New lectures every semester! Please check back.

Upcoming FALL 2021 Lectures

Wednesday, September 1, 2021, 3:00 pm EDT

Communities of Faith and Affordable Housing, by Lee Hardy

In Person at the Recital Hall of the Covenant Fine Arts Center or online.

The United States is in the grips of an affordable housing crisis. And the crisis will only grow more acute as the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic play out. In this session, Lee Hardy will take you on a tour of some of the most effective and creative ways communities of Christian faith have addressed and advanced the cause of affordable housing in their cities and neighborhoods—from tiny home villages, to new construction on church properties, to adding affordable rental units to main sanctuary buildings. Reference will be made to the ways various church resources—time, money, land, buildings, and partnerships—can be mobilized to provide shelter to the homeless and the housing-insecure in Christ’s name. A brief look at the 500-year tradition of religiously founded affordable courtyard housing in the Netherlands will be included. 

Lee Hardy, is a Calvin University professor emeritus of philosophy and urban studies. Completing a grant project on faith communities and affordable housing convinced Lee Hardy that justice and worship are internally linked. He is a long-time member of Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) and is the affordable housing contact for CNU’s Christian Caucus.

Go to this link and click MORE INFORMATION to join the lecture.

Thursday, September 2, 2021, 3:00 pm EDT

City on a Hill: A History of American Exceptionalism, by Abram Van Engen

Online Only

Based on his most recent book published in 2020, Professor Abram Van Engen will show how the phrase “city on a hill,” appearing in an obscure 1630 Puritan sermon by Massachusetts Bay governor John Winthrop, shaped the story of American exceptionalism in the 20th century. Now considered one of the most famous sermons in American history, in its own day, Winthrop's text was almost entirely forgotten and unknown. This sermon’s rags‑to‑riches rise reveals the way national stories take shape and shows us how they continue to influence competing visions of the country—the many different meanings of America that emerge from its literary past.

 Abram Van Engen, a Calvin University graduate, is Professor of English and (by courtesy) Professor of Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. Van Engen has published widely on religion and literature, focusing especially on seventeenth-century Puritans and the way they have been remembered and remade in American culture.

Go to this link and click MORE INFORMATION to join the lecture.

Underwritten by CALL and the William Spoelhof Society (WSS).


Monday, October 11, 2021, 3:00 pm EDT

Wildlife Kinship, Conservation, and Convergence by Timothy Van Deelen

In Person at the Recital Hall of the Covenant Fine Arts Center or online.

Wildlife conservation in North America is based on a property right which holds that the wild animals of a state or province are owned by the people of that state or province. A necessary corollary of this principle is the idea that animals are things that can be owned. Tim Van Deelen will examine this ideal in light of recent controversies over wildlife conservation in the Great Lakes region and recent scholarship on Christian approaches to Creation Care. 

Tim Van Deelen is a professor of wildlife ecology in the Department Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin. He teaches Animal Populations Dynamics and conducts research on the population biology of large mammals. Prior to joining the UW faculty in 2004, Tim worked (2000 – 2004) as a research wildlife ecologist for the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources and a research wildlife ecologist for the Illinois Natural History Survey (1995 – 2000). In Illinois, Tim held adjunct and joint assistant professorship with the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at U. of I. Urbana-Champaign. Tim earned his graduate degrees from Michigan State University (Ph.D., Wildlife Ecology 1995) and the University of Montana (M.S. Wildlife Biology 1991). He is a 1988 graduate of Calvin College (Biology), and grew up near Jamestown Michigan. 

Go to this link and click MORE INFORMATION to join the lecture.

POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING 2020

Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 3:00 pm EDT

Arthur Vandenberg, The Man in the Middle of the American Century, by Hank Meijer

In Person at the Recital Hall of the Covenant Fine Arts Center or online.

The idea that a Senator—Republican or Democrat—would put the greater good of the country ahead of party seems nearly impossible to imagine in our current climate of gridlock and divisiveness. But this hasn’t always been the case. Arthur H. Vandenberg (1884–1951), Republican from Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the model of a consensus builder, and the coalitions he spearheaded continue to form the foundation of American foreign and domestic policy today. Please join author Hank Meijer for a presentation on how Arthur Vandenberg forged a consensus that helped make the American Century. 

