Affirmation of Women in Ministry


Preamble (Our Confession):
Calvin Theological Seminary’s mission is to equip women and men to disciple others and to serve the church. Although the mission statement includes the equipping of both men and women, we confess that the equality rooted in such a statement has not been the experience of women at Calvin Seminary; and for that we repent. Although theological questions and doubts prevented women from fully participating in courses and programs for many years, even in the last few decades when the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA) has endorsed the ordination of women, Calvin Seminary has not always been a place where women have been fully welcomed, encouraged, and heard.

Our Statement (What We Value):
Calvin Theological Seminary acknowledges and celebrates God’s gifting and calling of women for Kingdom ministry. Calvin Theological Seminary recognizes and honors women's voice, scholarship, opinions, and perspectives as important and good. We are an institution that not only supports women to pursue ministry training, but also cherishes women students as critical and significant members of the seminary community. We want to be clear: in this place, and on this campus, women are and will be valued, encouraged and supported to pursue ministry in any way that the Lord calls.

This stance is consistent with the mission, vision, and values of Calvin Theological Seminary, which includes whole person development, contextual ministry, and hospitality. We better serve the church by more fully engaging with and valuing the contribution of all those called to ministry. God’s work is vast, varied, life-giving, and good, and all who are called by God are invited to be part of this work.

A Commitment (What It Looks Like):
Calvin Seminary commits to practicing these values. While the list of “how this looks” is long, here are some ways we expect to see these values lived out:

  • We provide an environment where women students are free to learn without having to defend their callings.
  • We expect students, faculty, and staff to be kind to one another and respect each other by practicing civil discourse, even when they disagree with each other.
  • We commit to valuing each other by actively resisting inappropriate behaviors such as sexist comments, jokes, images, or other related acts.
  • We aim to demonstrate the value of all voices not only through caring for our female students, but through the education that all our students receive.
  • We acknowledge that women’s perspectives on theology and ministry are indispensable. Therefore, we will intentionally seek multiple perspectives and will work to assign readings that reflect diverse voice and authors. We will also seek to support women through our staffing, through internship placements, and through all the ways students are shaped for ministry
  • We will strive to be a place where women students are being equipped for ministry and where the students and community are being shaped by wise and Spirit-filled women.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees (5/22/20)