Mariano Avila
Professor of New Testament

Phone: (616) 957-6934
Email: mavila@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Professor of New Testament  B.A.Th. Licenciatura en Teología. (Seminario Teológico Juan Calvino, 1975) M. Div. Licenciatura en Teología. (Universidad Evangélica de las Américas, 2003) Th.M. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1980) M.A. His. (Temple University, 1991) Ph.D. (Westminster Theological Seminary, 1996) Ph.D. (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Xochimilco, México) View Curriculum Vitae

Mariano Avila was born in México City, where he served as pastor of six Presbyterian churches. He has also served in the Seminary of the National Presbyterian Church as professor, academic dean, and president, and was professor of Biblical Studies at the Comunidad Teológica de México. He was Academic Dean of the Facultad Latinoamericana de Estudios Teológicos (Miami, Florida), and is a member of the Academic Council of PRODOLA, the doctoral program (Ph.D.) for professors, leaders, and pastors in Latin America. For several years he was coordinator of urban ministries for community transformation and theological adviser for World Vision México, and was also advisor for the Spanish ministry of CRC Publications.

Mariano was a member of the Biblical Translation Committee (International Bible Society) that produced the Nueva Versión Internacional and also he is one of the translators of the Traducción en Lenguaje Actual (United Bible Societies), a translation in contemporary Spanish from the original languages. He has translated books from English and Portuguese into Spanish, and has published a good number of articles and books. His most recent publications in Spanish are Entre Dios y el Cesar: Líderes evangélicos y política en México (Between God and Cesar: Evangelical leaders and politics in Mexico), and Carta a los Efesios. Comentario para exégesis y traducción(Letter to the Ephesians. A Commentary for exegesis and translation). Prof. Avila teaches, lectures and preaches in different seminaries and churches in the Americas and other parts of the world. Mariano’s rich experience in pastoral and teaching ministries, Bible translation, community transformation, and the academic world has equipped him to effectively train students for ministry:

“In my own experience as a pastor, educator and also in training others for diverse ministries, I found that there are three sine qua non tools for a significant ministry in our complex world: a solid knowledge and love for Scriptures, a well articulated Reformed world and life view, and a good understanding of the cultural, social, and political realities we want to transform so that they may express Jesus’ Lordship over all of creation. I am convinced that God’s gifts to his Church are well equipped servant leaders who will lead and train God’s people for service in a world that urgently needs salvation, justice, reconciliation, and shalom.”

Mariano Avila is married to Rosa María and has two married adult sons, Mariano III to Kate and Luis to Amanda, and one grandson, Luis Jr.

Speaking Topics
Christian Living:
Hospitality: Our Christian response to Immigrants
Hospitalidad: Nuestra respuesta cristiana ante los inmigrantes
New Testament:
The Message of Ephesians for Today
El mensaje de Efesios para las iglesias de hoy
Discipleship in the Gospel of Matthew for the Church today
El discipulado en el evangelio de Mateo y la iglesia actual
On Being Reformed:
The Latin American accent of our Reformed Identity
El acento latinoamericano de nuestra identidad Reformada
A Biblical Perspective on Worship
Una perspectiva bíblica sobre la adoración cristiana
Amanda Benckhuysen
Professor of Old Testament

Phone: (616) 957-6074
Email: ajb23@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Professor of Old Testament B.A. (Queen’s University, 1992) M.Div. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1997) Ph.D. (University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto School of Theology, 2010) Amanda joined the faculty of CTS in 2014 after having taught at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary for six years. Prior to teaching, Amanda served in campus ministry at the University of Michigan. She is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. Amanda enjoys studying the Old Testament as a whole, but has a particular interest in the Psalms, Wisdom Literature (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, Song of Songs), and the classical prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Book of Twelve). She also teaches and writes in the areas of biblical hermeneutics, the history of biblical interpretation and Christian feminism. Amanda is currently working on a book-length project that surveys the history of the interpretation of Genesis 1-3 with a focus on women’s interpretation of this text. “I study the Old Testament because it is a mystery to me, so many wonderful and aw(e)ful texts. It is also a gift, a gift from God who in the giving seems to be saying, “Here, this is my word for you. Learn from it, cherish it, let it dwell in your heart.” So in my studies, I seek to embrace the gift for what it is and invite my students to join me in entering into the mystery.” Amanda enjoys biking and hiking with her husband and 2 daughters. Because of her bent for adventure, you may also find her ziplining or rock wall climbing.

Speaking Topics

Why Study the Old Testament? The Case for Christian Feminism The Psalms and the Life of Faith Learning to Read the Bible Well
Lyle Bierma
P.J. Zondervan Professor of the History of Christianity, Director of Doctoral Studies

Phone: (616) 957-6605
Email: lbierma@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
P.J. Zondervan Professor of the History of Christianity, Director of Doctoral Studies
  • A.B. (Calvin College, 1973)
  • B.D. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1976)
  • Ph.D. (Duke University, 1980)
  • View Curriculum Vitae
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.