Hank Meijer is executive chairman of Meijer, Inc. in Grand Rapids.  He joined the family retail business at the age of 11 as a grocery clerk. After serving as a reporter for a Detroit-area newspaper group, he became editor and later publisher of a weekly newspaper in Plymouth, Michigan. He rejoined Meijer in 1979 as assistant advertising director. In 1984, he published Thrifty Years, a biography of Hendrik Meijer, the company’s founder and his grandfather.  His biography of Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg was recently published by the University of Chicago Press.

Go to this link and click MORE INFORMATION to join the lecture.

Friday, December 3, 2021, 1:30 pm EDT (Note different time)

Regenerative Agriculture, by Glenn Elzinga

In Person at the Recital Hall of the Covenant Fine Arts Center or online.

                   Lecture Details to follow.

Spring 2021 and Fall 2020

David Ryden The Coming of the Roberts Court...at Least for Now Watch Lecture

Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung Vainglory: A Vice that Glitters - Watch Lecture

Thomas J. Oord God Can’t: How to Believe in God and Love after Tragedy, Abuse, and Other Evils-  Watch Lecture

Chuck DeGroat Narcissism Comes to Church - Watch Lecture 

Micah Watson Is the U.S. Constitution Dead or Alive - Watch Lecture

Marjorie Goosen Introduction to the Art of Zentangle - Watch Lecture

Steve Heacock Restore the Rapids. - Watch Lecture

Favorite Past Lectures

Suzanne McDonald - Spring 2019 - Insights from a Neglected Day in Holy Week

 Watch lecture video

Bing Goei - A Personal Story About Immigration

 Watch lecture video

Warden DeWayne Burton and Todd Cioffi - Spring 2018 - Reforming a Prison: One Warden's Reflections on the Power of Education

 Watch lecture video

Henry Baron - Growing Up in WWII: Memories and Reflections that Don't Fade

 Watch lecture video

James Bratt (Calvin University history department) - Abraham Kuyper: Passion and Politics

 Watch lecture video

Bob Swierenga - Calvin Stories in the History of Holland

 Watch lecture video

Upcoming FALL 2021 Lectures

Wednesday, September 1, 2021, 3:00 pm EDT

Communities of Faith and Affordable Housing, by Lee Hardy

In Person at the Recital Hall of the Covenant Fine Arts Center or online.

The United States is in the grips of an affordable housing crisis. And the crisis will only grow more acute as the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic play out. In this session, Lee Hardy will take you on a tour of some of the most effective and creative ways communities of Christian faith have addressed and advanced the cause of affordable housing in their cities and neighborhoods—from tiny home villages, to new construction on church properties, to adding affordable rental units to main sanctuary buildings. Reference will be made to the ways various church resources—time, money, land, buildings, and partnerships—can be mobilized to provide shelter to the homeless and the housing-insecure in Christ’s name. A brief look at the 500-year tradition of religiously founded affordable courtyard housing in the Netherlands will be included. 

Lee Hardy, is a Calvin University professor emeritus of philosophy and urban studies. Completing a grant project on faith communities and affordable housing convinced Lee Hardy that justice and worship are internally linked. He is a long-time member of Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) and is the affordable housing contact for CNU’s Christian Caucus.

Go to this link and click MORE INFORMATION to join the lecture.

Thursday, September 2, 2021, 3:00 pm EDT

City on a Hill: A History of American Exceptionalism, by Abram Van Engen

Online Only

Based on his most recent book published in 2020, Professor Abram Van Engen will show how the phrase “city on a hill,” appearing in an obscure 1630 Puritan sermon by Massachusetts Bay governor John Winthrop, shaped the story of American exceptionalism in the 20th century. Now considered one of the most famous sermons in American history, in its own day, Winthrop's text was almost entirely forgotten and unknown. This sermon’s rags‑to‑riches rise reveals the way national stories take shape and shows us how they continue to influence competing visions of the country—the many different meanings of America that emerge from its literary past.

 Abram Van Engen, a Calvin University graduate, is Professor of English and (by courtesy) Professor of Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. Van Engen has published widely on religion and literature, focusing especially on seventeenth-century Puritans and the way they have been remembered and remade in American culture.

