Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it cost and what resources will I need?

Courses are individually priced on the purchase page of the website. If the price is a barrier in any way, because of region or personal circumstances, contact us at reflectingfaith@calvin.edu to find out about financial aid available. Once you have registered for a course, all course materials, including readings and videos, are provided. All you will need is a device with internet access on which to read, watch, and write, to submit your responses, and an email address where we can reach you for course updates.

How do I request financial aid?

We understand that both availability of financial resources and barriers to making a small payment to the United States vary widely around the world. We therefore have financial aid available to make the courses available to all who need them. You can inquire about financial aid by writing to reflectingfaith@calvin.edu. Please include details of which course interests you and where you are located.

Will it work in my time zone and on my internet connection?

All courses are asynchronous, so you can complete the work on them and access the materials at you own convenience and in a way that fits your schedule, whatever time zone you are in. You will need a good enough internet connection to download readings in PDF format and watch short videos. You can complete the reading and writing offline and upload your responses when you next have access.

Can I take multiple courses?

Yes! You can take as many courses as you wish. In fact, since each course explores a different possible point of connection between faith and learning, we encourage you to explore multiple courses. Each course takes approximately six to eight hours to complete over the course of two to three weeks, so please plan for how much time you will have available if you are thinking of taking more than one course at the same time. In the future we aim to make it possible to complete a series of courses toward a program completion certificate.

Who can sign up for a course?

These courses are designed for those who work in higher education and want to understand how Christian faith can illuminate that work. Faculty members, board members, administrators, in fact anyone who wants to engage with questions about how the work of higher education can be Christian, are welcome to join courses. Participants from any Christian tradition are welcome. Christians who work in any institution of higher education are welcome. The only prerequisite is a desire to explore a Christian perspective on the work of higher education.

Do I need to be working at a Christian University?

Not at all. Christians who work in all institutions of higher education are welcome. The only prerequisite is a desire to explore a Christian perspective on the work of higher education.

What if the course that interests me is not being offered right now?

All of our courses will be offered on a rolling basis. If the course you want is not running right now, you can check the courses page to see when it will next be offered or contact us if you would like to take the course as an individual on your own schedule, without the group interaction components.

Who is behind these courses?

The courses are created and offered by the de Vries Institute at Calvin University, a world-class Christian university in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Our work is rooted in the Reformed tradition of Christianity, though we have also aimed to design the courses to be welcoming to participants from any Christian tradition. Each course has been developed by faculty with extensive experience and a strong scholarly record in academic conversations about faith and higher education. Each course has also been developed in consultation with advisory panels of Christian faculty from around the world.

Is this just for teachers of theology? Is it relevant to all disciplines?

No. Though each course explores how specific themes in theological thinking relate to questions about the work of higher education, these themes are applied to work across the disciplines. Each course draws examples from the work of scholars in disciplines outside of theology, and the courses are designed to help faculty to reflect on faith and learning whatever their discipline may be.

What new course topics will be available in the future?

We are continuing to develop courses that explore different facets of the relationship between faith and learning. These will include courses that examine additional theological topics, such as sin, community, the image of God, or grace, as well as courses that explore different facets of work in higher education, such as teaching online, writing for publication, and shaping a research agenda. Courses will be added gradually as resources allow.

How much time will it take me to complete a course?

While the speed at which individuals read and the amount of time that they take for reflection varies, you should allow an average of 6 to 8 hours to complete a course, though spread over a couple of weeks. This includes all the reading and viewing of video material.

Will I get to interact with other participants?

Yes, the courses include opportunities to see and respond to others’ comments on the assigned texts and to share your thinking about your own work with other participants for their feedback. All interaction is asynchronous to allow for the range of time zones, so there are no live meetings, but we encourage discussion during the course.

Can I get a certificate of completion to show my institution?

Yes, just ask us at reflectingfaith@calvin.edu. In the future we also aim to make it possible to complete a series of courses toward a program completion certificate.

Can my institution use this resource as part of its own faculty development?

Yes. We are already partnering on various scales with other universities to make these courses available as part of their faculty development programs and to train local leaders to lead groups of faculty at their institutions through courses. We can offer discounts on course costs for group registrations and for courses led by local leaders. Contact us at reflectingfaith@calvin.edu to tell us about your needs and learn how we may be able to work together.

Can I arrange for a group at my university to take a course together?

Yes, in fact we encourage this as it can help to deepen and reinforce learning and help to create rich conversations within institutions. We can offer discounts on course costs for group registrations. Contact us at reflectingfaith@calvin.edu to tell us about your needs and the kind of group you have in mind.