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?
Troy Bierma
Lee S. Huizenga Distinguished Missionary-in-Residence

Phone: (616) 957-6022
Email: tbierma@crcna.org
Profile x
Gary M. Burge
Visiting Professor of New Testament

Phone: (616) 957-6032
Email: gary.burge@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Visiting Professor of New Testament B.A. (University of California, 1974) M.Div. (Fuller Theological Seminary, 1978) Ph.D. (King’s College, Aberdeen University, Scotland, 1983) Website: www.garyburge.org Gary joined the seminary faculty in the fall of 2017 after completing 25 years as professor of New Testament at Wheaton College and Graduate School. His interests center on the gospels (particularly the Gospel of John), the historical Jesus, and the contextual and cultural background of the first century Judea as a framework for interpretation. He has also taught graduate seminars on the integration of psychology and theology as well as the integration of theology and the politics of the Middle East. Gary is ordained in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and is a frequent speaker at conferences, retreats and churches. For over 15 years while at Wheaton he was on the teaching staff of Willow Creek Community Church (S. Barrington, IL). He also leads faculty development workshops at colleges and seminaries based on his 2015 book, Mapping Your Academic Career. He is also deeply invested in the Middle East and its churches from Iraq to Egypt and travels there annually. He has organized pastors’ conferences, taught at seminaries, and been a frequent conference speaker in the Middle East. He is often called on to interpret the Israel-Palestine conflict at American churches and denominational settings. Select Recent Publications • Mapping Your Academic Career: The Three Cohorts of a College Professor’s Life (IVP, 2015) • A Week in the Life of a Roman Centurion (IVP, 2015) • Theology Questions Everyone Asks. Christian Faith in Plain Language, edited with D. Lauber (IVP, 2014) • Interpreting the Gospel of John. A Guidebook for Students. [second edition] (Baker Academic, 2013) • Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians [second edition,] (Pilgrim Press/Paternoster, 2003, 2013 2) • The Evangelical One Volume Commentary on the Bible, edited with A. Hill (Baker, 2012) • The New Testament in Antiquity, with G. Green, (Zondervan, 2009, 2018 2 ) • Jesus and the Festivals of Judaism (Zondervan, 2012) • Commentary on the Gospel of John. The NIV Application Commentary (Zondervan, 2000 Sample Speaking Topics: What are the parables of Jesus and how do they work? How can I be confident in the historicity of the gospel story? The New Testament and women in leadership Jesus “Great Farewell” in John’s Gospel How Jesus upended ancient notions of clean and unclean Jesus, gratitude, and the secret of happiness The three promises of the sermon on the mount Do you really believe in the church? Sexual purity in a 21st century context The Holy Land as a platform for spiritual formation How Jesus reinterpreted the festivals of Judaism Ecclesiastes as guide to aging in America Using the Psalms in spiritual formation What I’ve learned from the Arabic-speaking church The background of the conflict between Israel and Palestine Using the Bible and theology in the Israel/Palestine conflict
Sarah Chun
Associate Dean of Students

Phone: (616) 957-6015
Email: sc038@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Associate Dean of Students

Sarah Chun joined Calvin Theological Seminary in 2012 as the Associate Dean of Students and International Student Advisor.  She was born in South Korea, and at the age of six immigrated to Grand Rapids with her family.  Sarah graduated from Calvin College with a major in Psychology and received her MSW from Michigan State University.  Prior to joining Calvin Seminary, Sarah worked at Bethany Christian Services as an adoption counselor.  She and her late husband, an ordained CRC pastor, served at Han-Bit CRC in Rochester, MI; Anaheim CRC, Anaheim, CA; and Covenant CRC in North Haledon, NJ.

“Calvin Seminary seeks to invest in the lives of the students not only in terms of academic learning, but also in their spiritual growth and emotional well-being.  As a community of people who come from all around the world, we strive to be Jesus’ hands and feet as we do life together and build relationships with one another and with God.  I am grateful for the opportunity to shepherd students in their calling of service to God and others.”

Outside of work, Sarah stays busy being a mom to her three children—Hope, Noah and Hannah.

Ronald Feenstra
Academic Dean & Professor of Systematic Theology

Phone: (616) 957-7193
Email: feenro@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Academic Dean Professor of Systematic & Philosophical Theology A.B. (Calvin College, 1977) M.Div. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1980) Ph.D. (Yale University, 1984)

Ronald Feenstra’s area of professional training and teaching is systematic and philosophical theology. He earned his Ph.D. at Yale; his dissertation topic was Pre-existence, Kenosis, and the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. He taught theology at Marquette University for eight years before coming to Calvin Theological Seminary.

“Theological education in the Reformed tradition draws upon a rich biblical, confessional, and theological heritage. My goal in teaching is to illuminate that heritage in such a way that people will be drawn into it and understand it more fully, thereby coming to a renewed sense of the mystery and power of the gospel. I also try to set Reformed theology in the context of the broader Christian tradition. I thoroughly enjoy studying and learning theology alongside my students and I hope that their study at Calvin Theological Seminary both equips and encourages them to engage in vigorous, faithful Christian ministry.”

Ronald is married to Barbara and they have three daughters. His interests include child rearing, current events, reading, jogging, and bicycling.

Ronald Feenstra is co-editor with Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., of Trinity, Incarnation, and Atonement: Philosophical and Theological Essays.

Paul W. Fields
Theological Librarian

Phone: (616) 526-7041
Email: pfields@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Theological Librarian

Paul Fields is a theologian with an emphasis on service. Paul has degrees in history, systematic theology and library science. His responsibility as a theological librarian at Calvin Theological Seminary is to provide access to theological materials in a timely, efficient and up to date way. Paul is also the curator of the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies and specializes in the collecting, care, and preservation of rare collections from the sixteenth century.

