John D. Witvliet


Dr. John D. Witvliet

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Address3233 Burton SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone800-388-6034
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Associate Professor of Worship, Calvin Theological Seminary

B.A., Calvin College, 1990
M.T.S., Calvin Theological Seminary, 1992
M.Mus., University of Illinois, 1993
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1997

John D. Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and associate professor of music and worship at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, respectively. He also teaches in the religion department at Calvin College. His areas of interest include the history of Christian worship, worship practices in various denominations, biblical and systematic theology of worship, the role of music and the arts in worship, and consulting with churches on worship renewal.

“At its best, Christian worship reflects and conveys the beauty of God, profound gratitude for the gospel of Christ, and eagerness to deepen self-giving service in God’s world. In my teaching, I hope to invite pastors and worship leaders to plan and lead services that reflect this vision, to offer worship that is both profoundly biblical and culturally relevant. An important part of this learning process is encountering the wisdom of Christian communities in cultures and historical periods very different from our own. Such encounters deepen our sense of solidarity with the whole body of Christ, and also sharpen, humble, and enrich our ministry.”

John Witvliet is the author of The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship: A Brief Ecumenical Introduction and Guide to Resources (Eerdmans, forthcoming), Worship Seeking Understanding: Windows into Christian Practice (Baker Academic, 2003), co-editor of Worship in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Change and Continuity in Religious Practice (University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), and Proclaiming the Christmas Gospel: Ancient Sermons and Hymns for Contemporary Inspiration (Baker 2004) and editor of A Child Shall Lead: Children in Worship (Choristers Guild, 1999). He serves as editor for two books series-the “Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies Series” (Eerdmans) and “Vital Worship, Healthy Congregations” (Alban Institute)-as well as co-editor, with Pearl Shangkuan, of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Music Series (GIA).

He is married to Charlotte van Oyen Witvliet, a professor of psychology at Hope College. They are parents of four very active children, Sheila Grace, Kate, Madeline, and Luke.

Areas of Interest



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