As we enter into the last few weeks of the semester, I am glad for the opportunity to provide an update. I grew up on a farm outside the small community (3,600 people) of Fulton, Illinois. I still remember the bike ride from the farm into town that I took many times. The journey seemed so long and then I looked back to see how far I had already traveled. I was encouraged to move forward by looking back. I invite you to look back to realize how far you have already gone this semester. May you also be encouraged that God will continue to provide what you need – day by day.
When Chief Financial Officer Jim Luyk left CTS this fall to return to the marketplace and take up a position in banking in the Holland area, he also gave us a gift. He provided insights as to his work and also encouraged us to see his leaving as an opportunity to reframe the position.
As such, we have been seeking a Chief Financial and Operating Officer who would still be accountable for financial oversight, but also take up oversight in other areas such as communications. We hope to identify and introduce this person to the CTS community in the next month.
We are just at the beginning of a search process related to an Academic Dean and Associate Academic Dean. Both positions include administrative and teaching responsibilities. Our search at this time is in keeping with the 2 ½ year commitment that Professors Lyle Bierma and Ronald Feenstra gave to their current roles. We encourage your prayers for these processes. Derek Buikema is the student representative on the Academic Administration search team.
ATS Assessment and Elective Discussion:
On November 7 and 8, a focused visit to CTS occurred on behalf of our degree accreditation body – the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. The focus was on our assessment process and we received the news that the team will submit a report that we have demonstrated satisfactory progress. Institutional and Educational Assessment will need to continue to be a major emphasis of our work at CTS, but we are glad for this report.
This fall has also been a time when the faculty has been engaging in a discussion on how we may create more room in the curriculum for electives while also maintaining a core that we believe is necessary to the formation of pastors and church leaders. When the new curriculum was introduced, we knew that adjustments would need to be made after a time of “living with” the new curriculum and we are at a time of review and assessment.
Thank you for your warm welcome to a number of new persons at CTS! Thank you to the Student Senate for their partnership in Town Hall meetings! Thanks to you students, faculty and staff for helping to build a community at Calvin Theological Seminary!