Calvin offers majors and minors in both French and French education. The French department offers a wide range of courses that combine the study of French and francophone culture, literature and linguistics—all taught from a Christian perspective.

Quick Facts


In acknowledging the privileged role in the created world which language and culture play in achieving God’s purposes and in recognizing the responsibilities of Christians to serve God and others in every aspect of life, the Department of French is committed to teaching language, literature and culture; to providing appropriate service related to such teaching; and to engaging in scholarly exploration of the French language and francophone literatures and cultures.


Calvin’s three full-time French faculty members are dedicated Christians and scholars. Teaching is their first priority, an effort consistently recognized for its high quality. All have doctorates and are actively engaged in research programs.

French in the world

French is the official language of France and its overseas territories as well as Bénin; Burkina Faso; Central African Republic; Congo (Democratic Republic of); Congo (Republic of); Côte d'Ivoire; Gabon; Guinea; Luxembourg; Mali; Monaco; Niger; Sénégal; Togo; the Canadian province of Québec; and the Swiss districts of Vaud, Neuchâtel, Genève, and Jura.

French territories: Départements d'outre-mer (DOM) * French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Réunion Territoires d'outre mer (TOM) * French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, French southern and Antarctic lands Collectivités territoriales * Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Mayotte

French is a co-official language in Belgium, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti (the two official languages are French and French Creole), Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Switzerland, and Vanuatu.

In many countries, French plays an important role, either as an administrative, commercial, or international language or simply due to a significant French-speaking population: Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Dominica (French patois), Egypt, Greece, Grenada (French patois), Guinea-Bissau, India, Italy (Valle d'Aosta), Laos, Lebanon, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Poland, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Kingdom (Channel Islands), United States (Louisiana, New England), Vatican City, and Vietnam.