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Academics / Departments & Programs / German / About Us

Studying the language, literature and culture of German-speaking countries offers a rewarding entry into a kaleidoscope of profound ideas, challenging creativity and key perspectives on our modern world. We invite you to join us in learning one of the world’s major languages and cultures—past and present.

Our German department offers:

  • Four academic programs, along with courses that fulfill Calvin’s core curriculum requirements for foreign language study, literature, the arts and rhetoric
  • Study abroad options and global internships that will immerse you in the language and culture of Germany
  • Individual attention from outstanding teachers and scholars in the German department

Quick Facts

  • 6

    countries for which German is an official language.


    German is the third most commonly taught language worldwide.


    number of German companies that operate in the USA (more than any other language).


    Germany spends the fourth most on research and development.

  • 4

    Germany has the fourth largest economy in the world.


    Germany is the third largest donor of aid to developing countries.

Why German?

German is profoundly useful across a broad number of professional and academic fields. From business and the STEM disciplines to any of the humanities, social sciences and international development, German gives you an edge. Consider these few facts.

Beyond the sheer utility of the German language, German history and culture are enormously interesting in their own right. In the past century, Germany has lived under five different governments - the imperial monarchy, the Weimar Republic, the totalitarian Hitler Regime, the totalitarian Socialist Regime of the GDR, and the parliamentary democracy of the Federal Republic.

Although no longer divided by the infamous Berlin Wall, Germany remains a country of fast-paced change, diversity and contradiction. Germany has been gifted with world-famous musicians, writers, philosophers and theologians. Simultaneously, however, Germany continues to wrestle with its dark past and the atrocities and oppression perpetrated by the Nazis and the East German state.

Because of its unique history, the study of German language, literature and culture is particularly fascinating and rewarding. We invite you to explore with us both Germany's past and present. We offer the study of German within the context of a broad liberal arts education presented from a Christian perspective.


Our department is home to a highly qualified and active group of faculty who bring both considerable expertise in their field and an intentionally Christian perspective to their teaching. Our faculty have co-authored five innovative German textbooks used in both the U.S. and Europe. They play leading roles in national professional organizations and offer expertise in national and international conversations regarding language and culture learning.

German in the world

As an official language of Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland, the German language can open doors to the world-renowned writings, compositions, philosophical ideas, theological teachings, art and science of these countries.

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