Grand Rapids Life

Grand Rapids is a growing, vibrant city increasingly known as an arts and culinary destination.

Situated just a few hours drive from Chicago and Detroit, and just 45 minutes from the golden shores of Lake Michigan, it provides plenty of things to do locally and regionally. In the past few years, it has been named the top visitor destination by Lonely Planet (2014) and the best place to raise a family by Forbes (2012), to name just a few.


A growing city with countless things to do

There is always something exciting or new happening in Grand Rapids. ArtPrize, the biggest event of the year, happens each fall. It turns downtown Grand Rapids into a three-square-mile art gallery that features a wide range of critically-acclaimed pieces and folk art in nearly every building and public space in downtown. You can also enjoy annual events such as Restaurant Week, Festival of the Arts, Gilda’s LaughFest, the Grandwich Competition and more. Craft breweries and excellent, affordable farm-to-table restaurants are opening in every neighborhood. ExperienceGR.com or Urbanspoon (download the app) can give you detailed recommendations, but we suggest you start with Marie Catrib’s ($), The Green Well ($$), Terra GR ($$), Harmony Brewing Company ($) and Founders ($).

If you love outdoor activities and recreation, Grand Rapids has miles of dedicated bike paths, beautiful parks, several nearby downhill ski areas and several mountain biking tracks.


An ideal place for a holistic seminary education

Beyond the amenities the city can provide, Grand Rapids is an ideal place to pursue a seminary education for its sheer volume of ministry opportunities with local churches and parachurch organizations. Through Calvin Seminary’s Mentored Ministries programs, you will gain experience alongside seasoned pastors and ministry professionals in a wide variety of contexts. Calvin Seminary’s proximity to several denominational headquarters and four of the largest Christian publishing houses in the nation give you access to even more opportunities for learning and career opportunities. Some of these organizations include:

  • Christian Reformed Church in North America
  • Reformed Church in America
  • Harper Collins Christian Publishing (Zondervan)
  • Baker Publishing
  • Eerdmans Publishing
  • Kregel Publishing
  • Bethany Christian Services
  • Partners Worldwide
  • World Renew
  • Hope Network
  • Pine Rest Mental Health Services


Grand Rapids-area resources for you and your family

Every year, Calvin Seminary students publish a guide to Grand Rapids. This helpful resource will connect you and your family to health care options, churches, free and low-cost family activities and much more. You may want to use this guide before you arrive on campus if you have school-age children who will need to enroll in an area school in the fall. Read the 2014-15 guide.