“Reformed education recognizes that work done in the study is a matter of thinking God’s thoughts after him as his revelation in Scripture and nature is studied. Such ongoing education can only call for humble, worshipful scholarship. When students work and live in the context of such scholarly service to God, they minister with integrity and speak the truth with conviction -truth based upon God’s revelation in Scripture. My hope is that both students and faculty will also live in such a way that appreciation for God’s grace and his primacy in all things is evident.”

Danjuma Gibson
Associate Professor of Pastoral Care

Phone: (616) 957-6025
Email: dgg085@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Associate Professor of Pastoral Care

Dr. Danjuma Gibson is an associate professor of pastoral care at Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS). He is also in private practice as a psychotherapist in Grand Rapids, MI.  Prior to joining CTS, he was the senior pastor of a church in Chicago for over sixteen years and was also bivocational as a commercial banker during that time. His most recent book—Frederick Douglass, A Psychobiography: Rethinking Subjectivity in the Western Experiment of Democracy (2018)—is an investigation into the formation of Douglass’ psychological and religious identity in the context of trauma and the American slavocracy. In addition to emotional and psychological trauma, Dr. Gibson’s current research includes exploring the intersection of black religious experience and psychoanalytic discourse in a way that is accretive to how we understand personhood, identity formation, and human flourishing. Dr. Gibson earned his Bachelor of Arts from Morehouse College, Master of Business Administration from DePaul University, Master of Arts in Urban Ministry and Master of Christian Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Doctor of Philosophy from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. He received his clinical training from the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago where he earned an Advance Certificate in Psychotherapy and Religion. Dr. Gibson holds memberships in the American Academy of Religion, The Society of Pastoral Theology, and the Society for the Study of Black Religion.

Lee Hardy
Adjunct Professor of Philosophical Theology

Phone: (616) 526-6417
Email: lhardy@calvin.edu
Profile x
Adjunct Professor of Philosophical Theology

Lee Hardy has taught in the Calvin College philosophy department since 1981, and at Calvin Theological Seminary since 2002. Lee has lectured across North America, Canada, Europe, and more recently in Asia including Korea and mainland China. He is the author of The Fabric of this World, a book on the philosophy of human labor and the theology of vocation, which was translated into French, Spanish and Chinese.

“Teaching in the PhD program at the seminary has been both a challenge and a joy for me. I enjoy the diversity of students, their camaraderie, and the uniformly high level of motivation. I learn a good deal from them, as I hope they do from me. I sense that my background in post-Kantian European philosophy complements my colleagues’ work in historical and systematic theology quite well.”

Lee Hardy is married to Judy and they have four children. Lee and his family are long time members of Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, MI.

Scott E. Hoezee
Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching

Phone: (616) 957-6085
Email: seh6@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching

B.A. (Calvin College, 1986)
M.Div. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1990)

Rev. Scott E. Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church in North America and has served two congregations. He was the pastor of Second Christian Reformed Church in Fremont, Michigan, from 1990-1993. Then from 1993-2005 he was the Minister of Preaching and Administration at Calvin CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the spring of 2005 Scott accepted the Seminary’s offer to become the first Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching. He has also been a member of the Pastor-Theologian Program sponsored by the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, where he was pastor-in-residence in the fall of 2000. From 2001-2011 Scott served on the editoral board of Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought and was co-editor of that journal from 2005-2011. Scott says this about his work:

“If you talk to just about anyone in any part of the church world, one thing you will hear over and again is a desire to hear fine preaching in our congregations. At the Center for Excellence in Preaching we hope to do anything and everything we can to provide pastors with all the ideas, resources, and direction we can think of in order to help them in the always-difficult, yet utterly vital, task of proclaiming the Word of God to a world starving for the gospel’s good news.”

Rev. Hoezee is married to Rosemary Apol and they have two children, Julianna and Graham. He enjoys birdwatching, snorkeling, and exploring the beauties and wonders of God’s great creation.

Rev. Hoezee is the author of several books including The Riddle of Grace (1996), Flourishing in the Land (1996),Remember Creation (1998), Speaking as One: A Look at the Ecumenical Creeds (1997), Speaking of Comfort: A Look at the Heidelberg Catechism (1998), and Proclaim the Wonder: Preaching Science on Sunday (2003).

Young Ahn Kang
Visiting Professor of Philosophical Theology

Email: yak049@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Young Ahn Kang began his studies at Korea Theological College and Seminary where he became interested in the thought of Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck. This led him to begin to study Dutch language. He got a B.A. in Dutch and Philosophy, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Seoul, Korea), Bachelor and Master in Philosophy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Louvain, Belgium) and Ph.D, in philosophy, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands). For 32 years he taught philosophy at several colleges and universities: University of Leiden (The Netherlands), Keimyung University (Daegu, Korea), Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI), and Sogang University. Since 2015, he is professor emeritus of Sogang University. He served as the President of Korean Philosophical Association, the President of Korean Kant Society, the co-chair of Korean Christian Ethics Movement, the Chair of Korean Association of Christian Scholarship, and most recently he served as President of the Kosin University and Korea Theological Seminary Board of Trustees and the Director of the National Humanities Committee in Korea. Research and Teaching Interests. Christian Philosophy, Philosophical Theology, Christian Apologetics, Christian Ethics, Modern and Contemporary European Philosophy, Philosophy of Culture, Philosophy of Everyday Life. Major Publications (Books) The Reformation and Scholarship (2016); Where is Philosophy? The Place of Philosophy between Life and Texts (2012); Lectures on the Ten Commandments: The Way of Freedom and The Way of Humans (2009), Metaphysics of Kant and Representational Thinking (2009); God in the Age of Atheism: Lectures on the First Line of the Apostles’ Creed (2007); The Face of the Other: Philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas (2005).
Robert Keeley
Visiting Professor of Discipleship and Faith Formation Director of Distance Education

