Archives & Contributors


We'll be working though John Calvin's 1541 Institutes one chapter at a time. You can purchase your own complete copy of the 1541 Institutes here. The written reflections, audio downloads, and .pdfs (collections of related quotes from Calvin's sermons, as well as quotes from Reformed creeds, catechisms, and confessions) that we produce for each chapter will be archived here, making this site a valuable resource for small group study for years to come.


Introduction to the Ad Fontes project
Reflection by Dr. Elsie Anne McKee
Text format | Audio download

Elsie Anne McKee serves as Professor of Reformation Studies and the History of Worship at Princeton Theological Seminary. She earned the Diploma in Theology from Cambridge University (UK) and the Ph.D. from Princeton Seminary. Her research has focused on John Calvin's theology and ministerial practice as well as the work of lay reformer Katharina Schuetz Zell. She taught at Andover Newton Theological School before coming to Princeton Seminary. She has lectured on Calvin around the world. She is an ordained elder at Witherspoon St. Presbyterian Church in Princeton and serves with several North American organizations that support theological and medical work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (where she was born and raised).

Calvin's Prefatory Letter to Francis I
Reflection by Dr. Elsie Anne McKee
Text format | Audio download

Author bio above.

CHAPTER 1 - Of the Knowledge of God
Reflection by Dr. Elsie Anne McKee
Text format | Audio download | Quotes from Calvin & Confessions (.pdf)

Author bio above.

CHAPTER 2 - Of the Knowledge of Man and of Free Will
Reflection by Rev. Dr. Gregory Graybill
Text format | Audio download | Quotes from Calvin & Confessions (.pdf)

Gregory Graybill serves as pastor of Cross Creek Presbyterian Church and Langeloth Presbyterian Church. He attended Whitworth University and received his M.Div. and Ph.D. in theology from the University of Oxford (Wycliffe Hall). His book on Philipp Melanchthon, entitled Evangelical Free Will, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. He has been pastor of Cross Creek and Langeloth Presbyterian churches in southwestern Pennsylvania for the past six years, combining pastoral care and writing.

CHAPTER 3 - Of the Law
Reflection by Rev. Dr. Cathy Northrup
Text format | Audio download | Quotes from Calvin & Confessions (.pdf)

Cathy Northrup currently serves as the Pastor and Head of Staff of First Presbyterian Church in Wichita, Kansas. She previously served churches in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. She received her M.Div. from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia in 1991 and her D.Min. from Princeton Seminary in 2000. Prior to becoming a Minister of Word and Sacrament, she serves as a lawyer for the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Hamline University (St. Paul, Minnesota) in 1982 and Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C. in 1985.

CHAPTER 4 - Of Faith, where the Apostles' Creed Is Explained
Reflection by Rev. Dr. James C. Goodloe IV
Text format | Audio download | Quotes from Calvin & Confessions (.pdf)

James C. Goodloe IV serves as Executive Director of the Foundation for Reformed Theology in Richmond, Virginia and has done so since 2007. He received his A.B. from Davidson College, his D.Min.from Union Presbyterian Seminary, and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.Ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA) in 1979, he served four pastorates (in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia) before coming to fulltime work for the Foundation. His publications on Calvin include: "The Body in Calvin's Theology," in Calvin Studies V, edited by John H. Leith (Davidson, NC: The Colloquium on Calvin Studies, 1990); "Why Read Calvin Today?" Presbyterian Outlook 190 (October 13/20, 2008); and "The Church: One And Holy" in Theology Today 66.2 (July 2009).

CHAPTER 5 - Of Penitence
Reflection by Rev. Dr. Robert Johnson
Text format | Audio download | Quotes from Calvin & Confessions (.pdf)

Robert Johnson is a Texan by birth, a Christian by grace through faith, and a Calvinist by calling from before the foundations of the earth. Educated at Presbyterian institutions—B.A. at Austin College, M.Div. at Princeton Seminary and Ph.D. at Union Presbyterian Seminary—he has served as pastor, bureaucrat, administrator, professor, and missionary (Pakistan) in the PC(USA). Currently serving as Interim Pastor at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia, he edits the Bulletin of the Institute for Reformed Theology. He recently completed the study guide for Douglas Hicks' Money Enough: Everyday Practices for Living Faithfully in the Global Economy (Jossey-Bass, 2010).

