Calvin University

The Strange Story of the Professor and the Dutch Chair

The Strange Story of the Professor and the Dutch Chair

During the early spring of 1911, leading Dutch Reformed folk in Chicago and Michigan were fighting about a professor. The issue was not, as you might think, unorthodox theology or dangerous ideas. It was who should be the new professor of Dutch history, language, and […]

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 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. […]

A Digital Future for Old Postcards

A Digital Future for Old Postcards

In November 1918, young George Faber sent a postcard home to Michigan from Russia. He was part of the 339th Infantry Regiment and American Expeditionary Force, North Russia that intervened in the Russian civil war after the communist revolution of 1917. It was known as […]

“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 […]

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 […]

Garrett Heyns and the Calvin Prison Initiative

Garrett Heyns and the Calvin Prison Initiative

Garrett Heyns (1891-1969) died five decades before the Calvin Prison Initiative was born, but it is a part of his legacy. Heyns was a Christian educator whose vocation took an unexpected turn in 1937. Things started conventionally enough for the Calvin alum. He was born […]

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 […]