Phone: (616) 526-6816
Email: rkeeley@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Visiting Professor of Discipleship and Faith Formation Director of Distance Education B.A (Calvin College, 1976) M.A. (University of Colorado, 1983) Ph.D. (University of Denver, 1989). After 20 years of teaching high school and middle school in New Jersey,  Colorado and Michigan, and twenty years of teaching in the Education Department at Calvin College, Robert Keeley joined the faculty of CTS in 2017. He was no stranger to the students or faculty, though, having served (and continuing) as the director of the Distance Learning program since 2014 and also teaching courses for the Seminary. He and his wife Laura have also served as the Directors of Children’s Ministry at 14th Street Christian Reformed Church in Holland, MI since 1991. After beginning his career as a math teacher, and author of few math textbooks for college students, Robert turned his attention to his other area of interest, how children and teens develop faith. He has been a frequent speaker at schools, churches, and conferences in the U.S. and Canada. He is also a musician and worship leader and is a collaborating partner with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He also continues to serve the Education Department at Calvin College half time. Robert and Laura have four married children and two grandchildren. Robert is the author or co-author of Helping Our Children Grow in Faith (Baker, 2008) Celebrating the Milestones of Faith (Faith Alive, 2009) Together We Worship (Christian Schools International, 2008), Psalms for Families (Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, 2013), Precalculus A Study of Functions and Their Applications (Harcourt, 2001), a dozen Christmas plays for children, numerous articles, book chapters and reviews and the editor of Shaped By God (Faith Alive, 2010). Speaking Topics: Faith Formation, The faith of children and teens, teaching and discipleship, Bible storytelling.
Karin Maag
Director of the Meeter Center for Calvin Studies, Editor of Calvin Theological Journal, and Adjunct Professor of the History of Christianity

Phone: (616) 526-6089
Email: kmaag@calvin.edu
Profile x
Director of the Meeter Center for Calvin Studies, Editor of Calvin Theological Journal, and Adjunct Professor of the History of Christianity B.A., Western Society and Culture/Religion, Concordia University, Montreal M.Phil., Renaissance and Reformation History, University of Saint Andrews, Scotland Ph.D., Reformation History, University of Saint Andrews, Scotland   Karin Maag is the Director of the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies (in Hekman Library), one of the world's foremost collections of works on or by John Calvin. She has directed the Center since 1997. As well as her Seminary appointment, she is a tenured full professor in the history department at Calvin College. At the Seminary, she has taught classes at the MDiv, ThM, and PhD levels. She is the author of numerous books, book chapters, and articles. Her most recent publications include Lifting Hearts to the Lord: Worship with John Calvin in Sixteenth-Century Geneva (Eerdmans, 2016) and Does the Reformation Still Matter? (Calvin College Press, 2016). Her research interests include church and state issues in the Reformation era, the training of pastors, and early modern higher education. As editor of the Calvin Theological Journal, she encourages article-length submissions (8,000 to 10,000 words) in church history, biblical studies, missiology, theology, and ethics. Shorter studies with practical pastoral applications (c. 5,000 words) are also welcome. Potential contributors are encouraged to read the submission guidelines for the journal before sending in their work. See http://www.calvinseminary.edu/wp-content/uploads/CTJ-Guidelines-for-Manuscripts-and-Reviews.pdf Karin is married to Chris, a British-born marine biologist. Her interests include cycling, baking, reading historical mysteries, and choral singing.  
David B. Malone
Dean of College & Seminary Library

Phone: (616) 526-6072
Email: david.malone@calvin.edu
Profile x
Dean of College & Seminary Library
George M Marsden
Distinguished Scholar in the History of Christianity
Profile x
Distinguished Scholar in the History of Christianity

B.A. Haverford College, 1959 B.D. Westminster Theological Seminary, 1963 M.A. (1960) and Ph.D. (1965) Yale University

Research and Teaching Interests

American religion and culture; American evangelicalism and the role of Christianity in American higher education

Recent Publications

Fundamentalism and American Culture (Second Edition), New York: Oxford University Press, 2006 (1980). Jonathan Edwards: A Life. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship. New York, Oxford University Press, 1997. The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1991. (A collection of previously published essays).

Stan Mast
Adjunct Professor of Preaching

Phone: (616) 957-8592
Email: sm085@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Adjunct Professor of Preaching Calvin College, BA, 1968; Calvin Theological Seminary, BD, 1971; Calvin Theological Seminary, ThM in systematic theology, 1986; Denver Seminary, DMin in preaching, 1994. Stan spent 41 years in parish ministry in four very different churches: St. Louis, MO, Colorado Springs, CO, Byron Center, MI, and Grand Rapids, MI (where he was Minister of Preaching at the LaGrave Avenue CRC for 22 years). For three years, he was Coordinator of Field Education at Calvin Seminary before his stint at LaGrave. In 2012, Stan retired and then promptly un-retired to return to Calvin as Adjunct Professor of Preaching. While I was still in high school, I received a very direct call from God to spend my life in ministry. That call has always been first and foremost a call to preach the Gospel, because, as Paul says in Romans 8, "faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ." It has been my joy to preach Christ for 45 years now and my privilege to see faith take root and flourish in response to that preaching. Stan is approaching 50 years of marriage. He and his wife enjoy their two sons and their five grandchildren. In his spare time, Stan keeps trying to solve the mystery that is golf. Areas of Interest: Preaching Christ from the Old Testament, Using the Heidelberg Catechism as a Map for Biblical Preaching, Various Styles of Preaching Possible Educational Offerings: series on Biblical Characters (Abraham, David, Joseph, etc.); series on books of the Bible (Minor Prophets, Gospel of Mark, Epistle to the Romans, Revelations, etc.); consulting with churches that want to do long range planning; preaching in churches all over West Michigan and beyond.
Julius Medenblik
President, Professor of Church Planting and Leadership

