Calvin Theological Seminary

Preserving Our COVID-19 Stories

Preserving Our COVID-19 Stories

“The influenza played havoc with everything run to schedule in our village and vicinity. Churches, Schools, Movies, even Poolrooms were promptly closed in the beginning of the dreaded disease, even before it had really reached us, and by the time the Flu caught us in […]

The Life and Ministry of Johannes Groen, 1865-1924

The Life and Ministry of Johannes Groen, 1865-1924

Humble origins and deep piety marked the Dutch Reformed immigrants who came to Michigan in the mid-nineteenth century. So to did a love of learning, especially theology, and an inclination to apply Reformed theology and thought to all aspects of life. All these characteristics marked […]

Early Chinese Leaders in the Christian Reformed Church

Early Chinese Leaders in the Christian Reformed Church

Dutch immigrants probably come to mind when people think of the ethnic history of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC). But that history is an ethnically diverse one, and not just in recent decades. Chinese communities in the CRC date to the 1950s […]

Failure in Maxwell, New Mexico, or Faithful Legacy?

Failure in Maxwell, New Mexico, or Faithful Legacy?

The story of frontier families and settlements is one of triumph in American mythology, creating civilization out of wilderness. The actual history of frontier life includes a lot of failure, however. Failed homesteads, with families moving on to start over somewhere else. Communities beginning, then […]

The Flu Epidemic of 1918-1919 and “Churchless Sunday”

The Flu Epidemic of 1918-1919 and “Churchless Sunday”

“What’s happening is unprecedented!” I keep hearing people say that about Covid-19 (a coronavirus). Some seem to mean that a pandemic like this is unprecedented. Others mean that the public health response—shutting down schools, sporting events, perhaps eventually churches, etc.—is unprecedented. Neither is unprecedented, really. […]

“Ideals for the School” — Calvin University in 1926

“Ideals for the School” — Calvin University in 1926

Calvin “University” is about five months old. The idea of a “Calvin University” goes back almost a century, to the founding era of Calvin College as a four-year, bachelor’s degree-granting school. In 1926 to mark Calvin’s fiftieth anniversary, supporters published the Semi-Centennial Volume: Theological School […]

Family, Land, and Church –  Founding Drayton CRC

Family, Land, and Church – Founding Drayton CRC

The stories of churches and families are intertwined. My grandfather, Frank Visscher, and his family emigrated from the Netherlands in March 1949, arriving in Canada on the RMS Aquitania in early April. He had been a prosperous farmer in the Netherlands. But he wanted land […]

The Madison Campus, Then and Now

The Madison Campus, Then and Now

The current Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary campus–named after the “Knollcrest” farm, purchased in 1956–is the fourth for two institutions. Earlier Calvin campuses, going back to 1876, were on William Street, Madison and Fifth, and Franklin Street. This rephotography post focuses on the Madison […]

Why Origins Online?

Why Origins Online?

Origins Online? Why? I am a digital person. I have a blog and several social media accounts. But I remember when life was analog. I learned to type on a manual typewriter in the early 1980s. In college I wrote papers and an undergraduate thesis […]