P.J. Zondervan Professor of the History of Christianity, Director of Doctoral Studies

Lyle Bierma


Lyle Bierma joined the faculty in 1999 after nineteen years of teaching doctrine and church history at Reformed Bible College (now Kuyper College) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a child, he spent several years in Nigeria as part of a missionary family, and more recently he has done short-term teaching stints at seminaries in Nigeria, Brazil, India, Serbia, and Indonesia. In addition to teaching, he oversees the Ph.D. program, which is designed to attract students from diverse backgrounds and to encourage students to pursue a scholarship that wrestles with the theological issues of the day. Lyle is the translator or co-translator of ten German, Dutch, and Latin books and the author of The Covenant Theology of Caspar Olevianus (1996; 2d ed., 2005), The Doctrine of the Sacraments in the Heidelberg Catechism (1999), An Introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism (2005), and The Theology of the Heidelberg Catechism: A Reformation Synthesis (2013). He is currently working on a book on John Calvin’s doctrine of baptism as a means of grace. Lyle is married with two grown children and four grandchildren. His interests include reading, travel, tennis, and playing table tennis with seminary students less than half his age.

Courses Taught

  • Christian Theology in Reformed Confessions
  • The Heidelberg Catechism

By Lyle Bierma

  • Canons of Dordt and the Heidelberg Catechism

    The Canons of Dordt (1619) is probably the least well known of the three confessions of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Many...

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  • New Book: Font of Pardon and New Life by Lyle Bierma

    Font of Pardon and New Life: John Calvin and the Efficacy of Baptism by Lyle BiermaOxford University Press, 2021 What did John Calvin teach...

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Speaking Topics

Speaking Topics

What Does It Mean to be Reformed?

Why Do We Baptize Babies?

Where Did the Apostles’ Creed Come From?

Why Be a Confessional Church?

When Is Jesus Coming Back?

What Really Happened at Bethlehem on Christmas?

Why Is the Heidelberg Catechism Still Young at 450?


A.B. (Calvin College, 1973)
B.D. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1976)
Ph.D. (Duke University, 1980)