Phone: (616) 957-6044
Email: jmedenblik@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
President B.A. (Trinity Christian College, 1982) J.D. (University of Florida, 1984) M.Div. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1995)

Julius Ted Medenblik, the eldest son of Lambert and Martha Medenblik (nee Vander Ploeg) was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1960. His family became charter members of Faith Christian Reformed Church and for a short time he attended Kalamazoo North Christian School. In 1966 the family returned to the Fulton, Illinois, area when his father purchased the family farm that had been previously rented by Jul’s grandfather. There Jul attended Fulton Christian Grade School and Fulton Community High School, and the family joined Bethel Christian Reformed Church, also in Fulton.

After high school, Jul attended Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois. He graduated with a major in Philosophy and double minors in English and History while on a pre-law track that included a semester internship at a legal aid clinic in Harvey, Illinois. While at Trinity, he met Jackie Klain from Lansing, Illinois. Three weeks after graduation, Jul and Jackie were married, and three days after that they moved to Gainesville, Florida, where Jul entered the University of Florida Law School. During his law school days, Jul served as research assistant for Professor Joseph W. Little.

After graduating with a Juris Doctor degree cum laude, Jul obtained a position as an associate in the law firm of Stewart, Call, Byrd & Rozelle in Palm Beach, Florida. The Medenbliks joined Lake Worth Christian Reformed Church in Lake Worth, Florida, where Jul served as a Sunday School teacher and superintendent, catechism teacher, elder, and eventually chair of a Pastoral Search Committee. It is during those years that he felt called by God to ordained ministry, and in 1991 Jul, Jackie, and their four-year-old son, Joshua, left Florida and entered a Master of Divinity program at Calvin Theological Seminary. While at CTS, Jul did a summer assignment at Providence Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan, and a full-year internship at First Calgary Christian Reformed Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was during the internship year that their daughter Julianne was born.

Following graduation in 1995, Jul accepted a call to Orland Park CRC in Orland Park, Illinois, to be the founding pastor of a church plant in New Lenox, Illinois. New Life Christian Reformed Church began worship services in a public high school auditorium in 1996, was organized as a congregation in 2002, and moved into its own building in 2003. During this time the church expanded from one to three worship services with over 700 people in total attendance.

Jul has served as a former board member and president of the CRC Loan Fund; former board member and president of the Chicago Christian Counseling Center; former board member and chair of the Classis Chicago South Home Missions Committee; Synodical Deputy from Classis Chicago South; board member and president of the Calvin Seminary Board of Trustees; synodical delegate to the synods of 1990, 2002, and 2006; and Church Planting and Development Point Team Leader for Christian Reformed Home Missions.

Upon receiving this latest appointment, Rev. Medenblik stated, “I am humbled by the opportunity to move from serving the church as a local pastor and in various denominational settings to the presidency of Calvin Theological Seminary. One picture that we have in church planting in the Christian Reformed Church is embodied in the phrase, ‘Deep Roots, New Branches.’ Calvin Theological Seminary is deeply rooted in and nurtured by the church. We have a great opportunity to use those roots to nourish preachers and church leaders for the ministries and new opportunities that await us in the mission field around each and every one of us.”

John M. Rottman
Professor of Preaching

Phone: (616) 957-6017
Email: jmr9@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Professor of Preaching B.A. (Calvin College, 1977) M.A. (University of St. Michaels College, 1987) M.Div. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1987) Th.D. (Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto and The Toronto School of Theology), 1996

“My excitement for preaching has everything to do with Jesus.” John Rottman’s love for Jesus has been there as long as he can remember, and his love for theology, at least as far back as grade 3! John pursued this passion with an undergraduate degree in philosophy and Greek, and continued in Toronto with graduate studies in theology. John spent five years working in a psychiatric hospital and it was during that time that John felt a call to the pastorate – but wasn’t so sure about preaching. This changed during his time in seminary. While writing his first sermon at Calvin Theological Seminary, he felt strongly that this was another piece of his calling. It is with a strong theological training, and understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in preaching, that John now equips students to bring proclaim the gospel through the medium of preaching.  Recently, John has become involved with seminary education in prisons.

“Now after preaching for nearly twenty years and teaching it now for twenty, I have learned some things about preaching, even as I continue to struggle. As preachers we are vulnerable in the pulpit and perhaps never more so than as students. I am reminded of this every time I preach and especially when I preach one of my own sermons to a preaching class.As a teacher of preaching I welcome the challenge of learning with my students as we together invite God to shape us as preachers and disciples of Jesus.”

John is married to Marilyn and they have three adult children.

