The Department of Congregational and Ministry Studies (CMS) serves as the home of the pre-ministry advising program. A team of advisors connected to this department is committed to guiding students through the process of discerning a call to ministry by means of one-on-one conversations, as well as occasional events and programs held throughout the year. Students interested in ministry should direct any questions to pre-ministry advisors: T. Cioffi, director of the Jubilee Fellows program; M. Hulst, university chaplain; and J. Witvliet, chair of the CMS department director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.
The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) recommends that pre-seminary students develop the ability to think carefully, communicate clearly, and do independent research. Pre-seminary students should also learn about human culture and society, and may find it useful to develop proficiency in biblical languages, Latin, and modern languages. Due to differing expectations from different seminaries, the university has no formal program of pre-seminary study, but rather presents a series of suggested courses that students can consider in consultation with the university’s pre-seminary advisors. Pre-seminary students should consult the catalogs of the particular seminaries that they are considering attending for the specific admissions expectations of those schools.
Because many Calvin University students choose to attend Calvin Theological Seminary, and because of the close relationship between the two institutions, the admission requirements of the seminary are included here as an example of typical seminary admissions expectations. Students must meet all of the university’s requirements for a bachelor’s degree, as well as the admissions requirements of the seminary, including a minimum GPA of 2.67. Calvin Theological Seminary recommends that pre-seminary students emphasize the following areas of study: classical civilization, English, Greek, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology.
Calvin Seminary’s Master of Divinity (MDiv) program prepares persons for ordained ministry. To enter the MDiv program, pre-seminary students should complete at least two semester length courses each in English (including literature), history, philosophy (preferably history of philosophy), natural science, social science, and speech. Four semesters of Greek are encouraged. In order to fulfill these recommendations, Calvin students should consider including the following courses in their undergraduate programs: GREE 205 -GREE 206 ; PHIL 251 and PHIL 252 ; and COMM 101 and COMM 200 (THTR 203 is recommended).
Calvin Seminary’s Master of Arts (MA) degrees (with concentrations in evangelism and mission, educational ministries, worship, pastoral care, youth and family ministries, and Bible & theology) prepare persons for leadership in various areas of church ministry. The seminary recommends that students take one college course each in English, literature, philosophy, and speech, as well as two each in history, natural science, and social science. In addition, for the MA in evangelism and missions, one college course is required in cultural anthropology; and for the MA in worship, two college courses are required in music or the arts.
Calvin Seminary’s Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program provides a theological education that emphasizes vocational objectives for students who are not seeking ordination, as well as preparation for further academic study in Bible and theology. It is recommended that college students take at least two semester length courses each in English (including literature), history, philosophy, natural science, and social science. Four semesters of Greek are also encouraged.