary, which we are, but seminary really is the place that’s going to allow you to flourish in the ministry of the church in America.”

Lundberg and Cioffi represent a number of advisors at Calvin that make up the pre-ministry advising team.

“[All advisors] are willing to talk to students interested in their particular area of expertise … We plan events, but we primarily just sit down to talk with people.”

The ministry advising team and Calvin Seminary often work with one another to guide students to the seminary that fits them.

“The people of Calvin Seminary, especially in their admissions division, have been very helpful to us, sharing some of their resources with us in helping the general Calvin student figure out the next step.” Lundberg said. “They are first and foremost interested in the health of the Christian church and of course the Christian Reformed Church within that.”

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