What does Reformed mean?
At Redeemer University, the word Reformed refers to a rich, living, distinct, Christian tradition that acknowledges the breadth and depth of the larger church, including all who belong to Jesus Christ.
Always Reforming
Like many Protestant streams flowing from the Reformation, the Reformed tradition stands under the authority of Scripture, committed to let it shape and reshape our entire view of the world. It began as a movement to reform the church and became a way to embody the Christian faith in all areas of life. The tradition finds expression in local communities and diverse contexts around the world. At Redeemer, being Reformed looks like a spiritually vibrant community with representation from over 50 denominations.
Shape of the Tradition
The word Reformed is too often narrowly defined or associated with a singular doctrine or denomination. As a wider tradition however, there are three major areas that help shape the contours: history, theology and philosophy.
Dig Deeper
Five things Reformed could mean
Dig Deeper
Notable Guides to Neo-Calvinism
The Reformed tradition is therefore a comprehensive Biblical worldview that stresses the breadth of Creation, the extent of the Fall, and most importantly, the fact that salvation in Jesus Christ really means a reclaiming, a regaining, of the entire length and breadth of Creation with all of its cultural domains.
Al Wolters
Professor Emeritus, Redeemer University; author of Creation Regained
Foundational Themes
World-Transformative Grace
A Big and Personal God
True Story of the Whole World
The Cultural Mandate
Common Grace
Everyone Has a Worldview
To bear the image is to exercise dominion, caring for and cultivating the good world and making it very good through our creative attention. Most human work falls under this heading, which is why Christians work gladly alongside neighbors who don’t share our faith, and also why almost all human work is perfectly appropriate for Christians. It requires no more justification than this: bearing the image by working fruitfully in the good world is what we were always meant to do.
Andy Crouch
Author, Musician and Public Speaker
What does it look like?
So what difference does all of this make on the ground, every day at Redeemer? In short, it changes everything. In obvious and subtle ways, it informs how we learn, live and work together.
Research and Scholarship
Course Content
Living Faith in the Classroom
Campus Life
Callings and Careers
Nothing matters but the Kingdom, but because of the Kingdom everything matters.
Gordon Spykman
Former professor of theology, Calvin University
Dig Deeper
Redeemer’s Core Curriculum and the Reformed Worldview
If learning is spiritual, then it is inherently and necessarily a process of discipleship. In classrooms and labs, residence life, athletics, student activities, clubs and campus worship, growing in the Gospel is the heartbeat of the Redeemer experience.
David Zietsma
President, Redeemer university
Common Terms
“All of life is worship”
“Every square inch”
“Drama of Scripture”
“All things new”
“Already and not yet”
“Sphere” (and “Sphere Sovereignty”)
“Worldview” (or “World and Life View”)
A Calvinist who seeks God, does not for a moment think of limiting himself to theology and contemplation … he is conscious of having been called to fathom … things terrestrial as well as things celestial; to open to view both the order of creation, and the “common grace” of the God he adores.
Abraham Kuyper
Theologian, Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Going Deeper
If you wish to dig deeper into the Reformed tradition and Redeemer’s place in it, here are some additional resources:
Redeemer’s Mission & Vision
The Cross and Our Calling
Creation Regained
The Drama of Scripture
Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition
Calvinism for a Secular Age
Five Things Reformed Could Mean
Individuals in and connected to the Redeemer community may see themselves in one or several of these five descriptions of what it means to be Reformed, from general in blue (1) to most specific in red (5).
Reformed could mean...
Reformed Baptist
Confessionally Reformed
Notable Guides to Neo-Calvinism
Grounded in the redemptive work of Christ across all of creation, a number of important Reformed thinkers have helped articulate and expand the Neo-Calvinism movement.
Abraham Kuyper
Herman Dooyeweerd
Al Wolters
Redeemer’s Core Curriculum and the Reformed Worldview
Consisting of 10 inter-disciplinary courses and taken by every Redeemer student, the Core Curriculum provides a foundation for a well-rounded Reformed Christian life and worldview, giving context for every other area of study.
The Drama of Scripture
Introduction to Reformed Worldview: Being and Knowing in Our Age
Faith and Philosophy