Jeffrey Bouman

Jeffrey Bouman


  • BA (Sociology, Calvin College, 1987)
  • MA (Student Personnel, Slippery Rock University, 1989)
  • PhD (Higher Education, University of Michigan, 2004)


Jeff Bouman is a member of the faculty and the Director of the Service-Learning Center at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He is a graduate of Calvin College (BA Sociology, 1987), Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania (MA Student Personnel, 1989), and the University of Michigan (PhD, Education, 2004).  His research interests include: the affects of service-learning on long-term citizenship development; international service-learning; the role of religion in the history of American higher education; the role that experience, service, and reflection play in the learning process for college and university students; and activism in the context of Christian college students. Jeff has been at Calvin since 2002 and he collaborates widely in the area of college students and their making connections between intellectual, spiritual and geographical dimensions of their lives.  Married with two adult children, Jeff is an active member of Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, where he has served as chair of elders, chair of deacons, member of the racial justice team, youth leader, adult education coordinator, and social justice committee. He has extensive international experience, having lived in Mexico City, Mexico, and Budapest, Hungary, and having taken students to Mexico and Romania for Calvin College Interim courses.

View the following short video interview produced by Calvin students:

Academic interests

Courses Taught

STHU 232       Students and Social Change Movements in Eastern Europe
                        and the United States, Budapest, Fall 2011, 2014.

STHU 312       Studies in Central European Culture, Budapest, Fall 2011, 2014.

IDIS 190          Grassroots Living-Learning Floor Class,
                        Contextual Diversity Studies, 2017-18, 2018-19

IDIS W42        Social Entrepreneurs in Romania, January 2008.

IDIS W16        Mexico: Culture, Family Life and Social Services, January 2007.

IDIS 149          First Year Seminar, Calvin College, 2002-2015.

HED 505         Vocation and Formation in Higher Education,
                       Geneva College Master’s Program in Higher Education,
                       Summer Institutes, 2006- 2011.

Research and Scholarship

Calvin College McGregor Undergraduate Research Program, joint projects 2005-2017

“Measuring the Long-Term Effects of Service-Learning on Calvin College Alumni” 2017, with Andrew Haggerty and Isabelle Selles.

“Mapping and measuring institutional community partnerships: Tracking college partnerships from deep and narrow to broad and diverse” 2016, with Anna Selles.

“Building Faculty Capacity to Equip Students to Engage the Other through Service-Learning, Around the Corner and Across the Globe” 2013 with Derek Buursma.

“Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning?” 2010 with Ashley Pace

“Connecting the Mind, Heart, and Hands through Intentional Community at Calvin College” 2005 with Joy Van Marion, Don DeGraaf, and Mark Mulder.

Publications and Conference Presentations

Bringing the Second Great Commandment to Life in Off-Campus Programs:  How Service-Learning Experiences Teach Students to Love,” International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education conference, “Internationalizing Christian Higher Education,” Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 2015 (with Dana Bates, Roland Hoksbergen, Ellie Hutchison, Meghan Bogema, and Becky Van Zanen).

Christian Scholar’s Review, “Who is My Neighbor?  Musings on Christian Higher Education and the “Solidarity of the Vulnerable.”  An invited review essay of: Steve Moore, Who is My Neighbor: Being a Good Samaritan in a Connected World (NavPress, 2011); Slavoj Zizek, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard, The Neighbor: Three Inquiries in Political Theology (University of Chicago Press, 2006); and Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon, The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door (Baker Books, 2012).  Volume XLIII, Number 3, Spring, 2014.

“Athens and Jerusalem, Budapest and Grand Rapids.”  Plenary lecture, Confessionality and Diversity in the Modern World, Károli Gáspár Reformed University, Budapest, Hungary.  Academic conference on the occasion of the university’s twentieth anniversary, on Global Christian Higher Education, October 2013.

“Faithfully Present: Building the Universe Each in our own Inexplicable Ways,” Plenary address at the Twenty-second Annual Conference of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, Indianapolis, Indiana, October 2012.

“The Role of Service-Learning as an Engaged Pedagogy Toward Teaching Democracy, Citizenship, and Service at Home and Abroad,” Alliance of Universities for Democracy, Annual Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia, October 2011.

“The value of service-learning and study abroad for teaching students and developing social capital in international contexts.”  Roots of Social Capital: Youth Civic Engagement and Socialization WorkshopCluj-Napoca, Romania. A conference organized by the Center for the Study of Democracy, Babes-Bolyai University in partnership with New Horizons Foundation, and The Partnership for Community Development, June 5th 2009.

“Learning, Doing, and Believing: Understanding Secularization in American Higher Education through Student Reflections at Brown University, Cornell University, and the University of Michigan Between 1880 and 1920.”  Third Annual Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, Baylor University, October 2009.




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