“Godly leadership is not about attaining recognition or glory; it’s about serving others.”
—John M. Perkins, Leadership Revolution

Calvin's John M. Perkins Leadership Fellows are a small group of students who are selected to participate in a series of leadership development opportunities during their first two years of university. These opportunities prepare Perkins Fellows to address big issues like poverty, injustice, racism and materialism. Perkins Fellows strive to be servant leaders who are committed to renewal and restoration of our communities.

This program includes specially-designed leadership courses, dinners with prominent Calvin leaders and an all-expenses-paid spring break service trip. Freshman members of the program reside in community on the Perkins Floor in the Residence Halls.

Two students will also be selected for a
to Calvin University

Who qualifies

  • High school seniors planning to enter Calvin University in fall 2020.
  • Preference given to first-generation university students (students in a household where neither parent has earned a bachelor's degree).
  • Students who have a desire to be servant-leaders in their communities.
  • Open to all students considering any major.

Next steps:

If you wish to get involved with the John M. Perkins Leadership Fellows at Calvin University, you will need to do two things:

1) Express your interest

Tell us a bit about yourself and why you're interested in the program.

I'm interested!

2) Apply to Calvin

Complete Calvin's application early in order to be admitted by December 1. Without your application, you will not be considered for this program.



After you express interest in the program and complete your application to Calvin, here is what you can expect to happen:

  1. Invitations to attend the John M. Perkins Leadership Fellows interview weekend on February 14–15, 2020 will be sent by early January. The invitation will include a travel voucher to pay for part of your trip to Calvin if you live more than 150 miles from campus. You will have the option to stay on campus.
  2. This invitation includes visiting campus to learn more about the program and to interview for a chance to be selected as a member of the John M. Perkins Leadership Fellows.
  3. Prospective students will be notified of their acceptance to the program by April 2020. Students not invited to participate in the program will be put on a waiting list.

Program details

Each year, 25 students are selected to form the Perkins Fellows. The program spans each student's first and second year at Calvin.

Yearly Schedule

Year One

Fall Semester / Interim

Spring Semester

The group takes an Emotional Resilience interim class together. Participate in an all-expenses-paid service-learning trip to the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation in Jackson, Miss.
Attend a dinner with Calvin's President to discuss leadership. Attend a regional Christian Community Development Association conference for free.
The group takes the Perkins First Year Seminar and an IDIS class together.

Year Two

Fall Semester / Interim

Spring Semester

Complete a leadership practicum, either on Calvin's campus or in the community. This could include residence hall leadership positions, service-learning opportunities off campus or many other options. Enroll in an advanced leadership course.
Attend leadership dinners with prominent campus, alumni, community leaders and other Perkins Fellows. Attend a regional Christian Community Development Association conference.
Enjoy a celebratory weekend retreat where you will develop and share your "plan of action" for how you plan to develop yourself as a Christian leader at Calvin, and beyond.