Resource, Guide or Toolkit

If you are feeling a pull to explore ordained pastoral ministry, these ten steps will help you discern whether that is the path God is calling you to take.

October 25, 2017 0 0 comments

I am normally not one to present lists but I believe there is a deepening of appreciation and understanding by reading the 34 countries of origin and 22 countries of citizenship represented at the Seminary this fall.

November 3, 2016 0 0 comments

On Sept. 7, we celebrated the beginning of our 141st year of ministry as Calvin Theological Seminary. While we weren't present when the ministry began, our commitment to teach and pray remains. Thanks be to God!

October 4, 2016 0 0 comments

Today we remember your first steps of obedience. You received a call from God to go to seminary. You moved. You sold a home. Your kids changed schools. You sacrificed to follow this call. 

July 5, 2016 0 0 comments

Today can be a testament to achievement but may today also be a reminder of how you are instruments of His grace. Be joyful in hope, be patient in affliction and be faithful in prayer.     

June 6, 2016 0 0 comments

As the interim pastor who doesn’t have “a pony in this race,” I have found it most interesting to be here and, in a minimal way, a part of the process. 

February 19, 2016 0 0 comments

A few years ago I met a person who was preparing for ministry as a second career. I didn’t ask the question that crossed my mind, which was “Have you looked at the job market lately?”  

July 13, 2015 0 2 comments

At the CRC Synod, as usual, a raft of new candidates for the ministry was approved. This year there were 44 names on the list. I do pray they will all get a call someday soon...

June 25, 2015 0 3 comments

How many pastors wouldn't love this kind of confirmation of their calling?

September 25, 2014 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

True racial reconciliation can never be evident until there is equality in the church hiring process.  From my experience as a African American in the CRC I have noticed  most people of color are called to plant a church or they are called

to pastor a declining ministry that know one else...

April 9, 2014 0 1 comments

To Scott and others commenting on this post....Thanks! You started a great discussion that has continued into this followup post by Norm Visser, and some comments posted there. Just wanted to make you saw that followup conversation as well.

posted in: The System


The numbers are interesting. I've done a similar calculation while wondering whether this is why a growing number of ordained individuals (Ministers of the Word and Commissioned Pastors) are applying for endorsement as a chaplain. A further key factor in the numbers is to recognize that if 10% of our current pastors take a call each year (after staying an average of 10 years), this creates over 100 vacancies that would occur every year and require no new pastors; just allowing for shifting of current pastors. To move every five years, the system would require (or produce) twice this many vacancies. In this scenario those twelve net new pastors each year would accumulate from year to year, explaining the current growing backlog of seminary graduates who do not get calls.

Ron Klimp, Director of Chaplains

posted in: Clogged System

Praise God for the surplus!

When I was in seminary (1999-2003), the word on the street was that the years ahead were going to be great years to enter the ministry in the CRC due to a foreseen shortage of pastors. Supposedly 50% of current pastors at that time were Baby Boomers who were going to be retiring in the next 10-15 years. That probably has been happening, but the influx of so many new candidates has more than filled the ranks. 

Rather than look at the lack of demand for so many pastors now in the system, we need to open our eyes and see the excess demand in the world. In other words, it is time to start even more churches and new ministries in North America and send out even more missionaries to other parts of the world. The decision to join CRHM and CRWM opens up all kinds of new possibilities for service in missions for pastors and other servant leaders.

Speaking from experience, I would invite those looking for work to talk to folks at CRWM or other agencies. Or talk to their home councils and classes about starting daughter churches. We have worked with CRWM in Mexico since 2004 starting new churches and developing leaders, and it has been a wonderful experience matching our gifts and calling with the vast need that is around us.

Rev. Ben Meyer

Seymour CRC, Classis GR East

CRWM Guadalajara, Mexico


posted in: Clogged System


I think you are correct that the system is not working so well right now.

I hope some new ideas come forth in response to your thoughts.

Here's my two cents worth: Don't dismiss the "bishop" option so quickly. I had never considered it until I spent time in Nigeria and saw how well it can work. Now I am back home serving as chairman of CIC, often thinking that I have most of the responsibilities of the bishop with none of the authority. Maybe we should just "go for broke" and return to the historic polity of the church.


posted in: The System


  Thank you for the thought provoking article.  I too have thought a lot about the call process in the CRC and wondered what the best length of time it is for a pastor to stay.  It's very hard to know what is best.  I have always wanted to stay one year too less instead of one year too many.  That's also hard to determine.

  Thank you also for sharing the call letter from your Grand Grandfather to Alto CRC in Alto, Wisconsin.  I was baptized in that church and spent the first 10 years there.  Thanks for bringing me back to my childhood.

Thanks again.

Mark Vande Zande

Pastor at 1st CRC, Orange City, Iowa

posted in: The System

No comments I see. This is sad. I am not well educated in the representation of minorities in our denomination. But having children of African American heritage I have come to view our denominations struggle with race reconciliation with interest. I doubt very much that we would be attending a CRC church in BC if it were not for my job here (New Life CRC). I'm not a fan of affirmative action plans that amount to haphazard attempts to be diverse.  I do believe we need firm action that affirms qualified minority pastors and leaders to walk into the fullness of their calling. I do believe there is something in the trends posted here that needs further consideration. 


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