What is it that draws two and a half million visitors to Holland, Michigan each year?
It’s the perfect setting for weekend getaways, family vacations, and year-round recreation, with acres of beaches and parks, and festivals and events for every season. Holland, Michigan is home to the world famous Tulip Time festival each May, when more than six million tulips burst into bloom as the town celebrates its Dutch heritage.
Unique restaurants, quaint cafes, and farm markets add to an enjoyable day of shopping in Holland’s Victorian-styled downtown, which borders the lovely campus of Hope College. Holland has a rich history and strong values.
The corporate worship of God is a deeply formative activity – spiritually, educationally, and institutionally; it is at the heart of what we do here at Western Theological Seminary. So every day we gather as a community to pray for ourselves and for our world, to sing and to be silent, to confess and receive pardon, to testify to God’s grace and lament our world’s brokenness, to praise and to petition, to proclaim, celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper together, and to enact the good news.
Our pattern Monday through Thursday conforms to the structure of daily prayer followed for centuries by the precursors of academics, the medieval monks. It has four primary components: Praise, Psalm, Proclamation, and Prayer.
Services begin with an acknowledgement of who God is, and the natural response to that knowledge, Praise.
We then turn to the ancient prayer-book of God’s people, the Psalms, and pray one of them as our own, in word or song or images or actions.
The Word is then Proclaimed as a way of telling God’s story, of getting a God’s-eye view of the world the way it really is.
Finally, we focus on Prayer as the place where we re-present the world and its concerns to God, where God and God’s people speak to one other heart to heart.
Who leads the services?
Students plan and lead services Monday through Thursday with the assistance of faculty and members of the Worship Committee. Faculty lead worship of Friday as the WTS community participates in our weekly practice of coming around the Lord’s Table to celebrate Holy Communion and to “taste and see” how good God is.
Formation for Ministry Internships
Internships are part of the formation for ministry process at Western Theological Seminary and provide a breadth of experience while going deep through the use of learning covenants and case studies of actual ministry experience.
In-residence M.Div. students will participate in four 100-hour part-time units and one 400-hour full time unit of a supervised in-ministry experience within an approved ministry setting.
Distance learning students will participate in six 130-hour units of a supervised in-ministry experience during the five years of the program.
Ministry settings may include:
Care Facilities and nursing homes
We want to offer housing options that will help you connect with other students and feel at home. Options for in-residence program housing include:
The “Red Bricks” Townhouses
Directly across from the seminary
Encircle a commons area with picnic tables and a playground
1, 2, or 3 bedroom units
Washer & dryer
Major kitchen appliances
Handicapped accessible units available
Wireless internet and wired for cable
The Friendship House
The Ralph and Cheryl Schregardus Friendship House is the first residence of its kind among seminaries across the U.S. Seminary students live with young adults with cognitive impairments, giving students who are training for ministry a unique opportunity to learn what it’s like to live with disabilities.
3 students and one cognitively-impaired adults per apartment pod
Each apartment pod has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, full kitchen, living room, and a deck/patio
6 apartment pods in the building
Recreational room with widescreen TV, fireplace, and full kitchen
Wireless internet and wired for cable
The seminary owns traditional apartments and houses near campus. Alternative housing and rental units are available in the Holland area as well.
Housing ranges from $265-$880 per month depending upon the location and number of bedrooms in the unit.
For questions or to apply for housing contact Norm Donkersloot at 616-392-8555, x107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Distance Learning Intensive Lodging
Lodging options for distance learning intensives will be sent to students prior to the start of the semester. These options will vary in price and will be the responsibility of the student to secure. Please call Kathy Ehmann (616-392-8555 x186) with any questions.
Confessions on Tap
Students, faculty, and staff gather to explore a particular point in the Reformed confessions and its implication for congregational ministry. It is held once a month on a Friday at 4pm at the New Holland Brewery. Come, find us there and enjoy a water, beer, or Coke while engaging in good conversation.
We always welcome new conversation partners, so try it out!
“Confessions on Tap” is co-led by Dr. J. Todd Billings and a pastor in congregational ministry. See Happenings (Student Events) for the current schedule.
Student Council advocates for student concerns and provides programming that engages the entire student body. The council is made up of representatives from each class and a faculty advisor and meets regularly throughout the academic year.
Student Government responsibilities:
Addressing academic concerns
Involvement in mission
The 2017-2018 Student Government Body:
President: Ross Hoekstra
Vice-President: Shaelee Boender
Treasurer: Scott Van Ravenswaay
Secretary: Haley Wiggers
Junior Representatives: Trey Turpek and Ryan Hall
Middler Representatives: Alex Arthurs and Katie Alley
Senior Representatives: Libby Huizenga and Laurel Pals
Th.M. Representative: Zeeshan Shafique
Faculty advisor: Dr. Kyle Small
In addition to annual events like the All-Seminary Picnic and Spring Banquet, students at Western regularly participate in a variety of activities. Each year students, faculty and staff battle it out in the March Madness Table Tennis Tournament–See more photos on our Facebook page!
Parents Night Out
Throughout the year Student Council organizes planned childcare events at the seminary, staffed by student volunteers, allowing busy parents to get a break and enjoy a relaxing evening out.