Centers and Institutes

Overview

Resources to Enrich Your Study and Ministry

Calvin Theological Seminary has several specialized centers and institutes that can enrich your study, ministry and congregation.

In addition the variety of courses, conferences, and other formational offices, Calvin Seminary is home to a variety of world-class centers and institutes. These resources are not only a benefit to current students, faculty, and staff, but also serve the wider, even-global church.

Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW)

For the Study and Renewal of Worship

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW), located at Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is an interdisciplinary study and ministry center that promotes the scholarly study of the theology, history, and practice of Christian worship and the renewal of worship in worshiping communities across North America and beyond.

Founded in 1997, CICW is dedicated to using the unique resources of a Christian liberal arts college and theological seminary—with its collegial environment, international faculty and student body, wide interdisciplinary expertise, and culture of ongoing learning—to partner with congregations, denominations, parachurch organizations, professional organizations, and publishers to further our mission.

The Center for Excellence in Preaching (CEP)

Resources for Fresh and Vibrant Sermons

The Center for Excellence in Preaching resources busy pastors with the goal of helping them write fresh, vibrant sermons. Each week four new sermon starter idea articles are posted to correspond to the four Revised Common Lectionary texts assigned for the next Sunday. These articles are all archived so that even preachers who do not regularly follow the Lectionary can search for—and likely find—sermon ideas on most any biblical text. We also post each week a sermon starter article in Spanish and these are archived. The website features many standing resources including audio sermons, recommended commentaries for all books of the Bible, quotes from literature to use in sermon preparation, illustration ideas from movies, and more. The Center sponsors and co-sponsors conferences and seminars; the dates and application information are posted regularly on the CEP website. In everything the Center does, the goal is the same: to provide new insights, fresh perspectives, relevant illustrations, and textual insights that will spark ideas and jumpstart creativity in preachers who each week have the holy but also daunting privilege of preaching God’s Word to God’s people.

The Meeter Center

A Collection of Materials on John Calvin, Calvinism, and the Reformation

The H. Henry Meeter Center, jointly supported by Calvin Theological Seminary and Calvin University, houses one of the world’s largest collections of materials on John Calvin, Calvinism, the Reformation and early modern studies. Established in 1982, the Center makes scholarly research on Calvinism available to scholars and the wider community, and its extensive collection of books, rare books, and articles attract researchers from all over the world.

The Meeter Center seeks to foster and deepen theological and historical discovery, networking locally, nationally, and internationally with individuals and centers focused on Reformation studies, and helping students, faculty, scholars, and community members explore, assess, and connect the world of John Calvin and the Reformation to the current day.

The Meeter Center provides scholarships and short-term research fellowships to faculty, pastors, graduate students and high school seniors; organizes conferences, workshops, and lectures; hosts summer seminars and institutes funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities; provides tours and class sessions for college and middle and high school students on printing and the Reformation; and hosts Reformation-related events for the Friends of the Meeter Center and the local community throughout the year.

Calvin Prison Initiative

Training Faithful Leaders in a Prison Context

The mission of the Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI) is to provide a Christian liberal arts education to inmates in the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC). Each year 20 students from prisons around Michigan are selected and enrolled in the five year program, through which they earn a Calvin University Bachelor’s Degree. They complete the core requirements for adult learners and major in Ministry Leadership.

The vision of the Calvin Prison Initiative is to equip adult learners in prison with the knowledge and skills required to be community leaders. Our goal is that through this endeavor, not only will lives regain their hope, but prison culture will be transformed. Studies show that prison education programs significantly lower rates of inmate violence and reduce the likelihood of recidivism once an individual is released from prison.

The Calvin Prison Initiative is more than an educational program. Because of its religious values, CPI focuses on character development and moral rehabilitation. Rather than simply increasing intellectual knowledge, CPI desires to change the hearts of prisoners. We believe each person is created in the image of God and all people, regardless of their worst crime, deserve dignity and respect. By providing our students with an excellent education and significant opportunities, we arm their identity and value as human beings and fellow image bearers.

All people are called to be agents of renewal in God’s world. For CPI, we are called to seek restorative justice and the rehabilitation of inmates within Michigan state prisons. Through our program, we hope to challenge and inspire graduated inmates to act as agents of renewal in their communities both inside and outside of the prison walls.