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Academics / Departments & Programs / Congregational & Ministry Studies / Pre-Ministry / Advising

Advising team

Todd Cioffi

Prof. Cioffi ( is a professor in the Department of Congregational and Ministry Studies and an adjunct member of the Religion Department. He is the director of the Jubilee Fellows program, the director of the Calvin Prison Initiative and is a coordinator and advisor for the Department’s Ministry Leadership Minor and supervises ministry internships.

Mary Hulst

Pastor Mary ( is the university pastor and a faculty member of the Department of Congregational and Ministry Studies. She has ministry experience as a pastor, a university and seminary professor, and now, a chaplain.

Robert Keeley

Prof. Keeley ( teaches in the Department of Education and also is the Director of Distance Learning at Calvin Theological Seminary. He serves as the advisor for the Ministry Leadership Minor. 

Joanna Wigboldy

Prof. Wigboldy ( teaches in the Department of Congregational and Ministry Studies  An ordained minister, she directs the Ministry Leadership Cohort program at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.

John Witvliet

Prof. Witvliet ( is the chair of the Department of Congregational and Ministry Studies, the director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, a faculty member at Calvin Theological Seminary, a member of the music department faculty at the university, and an adjunct member of the religion department. Prof. Witvliet is the advisor best suited to work with students interested in worship and music related ministry.


The academic concentrations chosen by Calvin pre-ministry students range across the whole breadth of the liberal arts curriculum, with many students majoring in the humanities (e.g., history, religion, philosophy, foreign or classical languages), but other students majoring in the social or natural sciences. The liberal arts core curriculum covers most of the admissions requirements of the majority of divinity schools and theological seminaries. Whatever your major, if you are intending to pursue seminary after college, you should construct a pre-seminary program or line of study that will prepare you for post-university theological study.

Seminary requirements

The Association of Theological Schools recommends that pre-seminary students develop the ability to think carefully, communicate clearly, and do independent research. Pre-seminary students should also learn about human culture and society, and may find it useful to develop proficiency in Biblical languages, Latin, and modern languages. Pre-seminary students should consult the catalogs of the particular seminaries that they are considering attending for the specific admission requirements of those schools.

Since the admissions requirements of various theological and divinity schools differ slightly from one another, there is no single one-size-fits-all pre-seminary program at Calvin. In consultation with the university’s pre-ministry advisors, students should develop a pre-seminary program that fits their particular vocational aspirations and is in line with the expectations of the seminaries they might attend. Direct any questions to one of Calvin’s pre-ministry advisors. This team of advisors is committed to guiding you through the process of discerning a call to ministry.


A library of information about various seminaries and divinity schools is available to students. This collection is housed in the conference room of the Religion Department and is accessible during normal working hours.

Read the pre-ministry section of the university catalog.

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