Speaking Topics

Four Pages of a Sermon

Prison Ministry

David M. Rylaarsdam
Professor of the History of Christianity and Worship

Phone: (616) 957-6035
Email: drylaars@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Professor of Historical Theology A.B. (Dordt College, 1989) M.Div. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1993) M.A., Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame, 1997, 2000)

David Rylaarsdam began his teaching career at Smith Memorial Bible College in Nigeria, and since has taught at the University of Notre Dame, Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and now, Calvin Theological Seminary. He has also served a variety of churches as interim pastor and received missionary training in Mexico City. David sees church history as an opportunity to listen to testimonies of older brothers and sisters in the faith.

“As my students and I listen, we respond to these testimonies in our writing and reflection, in our discussions, in what we believe and in how we live. In other words, we are drawn into conversation with these believers spread through all time. We become part of their community. I relish being a leader and participant in this community discussion, a guide and fellow inquirer with my students as our faith seeks understanding, as we seek guidance from our sisters and brothers of all ages in how to read Scripture, how to make disciples, how to discern wisely the spirits of our age, how to avoid the mistakes of the past. I pray that my students will be persuaded to perceive the story of God’s people as their story so that they may grow wiser and be drawn into a richer, more intimate union with God, the main actor in their stories.”

David is married with three children.

David has contributed to numerous publications and presentations. His dissertation topic was “The Adaptability of Divine Pedagogy: Sugkatabasis in the Theology and Rhetoric of John Chrysostom.”

Speaking Topics

Children at the Lord’s Supper
Spiritual Formation:
Spiritual Formation and the Spiritual Disciplines
Worship in the Early Church
Jeffrey Sajdak
Dean of Students

Phone: (616) 957-6042
Email: js036@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Dean of Students

Prior to coming to Calvin Seminary, Jeff Sajdak served as a pastor for 20 years in 3 congregations: Fairway CRC in Jenison, MI; Immanuel CRC in Orange City, IA; and First CRC in Pella, IA. He earned his M.Div. (1990) and his D.Min. in Spiritual Formation (2005) from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN.

Jeff has an interest in spiritual formation, particularly for pastors, missionaries, and other church leaders.

“My desire is to assure that Calvin Seminary is a safe and healthy community where leaders, current and future, are formed in Christ for a lifetime of faithful service.”

Jeff has led retreats, small groups, and workshops on topics related to spiritual formation, including soul care for pastors and church leaders and their families, individual and group spiritual discernment, and group spiritual direction. He is also available to preach.

Jeff delights in his family; loves playing tennis, golf, or a rousing board game; and cheers enthusiastically for his beloved Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.

Sarah Schreiber
Assistant Professor of Old Testament

Phone: (616) 957-6069
Email: ss033@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Assistant Professor of Old Testament
Director of the MTS Program

Sarah Schreiber joined the faculty of Calvin Seminary in 2014. Her research interests include Second Temple Judaism and early interpretations of scripture. She also regularly teaches Hebrew and other ancient Near Eastern languages. As the Director of the MTS Program, Sarah advises all MTS students and leads a mentoring group of first-year students.

Sarah earned her B.A. from Calvin College and M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Notre Dame in Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity.

Sarah is an associate pastor at Grace Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. She and her husband, Ryan, have one son, a busy toddler. Together they enjoy playing in the neighborhood and hosting family and friends.

Kathleen Smith
Adjunct Professor of Church Polity

Phone: (616) 526-6043
Email: kss4@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Adjunct Professor of Church Polity

B.A. (Calvin College, 1980)
M.Div. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 2001)
Th.M. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 2006)

As Adjunct Professor of Church Polity at Calvin Theological Seminary, Kathy Smith enjoys helping to prepare pastors for leadership roles in the church and assisting them in effective leadership when they are in ministry.  Kathy consults with pastors and other leaders in congregations, regional classes and denominational positions regarding the application of church order to specific situations, and serves as a regular adviser to the synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA).  She believes that understanding the history and theology behind church polity helps us to understand how to live and work together well as a denomination.

Kathy also serves as the Associate Director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, and Program Manager for its Grants Programs (http://worship.calvin.edu/about/staff-directory/kathy-smith).  There she oversees an ecumenical grants program that encourages vital worship in a variety of worshiping communities, and is part of the leadership team for the Worship Institute, which promotes the scholarly study of worship and the renewal of worship in congregations across North America.

Kathy is the author of Stilling the Storm: Worship and Congregational Leadership in Difficult Times (Alban Institute, 2006), a book that developed from her interaction with various congregations on behalf of the Worship Institute.  She is an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church and served two congregations in that denomination.  Kathy and her husband Doug have three married daughters.  They enjoy traveling and spending time with family.

Speaking Topics

Church Polity: We Are the Church Together Do Denominations Matter? What Does Church Membership Mean Today? Discipline or Discipling? Key Questions & Answers for Church Leaders Leadership: Stilling the Storm: Worship and Congregational Leadership in Difficult Times of Crisis, Transition and Conflict Effective Leadership in the Church Leading Through Change Church Order as a Tool for Effective Leaders Worship: The Deep Meaning and Purpose of Worship Dealing with Change in Worship Vital Worship: A Grants Program for Worshiping Communities Worshipping Well and Speaking Well about Worship Stilling the Storm: Worship and Congregational Leadership in Difficult Times of Crisis, Transition and Conflict
Matthew J Tuininga
Assistant Professor of Moral Theology

