Calvin College becoming university


Calvin College, with more than 3,700 students, is one of the nation's largest Christian colleges. Courtesy Calvin

A Grand Rapids-based college will undergo a major change this week.

Calvin College will be known as Calvin University starting on Wednesday. The private liberal arts institution will have university status after its Board of Trustees unanimously approved the change in May.

Calvin qualified for the distinction because it provides graduate programs such as Master of Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Speech Pathology and Audiology, and most recently Master of Accounting.

“This direction enables us to live into what has already been true about Calvin, and it will better position us for the innovative work that is necessary for the future,” Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin College, said in May. “We see this move providing a great opportunity to introduce more people to Calvin’s distinctive Christian mission.”

The change in name is a part of Calvin’s Vision 2030, which also includes becoming a trusted partner and having an identity across the world.

According to Calvin, the school would like to partner with groups of all different Christian traditions all over the world and, in turn, become a resource for others. The school also is seeking to share its Reformed Christian transformational vision.

“A move to a university with a liberal arts foundation both names what we already do and liberates us to do that work better,” Kevin den Dulk, political science professor at Calvin College and executive director of the Henry Institute, said in May. “I’m especially enthusiastic about using the university structure to expand our global reach, which is already considerable yet has a lot of room to grow.”

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