Go to this link and click MORE INFORMATION to join the lecture.

Underwritten by CALL and the William Spoelhof Society (WSS).


Monday, October 11, 2021, 3:00 pm EDT

Wildlife Kinship, Conservation, and Convergence by Timothy Van Deelen

In Person at the Recital Hall of the Covenant Fine Arts Center or online.

Wildlife conservation in North America is based on a property right which holds that the wild animals of a state or province are owned by the people of that state or province. A necessary corollary of this principle is the idea that animals are things that can be owned. Tim Van Deelen will examine this ideal in light of recent controversies over wildlife conservation in the Great Lakes region and recent scholarship on Christian approaches to Creation Care. 

Tim Van Deelen is a professor of wildlife ecology in the Department Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin. He teaches Animal Populations Dynamics and conducts research on the population biology of large mammals. Prior to joining the UW faculty in 2004, Tim worked (2000 – 2004) as a research wildlife ecologist for the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources and a research wildlife ecologist for the Illinois Natural History Survey (1995 – 2000). In Illinois, Tim held adjunct and joint assistant professorship with the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at U. of I. Urbana-Champaign. Tim earned his graduate degrees from Michigan State University (Ph.D., Wildlife Ecology 1995) and the University of Montana (M.S. Wildlife Biology 1991). He is a 1988 graduate of Calvin College (Biology), and grew up near Jamestown Michigan. 

Go to this link and click MORE INFORMATION to join the lecture.

POSTPONED UNTIL SPRING 2020

Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 3:00 pm EDT

Arthur Vandenberg, The Man in the Middle of the American Century, by Hank Meijer

In Person at the Recital Hall of the Covenant Fine Arts Center or online.

The idea that a Senator—Republican or Democrat—would put the greater good of the country ahead of party seems nearly impossible to imagine in our current climate of gridlock and divisiveness. But this hasn’t always been the case. Arthur H. Vandenberg (1884–1951), Republican from Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the model of a consensus builder, and the coalitions he spearheaded continue to form the foundation of American foreign and domestic policy today. Please join author Hank Meijer for a presentation on how Arthur Vandenberg forged a consensus that helped make the American Century. 

Hank Meijer is executive chairman of Meijer, Inc. in Grand Rapids.  He joined the family retail business at the age of 11 as a grocery clerk. After serving as a reporter for a Detroit-area newspaper group, he became editor and later publisher of a weekly newspaper in Plymouth, Michigan. He rejoined Meijer in 1979 as assistant advertising director. In 1984, he published Thrifty Years, a biography of Hendrik Meijer, the company’s founder and his grandfather.  His biography of Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg was recently published by the University of Chicago Press.

Go to this link and click MORE INFORMATION to join the lecture.

Friday, December 3, 2021, 1:30 pm EDT (Note different time)

Regenerative Agriculture, by Glenn Elzinga

In Person at the Recital Hall of the Covenant Fine Arts Center or online.

                   Lecture Details to follow.

Spring 2021 and Fall 2020

David Ryden The Coming of the Roberts Court...at Least for Now Watch Lecture

Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung Vainglory: A Vice that Glitters - Watch Lecture

Thomas J. Oord God Can’t: How to Believe in God and Love after Tragedy, Abuse, and Other Evils-  Watch Lecture

Chuck DeGroat Narcissism Comes to Church - Watch Lecture 

Micah Watson Is the U.S. Constitution Dead or Alive - Watch Lecture

Marjorie Goosen Introduction to the Art of Zentangle - Watch Lecture

Steve Heacock Restore the Rapids. - Watch Lecture

Favorite Past Lectures

Suzanne McDonald - Spring 2019 - Insights from a Neglected Day in Holy Week

 Watch lecture video

Bing Goei - A Personal Story About Immigration

 Watch lecture video

Warden DeWayne Burton and Todd Cioffi - Spring 2018 - Reforming a Prison: One Warden's Reflections on the Power of Education

 Watch lecture video

Henry Baron - Growing Up in WWII: Memories and Reflections that Don't Fade

 Watch lecture video

James Bratt (Calvin University history department) - Abraham Kuyper: Passion and Politics

 Watch lecture video

Bob Swierenga - Calvin Stories in the History of Holland

 Watch lecture video