Each year the Calvin Alumni Association honors a former Calvin faculty member with the Faith and Learning Award. The criteria for selection includes excellence in teaching, spiritual inspiration, concern for students, and lasting influence.
Quentin Schultze doesn’t think of himself as retired; he says he’s “rewired.” After growing up in Chicago in a difficult family situation that included an alcoholic father and a mother with paranoid schizophrenia, Schultze received his PhD in communication from the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign. He was a new Christian and wanted to find a way to connect his faith to his teaching, and someone suggested that he look at Reformed writers. He soon discovered that Calvin’s Reformed worldview and integration of faith and learning were a great fit for him.
“For me, the best part of Calvin always was the students. ... They are phenomenal. Not just smart, but terrific persons. A joy to serve,” he said. Before he even started classes, a Calvin student stopped by his house to welcome him to Calvin. The student quickly kicked off Schultze’s ever-surprising career of student mentoring.
Mentoring will be the lasting legacy he hopes he leaves at Calvin. While he is the author of many books and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and USA Today, those are not the accomplishments he finds the most rewarding. “If I have any real legacy at Calvin...it will be the one-on-one mentoring I did and continue with former students. I still hear from former students almost daily; it has been a tremendous blessing.”
One of those students was current alumni board member Gary Van Prooyen ’88. In introducing Schultze at the award presentation this past May, Van Prooyen said, “This man captivated us in the classroom and opened our eyes to a Reformed Christian perspective on communications and the media world. He listened to us, his students, as much as he taught us. And he demonstrated every day that we were important, that we were unique, and that God was waiting to use us in his Kingdom.”
Schultze believes as a Christian that the purpose of communication is to love your audience as your neighbor. When he anchored his teaching in this belief, which he largely borrowed from Augustine, he found great joy. Now in his “rewirement,” he is finding new ways to reach audiences including via his YouTube channel. Schultze is also doing master-teaching workshops.
When reflecting on his time at Calvin and receiving the Faith and Learning Award, he feels this award fits with what God has done in his life: “I’m going to put this award up on the wall, and every time I see it, I’m going to say ‘God, you are good.’”