Together we bring Calvin's story to life, using language and examples that express our university's master narrative, personality and more.

For more details on rationale and application of the brand, please see our official Master Brand Strategy document and Brand Identity Standards guide.

Master narrative

What is Calvin's mission? Calvin University equips students to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world.

How, then, do we equip students for these tasks? In many ways, it is through wonder and discovery. When exploring God's world without reservation, students can be thoroughly changed by Christ. As they go through life pulling weeds and planting beauty, their life-bearing behavior is irresistible. Our motivation is not just for the benefit of the individual, but for all those in need of God’s truth and transformation.


Understanding our unique personality is critical to building attraction to who we are. Calvin’s personality is characterized by the following archetypes listed from most prominent to least:

  • Discoverer: Calvin is known as an intelligent and curious discoverer who constantly pursues God's truth and wisdom.
  • Innovator: As an innovator, Calvin is a thought leader with captivating gifts and talents imbued by the Creator.
  • Guide: Calvin serves as a dedicated guide, committed to caring for God's people and creation.
  • Challenger: Calvin is established as a challenger, honoring its historical roots and moving forward with a unique, Reformed Christian way of thinking.


Based on community research, Calvin’s key themes have been condensed into five master storylines. Together, these storylines create a cohesive messaging platform—infused with Calvin University’s unique personality—to focus the master narrative.

1. Determined quest for truth and knowledge
Calvin demonstrates unwavering focus on the discovery of knowledge and engagement with Christ’s ultimate renewal of the world. We prepare the heart and mind for rigorous inquiry to seek vocation and God’s truth.
2. Live and lead with courageous conviction
Calvin unabashedly engages messiness and teaches students to explore God’s creation without fear, seek truth and take action. We instill the ability to persevere, overwhelm adversity, question, debate and live boldly for Christ.
3. Uniting the heart and mind to engage the world
Calvin affects meaningful change by preparing students to connect their minds, hearts and hands to serve Jesus Christ and the world. We encourage a mindset of openness and discovery to provoke new ideas, and the resolve to take action.
4. A dedicated community of faith and discovery
Calvin fosters communal connection that inspires wonder, curiosity and, ultimately, action. We believe that authentic Christian faith seeks knowledge and understanding in ever corner of God’s creation.
5. The deep and daring pursuit of excellence
Through Calvin’s well-established mission of academic excellence and grounding in the Reformed Christian faith, we commit to renewal in ourselves and creation, daring to push boundaries, overcome obstacles and influence our community and the world.

General tone and style

Intended to be used in conjunction with the mechanical conventions found in Calvin's editorial style guide, here are style and tone suggestions to help you align your writing with the university’s emerging brand.

  • Reader-focused: Ensure that Calvin is accessible for a broad audience, including those new to Calvin. Stay away from "insider" lingo, and explain the uniquely Calvin terms that are necessary to use. Write directly to the reader whenever possible.
  • Action-oriented: Bring energy to your writing by focusing on action. Use verbs like "discover," "create," and "journey," as well as synonyms.
  • Evidence-based: Use anecdotes and examples, bringing your reader into the action, so that they can imagine being part of the Calvin experience.