Calvin Prison Initiative Convocation: A Story in Photos

Additional Resources on the Calvin Prison Initiative and Convocation Service on April 29, 2016:

Watch the WoodTV8 and Fox17 News coverage of the Calvin Prison Initiative Convocation Service.

Read Convocation coverage from the Christian Reformed Church of North America and Calvin College.

Read the full text of Calvin Seminary professor John Rottman’s convocation address.

Read the full text of student Nick Kelly’s thank-you message to Calvin College and Calvin Seminary.

Listen to Michigan Radio’s story on the Calvin Prison Initiative.

Students, faculty and administrators gather excitedly for the Calvin Prison Initiative convocation service.


Raymond Potts addresses his fellow classmates: “We all want our lives to count for something. Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary has made it possible for inmates to do just that.”



Calvin Seminary student Laura de Jong leads the Handlon Tabernacle Choir.


Students bow their heads in prayer during the service.

Students bow their heads in prayer.


The convocation program in use during the service.


News crews film the event. Both Fox 17 News and WoodTV8 covered the convocation service.


Calvin Seminary professor John Rottman delivered the Convocation address: “I could feel the tension my neck as we drove up to the prison gate…But that week in Angola changed my life. To see human life flourish inside prison amazed me.”


A thank-you card, hand painted by Anthony Vargera, to Calvin Seminary from the students of the Calvin Prison Initiative.


A close up of one of notes inside the thank-you card pictured above: “May the Lord bless you for all that you’ve done, and continue to do, for the ‘least of these.’ Thank you – Anthony Vargera”


The Calvin Prison Initiative motto: “Think deeply. Act Justly. Live fully.”


A heartfelt message from student Nick Kelly. To read the full letter, click here.

A heartfelt message from student Nick Kelly.

All photographs of the convocation service taken by Matt Kucinski; all others by Amanda Smartt.