Phone: (616) 957-6023
Email: mtuininga@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Assistant Professor of Moral Theology B.A., History (Covenant College, 2004) M.Div. (Westminster Seminary California, 2009) Ph.D., Religion, Ethics and Society (Emory University, 2014) Website: www.matthewtuininga.wordpress.com Dr. Matthew Tuininga became Assistant Professor of Moral Theology at Calvin Theological Seminary in 2016. He previously taught at Emory University and Oglethorpe University, in Atlanta, Georgia, and at Sewanee, University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee. He preaches regularly and widely in Reformed and Presbyterian churches throughout North America and also speaks on topics revolving around Christian ethics and Christian cultural and political engagement. His first book, Calvin’s Political Theology and the Public Engagement of the Church: Christ’s Two Kingdoms was published with Cambridge University Press in 2017. He has written numerous articles and reviews for academic publications and also writes regularly in popular magazines and online. You can follow his online writings at his website, www.matthewtuininga.wordpress.com. Matt and his wife Elizabeth have three children.

Speaking Topics

Christianity and Culture Christianity and Politics Church and Social Justice Christian Life Sexuality Marriage


Christian Ethics Christian Moral Tradition Contemporary Moral Issues Virtue Ethics Sexuality and Marriage Church and Social Justice Religion and American Politics Political Theology Human Nature and the Social Order
Mary L. VandenBerg
Professor of Systematic Theology

Phone: (616) 957-6021
Email: mvberg96@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Associate Academic Dean Professor of Systematic Theology B.S. (Calvin College, 1981) M.T.S (Calvin Theological Seminary, 2002) Ph.D (Calvin Theological Seminary, 2008)

Mary Vanden Berg joined the faculty of Calvin Theological Seminary on July 1, 2008. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Kuyper College, Western Theological Seminary, and Calvin Theological Seminary. Her graduate work focused on atonement theology. Mary’s goal as a professor is to not only help her students understand the truths of theology, which can often seem abstract and difficult, but also to help them understand that theological understanding and piety are intimately intertwined.

“My students will tell you that I always ask the ‘So what?’ question. When I teach a concept, no matter how abstract it might seem, I try to give my students an idea of why it’s helpful for ministry, for understanding God, and for moving through life…My kids have taught me that if it doesn’t touch them in some way, what good is it?”

Mary lives in Hudsonville, Michigan with her husband, Skip. She has three married children and three grandchildren. She enjoys hiking, camping and downhill skiing. She also writes on her blog: Life, God, and Other Mysteries.

Speaking Topics

Prayer: The Chief Exercise of Faith
Disappointment, Despair, and God
Basic Christianity: The Niceano-Constantinopolitan Creed
Loving Your Neighbor With Dementia
Covenant as the Foundation of Renewed Community
Make Me Like a Tree: A Look at Psalm 1
Geoff Vandermolen
Director of Vocational Formation

Phone: (616) 957-6045
Email: gav016@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Director of Vocational Formation

B.A. (Calvin College, 1992)
M.Div. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1996)
D.Min. (Arcadia University, 2015)

After 20 years as a pastor, Geoff Vandermolen joined the Calvin Theological Seminary faculty as Director of Vocational Formation in 2016. He and his wife Kristin have two children.

Some have asked me why, after 20 years in pastoral ministry as a Lead Pastor as well as church planter, I would chose to take up a new role as the Director of Vocational Formation. Obviously, the simple answer is that God called me to it. However, we all know there’s more to it than that. In the ministry that I have been privileged to be part of these past 20 years I have seen some leaders thrive, and others stumble and fall. The pain of the fall is incalculable for the leader, their family and the ministry context/ church within which they serve. And yet, I remain deeply convinced that it need not be that way. In fact, a leader who knows the contours of their heart—both the good and the ugly, who is able to tend well to their person and matters of ego, who is able to be spiritually disciplined and attentive to the work of the Holy Spirit in their life—that leader can endure nearly anything. This leader will be able to thrive as they participate in God’s mission in this world. It is this care, investment in and serving of emerging leaders for the formation of their lives for the cause of Jesus Christ that I think made this new challenge irresistible. None of us can do this alone.

Speaking Topics

Leadership Models
Christian Leadership for local churches and organizations
Leadership Development for churches, individuals and organizations
Leadership Succession for local churches and organizations
Spiritual Formation and Leadership
Spiritual Mentoring
Leadership Coaching
Jeffrey Weima
Professor of New Testament
Phone: (616) 328-3110 Email: weimje@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Professor of New Testament B.A. (Brock University, 1983) M.Div. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1986) Th.M. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1987) Ph.D. (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, 1992)

Website: http://www.jeffreyweima.com/

Dr. Jeffrey Weima is Professor of New Testament at Calvin Theological Seminary, where he has taught for the past 25 years. He is a sought-after speaker who is able to communicate well the truths of the Bible in an interesting, contemporary and practical manner. Jeff has published five books (Neglected Endings: The Significance of the Pauline Letter Closings [1994]; An Annotated Bibliography of 1 and 2 Thessalonians [1998]; 1 & 2 Thessalonians [2002]), recently completing a major commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians (Baker Books: 2014). His fifth and latest book, Paul the Ancient Letter Writer: An Introduction to Epistolary Analysis, appeared in the fall of this year (Baker Books: 2016). Jeff is also the author of numerous scholarly articles, academic essays and book reviews. He has taught courses all over the world: Hungary, Greece, Italy, South Korea, Kenya, Taiwan, The Philippines, and South Africa. Jeff is an active member of several academic societies, lectures overseas, leads biblical study tours to Greece, Turkey, Israel/Jordan, and Italy, conducts intensive preaching seminars for pastors, and preaches widely in the Christian Reformed Church as well as many other churches in both the USA and Canada. Jeff and his wife, Bernice, have been married for 33 years. They have four children and five very cute grandkids.

