Professor J. Witvliet (chair)
Associate Professor T. Cioffi
The Department of Congregational and Ministry Studies aims to provide opportunities for classroom learning, research, and internships to help students critically examine how every other major and program in the university contributes to the life of the church and its ministries. Along with other contributions in culture and society more broadly, academic preparation for knowledgeable contributions to the church is crucial. This is accomplished through the offering of ministry studies courses, an internship program open to students in all majors, and ministry-related interim courses as determined.
The department offers students an integrated Ministry Leadership minor that can be combined with nearly any other major or program on campus. This flexible ministry minor allows students either to explore several areas of ministry or to emphasize studies in one of the following areas: community development, congregational studies, missions, music in worship, pastoral ministry, worship, youth ministry. Students in the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship’s Ministry Leadership Cohort are well positioned to complete a Ministry Leadership minor.
All students in the minor benefit from interdisciplinary study of congregational life (CMS 151 ), courses that explore both their area of emphasis and other ministry areas, liberal arts cognate courses that will provide essential supplemental perspectives on their area of emphasis, and an internship course with placement in their area of interest (CMS 381 )
The department does not offer any majors. We encourage students interested in careers in congregational and other ministries to attend seminary (see information below on pre-seminary advising), and to pursue a broad liberal arts education at Calvin University, with particular attention to the study of religion.
The department is the hub for the university’s advising of pre-ministry students. For further information, see the Pre-Professional Programs section of the catalog. A library of informational literature from various seminaries and divinity schools is available to pre-ministry students in the Religion Department faculty room.
Jubilee Fellows Program
The Jubilee Fellows program is a selective opportunity for Calvin University juniors to explore futures in ministry leadership. Each fall, junior-level students are selected to participate in the program. A spring seminar style course is followed by a 10-week summer internship. During the fall of their senior year, Fellows use their leadership gifts in service to the Calvin community.
We offer for-credit and non-credit ministry internships for those who want to explore church ministry. For-credit internships are described more fully under CMS 381. For non-credit internships, the relationship between student and church will be similar to that between a hospital intern and a teaching hospital. It will be an onsite experience with close supervision. Find out more about non-credit internships through the Career Center. Make an appointment to see Prof. Todd Cioffi or visit the Career Center to explore your options.
Ministry Resource Center
The Ministry Resource Center, located in the northeast corner of the fourth floor of the Hekman Library, provides resources for all students and regional community members involved in Bible studies, prayer ministries, worship leadership, urban neighborhood ministry, volunteer service, and more.
CoursesCongregational and Ministry Studies