Life Long Learning

Self Guided Online Classes

You can also learn through one of our online resources. The fee is $125 for one year of access (for 2019-2020). If you are interested in one of the online resources below, you can send an email to continuing.education@calvinseminary.edu. Registering will give you access to our Canvas system, this is where you will be able to view the videos. An email with login instructions will be sent to you.

Online Resources

Bible Survey

These videos will demonstrate how each book of the Bible finds its focus in Jesus Christ. And because believers are being conformed to the likeness of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, the videos will also demonstrate how each book of the Bible has continuing relevance today for individual believers and for the church as a whole. When you have completed these videos, your own understanding of the Christ-centeredness of the Bible will be greatly enhanced. You’ll be able to lead a person to Christ from anywhere in the Bible! You’ll also have an excellent framework on which to hang all the rest of your biblical studies. The main textbook for your reference is Michael Williams’s How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture (Zondervan, 2012).

Hebrew Fundamentals

These resources guide users all the way from the basics of the Hebrew alphabet and pronunciation to the reading and comprehension of Old Testament texts. Resources include instructional videos, lesson summaries, vocabulary audio files, guided exercises and labs, and quizzes. The textbook is Basics of Biblical Hebrew Grammar by Gary Pratico and Miles Van Pelt.

Digital Bible Tools

These materials introduce students to using digital tools for studying Scripture: exploring the text in its original language, finding resources for deeper enrichment, and establishing a lifelong process for preparing to teach and preach.

Christian Reformed Church Polity

This educational resource is intended for leaders in the Christian Reformed Church, especially those appointed to positions such as stated clerks, church visitors, and synodical deputies, but is open to any church leaders. The series is self-directed and consists of brief videos on a number of topics and sections of the CRC’s Church Order, as well as discussion boards and opportunities to ask the professor questions in general, or privately about specific situations. You can choose the sections that apply to your interests or needs, but for those interested in learning more, the resource provides a review of the entire Church Order. For this course, registration allows for unlimited access to the resource.

Foundations: Creeds and Reformed Confessions

This resource introduces Reformed theology through a study of creeds (Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed), confessions (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dort), and contemporary testimonies and declarations (Contemporary Testimony, Belhar Confession).

Thinking about Trying Seminary?

You may take courses at Calvin Seminary either as a non-degree student or as a community auditor. Here are the differences:

Non-degree students

Non-degree students complete all assignments, receive feedback from the professor, and receive graduate-level credit. To get started as a non-degree student, you fill out the application at Apply Now.

Community Auditors

Community auditors attend all class meetings, but do not have required assignments, receive grades, or receive graduate-level credit. Note: currently only residential courses are available to audit. Email continuing.education@calvinseminary.edu to receive registration information.

Listed below are the continuing education offerings for Spring 2020:

These options are great introductions to coursework at Calvin Seminary and would be helpful both as one-time course work for professional development, or as a springboard to further education.

J-Term 2020 | Residential courses

Ministers in Fiction and Film

In this course we will reflect on how the life and work of clergy are depicted in novels and movies. The selections will cover a range of Christian denominations and traditions, both in North American settings and further abroad. The films will include The Apostle, First Reformed, Dead Man Walking, Romero, Mr. Rogers, and episodes from the current BBC series Grantchester. The fiction will range from Jan Karon's popular romance Light in the Window to Marilynne Robinson's critically acclaimed Gilead; from Richard Kim's story of ministers under fire in the Korean War, The Martyred, to Alan Paton's epochal depiction of South African life in Cry the Beloved Country; from accounts of ordinary parish life by Gail Godwin (Evensong) and Elizabeth Strout (Abide with Me) to Ernest Gaines’s depiction of an African-American minister under the cross-pressures of the civil rights movement in In My Father’s House. In each case we will discuss the intersection of the personal and professional dimensions of the pastor’s life; the reasons why these varied depictions might be popular among their respective audiences; and the food for thought each of these accounts might provide regarding our own (prospective) careers.

