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Calvin University receives $11 million gift for global faculty development

Wednesday, July 1, 2020  
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Calvin University receives $11 million gift for global faculty development

The gift will assure Calvin remains a leader in the integration of faith and learning and will serve Christian faculty in higher ed around the world.

Calvin University is receiving an $11 million gift that will deepen the institution’s commitment to teach from a Reformed Christian perspective and expand its ability to shape Reformed Christian thought leadership around the world.

“This significant gift will enable every faculty member at Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary to be trained to think deeply about the integration of faith and learning from a Reformed perspective and help our faculty implement the best practices in doing this important work,” said Michael Le Roy, president of Calvin University.

The gift is from the estates of the late Rimmer and Ruth de Vries, the couple who funded the establishment of the Global Faculty Development Institute at Calvin in 2018. During their lives they also endowed Calvin’s annual Kuyper Conference and the Kuyper Prize, both named after 19th-century Dutch theologian Abraham Kuyper.

This most recent gift will enable faculty to have release time from teaching responsibility so they can take courses that will advance Christian understanding, provide time for faculty to develop curriculum and scholarship to enable Christian thought leadership, and offer opportunities for faculty members to receive mentoring from experienced faculty peers. In short, it will provide faculty an opportunity to deepen and strengthen their understanding of Reformed thinking—the idea that because all areas of study and life matter to God, then they are also worthy of renewal in the name of Jesus Christ. This means faculty’s ability to integrate faith and learning is essential in shaping their students and influencing their fields.

“No other Christian college or university in the world has a resource like this institute,” said Le Roy, who says the institute will be renamed The de Vries Institute for Global Faculty Development after the donors. “We are so grateful for the generosity of Ruth and Rimmer. Their gift will assure that Calvin remains a leader in providing the finest Reformed Christian education, and their legacy will extend far beyond the Calvin community.” Le Roy says the institute will serve Christian faculty in higher education institutions around the world through seminars, conferences, independent projects, and through shared access to digital teaching and scholarly resources.

The de Vries Institute for Global Faculty Development is the latest of 12 centers and institutes at Calvin University. The centers and institutes help Calvin promote Christian thought and action in key areas of education and culture.



Matt Kucinski
(616) 307-7429

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