Calvin among top Peace Corps-volunteer-producing schools

Each year, Calvin produces students who go on to lead amazing, world-changing careers. This year, Calvin topped itself when it joined the list of top Peace Corps volunteer producing colleges. Calvin’s Peace Corps volunteers deserve praise for using their education to live out the ideals of their Christian faith.

In Calvin’s mission statement, students are called to serve as “Christ’s agents of renewal.” Through Christ we can make all things new. Students can make a difference in even the most difficult issues when they put their mind to it.

In the challenging period after college, though, it can be difficult to maintain a focus on renewing the world. For many students, graduation represents the first time they will face real-world challenges such as paying off debts, finding a job, setting their own lifestyle and possibly getting married.

Slowly but surely the message of renewal fades from memory as more immediate concerns come into place. Of course, the rhetoric remains the same, but the drive to put the social justice ideals into practice can fall by the wayside.

Calvin’s Peace Corps volunteers remind us that making the time to perform public service and fulfill the call to renewal is possible. Volunteers dedicate two years of their life to serve in a new culture away from friends and family.

The work, although rewarding, sounds tough. Most Peace Corps volunteers go in with high hopes of making lasting change, only to exit with the common refrain, “I wish I had known I wasn’t going to change the world.”

Rather than becoming jaded, Calvin students continue to enroll, encouraged by the understanding that even small steps forward can help make a positive difference in a community.

Students can fulfill Calvin’s call to renewal without serving abroad. Local non-profits always look for new volunteers. One does not need to travel abroad to make a donation to a charity, write a letter to Congress advocating for social justice issues, go green or perform ministry work at church.

On a more simple level, one can live in a Christ-like manner by treating others with kindness, respect and dignity on a daily basis no matter where they live.

However, Calvin’s Peace Corps volunteers serve as role models demonstrating the significance of intentional service, whether at home or abroad. Calvin should continue to promote service programs like Peace Corps because it just might spark the call to service in  a new generation of students.