[Please reserve a 3-hour window each day of J-term to allow for film screenings. Class will run just two hours on days devoted to book discussions.]

Spring 2020 | Residential courses

Esther

This course begins with a close literary reading of Esther and then refracts the study of this ‘Scroll’ through a wide variety of lenses. Students can expect to come away not only with a better understanding of Esther as Christian Scripture but also with a greater awareness and appreciation of the sheer breadth of approaches available to enrich the study of any Old Testament book. Angles of inquiry include: Christian theology, Jewish festival practice, history of interpretation (written and visual), critical theory, intertextuality/intracanonical reading, and comparison to the Septuagint. Hebrew recommended but not required.

I Corinthians

Studies the historical context, social setting and epistolary structure of 1 Corinthians, emphasizing the major themes and issues of this letter and its message for the church today.

Studies in the Gospel of John


A study of the Gospel of John to discover its unique witness to the story of Jesus. Students will research the unique structure, literary features, symbolism, language, background, theology, and purpose of this gospel. Included will be a study of the Greek text and an opportunity to investigate preaching possibilities. The missional importance of the gospel as well as its apologetic nature in the defense of Christianity will also be emphasized.

Doctrine of Christ and Services of the Christian Year

Engaging Christian Worship which effectively nurtures faith must be built on a clear understanding of the doctrine of Jesus Christ and should faithfully represent the full range of his ministry. The services of the Christian year – from Advent to Eastertide – provide an excellent pattern of nurture for the worshiping congregation. We’ll explore the worship calendar which observes the Christian Year and thereby faithfully leads worshipers through the entire ministry of Christ on an annual basis. We’ll function collegially and will aim to collaboratively plan services which faithfully accomplish this.

Preaching & Worship Leading in the Power of the Holy Spirit

In this course we will learn together how to be aware of and then follow the promptings of the Spirit in all phases of preaching (preparation and study, writing, delivering) and all phases of worship leading (preparation, writing, leading). In this course, we will draw from the rich resources within our own tradition (Reformed) and the wider history of the Christian church as well as from the practical experiences of our pastorates. You will be invited to practice disciplines in your personal and vocational life which open you to the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

Youth and Family Ministry (2 credits)

Introduces pastoral care for young people and families from a systems perspective, develops skills in theological diagnostic method, and examines issues such as depression and suicide, sexuality identity and function, use and abuse of alcohol and illegal substances, and dysfunctional families.

Contemporary Issues and Opportunities in Global Mission

This course surveys contemporary issues and opportunities in global mission, informed by the dramatic expansion of Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America even as it wanes in Europe and North America. Topics could include short-term missions, immigration and international students, persecution and peace-making, Pentecostalism and the prosperity gospel, Scripture-use across cultures, cross-cultural partnerships and reciprocity, Business-as-Mission, unreached and unengaged peoples, and missionary member-care.

Life and Thought of Augustine

Studies the thought of Augustine as related to his life and work, with emphasis on his place in the development of Christian doctrine.

Conferences at Calvin Seminary

Calvin Seminary hosts a number of conferences, lectures, and other public events. See any upcoming events below. For more information on regular occuring conferences and lectures, visit our Conferences page.

Upcoming Conferences and Lectures

  • 27Jan

    Worship Symposium 2021

    The annual Calvin Symposium on Worship is a three-day conference sponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and the Center for Excellence in Preaching. The conference brings together a wide audience of artists, musicians, pastors, scholars, students, worship leaders and planners, and other interested worshipers. People come from around the world for a time of fellowship, worship, and learning together, seeking to develop their gifts, encourage each other and renew their commitment to the full ministry of the church.

    Learn More

Other Resources

Calvin Theological Seminary is pleased to offer the Visiting Scholar Program to professors and pastors who would like to spend a study leave of one or more months on campus.