Speaking Topics

Dr. Weima is especially gifted in taking complex biblical subjects and not only presenting them in a clear, understandable and even entertaining way but also spelling out the practical implications of these matters for believers today. Consequently, he is frequently asked to serve as a keynote speaker for various organizations or to give inspirational addresses to a variety of audiences. He also often speaks to adult education classes on a variety of biblical subjects such as the following:
  •     How To Read the Bible For All Its Worth
  •     From Patmos to Paradise: The Seven Sermons to the Seven Churches of Rev 2-3
  •     Left Behind: Why Reformed Folks Should Leave These Books Behind
  •     The Rapture: A Biblical Truth or Mistaken Idea?
  •     Sex, Second Coming & Sanctification: 1 Thessalonians & Its Message for the Church Today
  •     Paul: Missionary & Letter Writer
  •     Neglected Letters of the New Testament (Philemon, Jude, 2 John)
  •     1 Corinthians and Its Message for the Church Today
  •     1 Corinthians 11:17-34: What Does It Mean for Children at the Lord's Supper?
  •     Same-Sex Activity: What does the New Testament Say?
Cory Willson
Jake and Betsy Tuls Assistant Professor of Missiology and Missional Ministry

Phone: (616) 957-6012
Email: cbw000@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Jake and Betsy Tuls Assistant Professor of Missiology and Missional Ministry

Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, California Polytechnic University, 2000 Masters of Business Administration, California Polytechnic University, 2000 Masters of Divinity, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2009 Ph.D. in Theology and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2015 Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, Vrije Universiteit, 2016

Cory's interests include Missiology, Public Theology, Biblical Theology, Interfaith Engagement, Theology of Work, Ethnography, the Psalms, and Reformed Theology.

Cory enjoys hiking, traveling, and meals with friends and family.

I am passionate about enriching the faith and practice of Christians through a sustained engagement with Scripture, theology and culture. My academic training and pastoral ministry have provided the theological and pedagogical training to help me equip men and women for a missional encounter with the cultural contexts in which they live and work.

John D. Witvliet
Professor of Worship

Phone: (616) 526-6806
Email: jwitvlie@calvinseminary.edu
Profile x
Professor of Worship B.A. (Calvin College, 1990) M.T.S. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1992) M.Mus. (University of Illinois, 1993) M.A., Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame, 1995, 1997)

John D. Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and professor of music and worship at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, respectively. He also teaches in the religion department at Calvin College. His areas of interest include the history of Christian worship, worship practices in various denominations, biblical and systematic theology of worship, the role of music and the arts in worship, and consulting with churches on worship renewal.

“At its best, Christian worship reflects and conveys the beauty of God, profound gratitude for the gospel of Christ, and eagerness to deepen self-giving service in God’s world. In my teaching, I hope to invite pastors and worship leaders to plan and lead services that reflect this vision, to offer worship that is both profoundly biblical and culturally relevant. An important part of this learning process is encountering the wisdom of Christian communities in cultures and historical periods very different from our own. Such encounters deepen our sense of solidarity with the whole body of Christ, and also sharpen, humble, and enrich our ministry.”

John Witvliet is the author of The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship: A Brief Introduction and Guide to Resources (Eerdmans, 2007), Worship Seeking Understanding: Windows into Christian Practice (Baker Academic, 2003), co-editor of Worship in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Change and Continuity in Religious Practice (University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), Proclaiming the Christmas Gospel: Ancient Sermons and Hymns for Contemporary Inspiration (Baker 2004), The Worship Sourcebook (Faith Alive/Baker, 2004), Dwelling with Philippians (Eerdmans, 2007), At Your Baptism (Eerdmans, 2011), Psalms for All Seasons (Faith Alive/Baker, 2012), co-author of Walking Where Jesus Walked: Worship in Fourth-Century Jerusalem (Eerdmans, 2010), and editor of A Child Shall Lead: Children in Worship (Choristers Guild, 1999). He serves as editor for three books series: the “Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies Series” (Eerdmans); “Church at Worship Series” (Eerdmans); and “Vital Worship, Healthy Congregations” (Alban Institute); as well as co-editor, with Pearl Shangkuan, of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Choral Music Series (GIA).

He is married to Charlotte van Oyen Witvliet, a professor of psychology at Hope College. They are parents of four very active children, Sheila Grace, Kate, Madeline, and Luke.

Speaking Topics

The Theology and Practice of the Lord’s Supper
The Theology and Practice of Baptism
The Glory of God and the Re-centering of Christian Worship
The Life-Changing Perspective of Trinitarian Worship
How Worship Connects with Every Other Ministry in Your Church
Sunday Morning Parenting: Helping Kids Worship
Vatican II, Willow Creek, and P&W: Why Worship Has Changed Over the Years
Praying the Psalms in Private and Public Worship
Ancient Future Worship: What We Learn About Worship from the Early Church
The Building Blocks of Worship Renewal
The Nuts and Bolts of Worship Planning
Catholics, Pentecostals, Anglicans, Orthodox, Methodists and Calvinists: Exploring the Denominational Spectrum of Worship Practices