CHAPTER 6 - Of Justification by Faith and by the Merits of Works
Reflection by Rev. Dr. I. John Hesselink, Jr.
Text format | Audio download | Quotes from Calvin & Confessions (.pdf)

I. John Hesselink, Jr. serves as a minister in the Reformed Church in America. He is also Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, where he served as President. His education spanned two continents: B.A. from Central College (Iowa); B.D. from Western Theological Seminary; and Dr. Theol. from University of Basel (studies with Emil Brunner and Karl Barth). His books include: On Being Reformed (Reformed Church Press,1988 [1983]); Christ's Peace - Live It! (Reformed Church in America,1987); Calvin's Concept of the Law (Pickwick,1992); Calvin's First Catechism: A Commentary (Westminster John Knox, 1997); and a selection of Calvin's teaching on prayer entitled On Prayer: Conversation with God (Westminster John Knox, 2006). Dr. and Mrs. Hesselink served as missionaries in Japan for twenty years with the United Church of Christ in Japan under the auspices of the Reformed Church in America. During their time in Japan, Dr. Hesselink taught for twelve years at Tokyo Union Seminary. He has lectured in Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Romania, France, and Hungary.

CHAPTER 7 - Of the Similarities and Differences between the Old and New Testaments
Reflection by Dr. Beth Langstaff-Foell
Text format | Audio download

Beth Langstaff-Foell serves as Faculty Associate at Bethel Seminary (St. Paul, MN) and Interim Director of the Institut zur Erforschung des Urchristentums in Tubingen, Germany. She received her B.A. from Crown College, her M.Div. from Bethel Seminary, and her Ph.D. from Princeton Seminary (dissertation: "Temporary Gifts: John Calvin's Doctrine of the Cessation of Miracles"). Her lectures highlight some of her research interests: "The Resuscitation of Dead Babies for Baptism: The Fate of a Marian Miracle in the Genevan Reformation;" "The Epistle of James in the Sixteenth Century; "Sacramentum oder Ritus, Letzte Olung oder Krankensalbung: Katholische und Protestantische Meinungen uber die Letzte Olung in der 14. Sitzung des Konzils von Trient." She is a member of the Evangelische Landeskirche in Wurttemberg, Germany.

CHAPTER 8 - Of God's Predestination and Providence
Reflection by Dr. Susan E. Schreiner
Text format | Audio download | Quotes from Calvin & Confessions (.pdf)

Susan E. Schreiner serves as Professor of the History of Christianity and Theology in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. She earned her M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School and her Ph.D. from Duke University. Her research interests include the history of exegesis and spirituality in the Reformation. Her publications on Calvin include two books relating to his understanding of creation and providence: The Theatre of His Glory: Nature and Natural Order in the Thought of John Calvin (Baker, 1995) and Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? Calvin's Exegesis of Job from Medieval and Modern Perspectives (University of Chicago, 1994). Calvin will also figure prominently in her forthcoming Are You Alone Wise? Debates about Certainty in the Early Modern Era (Oxford, 2010).

CHAPTER 9 - Of Prayer, Where the Prayer of Our Lord is Explained
Reflection by Rev. Dr. Gary Neal Hansen
Text format | Audio download | Quotes from Calvin & Confessions (.pdf)

Gary Neal Hansen serves as Assistant Professor of Church History at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He earned his M.Div. and his Ph.D. from Princeton Seminary. He is a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA) and for five years did redevelopment work as stated supply pastor of the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church in Belle Mead, New Jersey. Following his dissertation ("John Calvin and the Non-Literal Interpretation of Scripture"), he has continued to do research in Calvin's biblical interpretation. He has chapters in Calvin and the Bible (Cambridge, 2006) and Reformation and Readings of Romans (T&T Clark International, 2008). In recent years, he has focused on the history of prayer and is working on Doing the Work of God: Learning to Pray with History's Great Teachers (InterVarsity, forthcoming).

CHAPTER 10 - Of the Sacraments
Reflection by Rev. Dr. Charles Raynal III
Text format

Charles E. Raynal III recently retired from the position of Director of Advanced Studies at Columbia Theological Seminary. He had held that position since 1999, after many years in the pastorate. He earned his B.A. at Davidson College, his M.Div. at Union Presbyterian Seminary, and his Ph.D. at Yale Divinity School. He also studied at the University of Poitiers, the Protestant Theological Faculty of Montpellier, and the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey. He served churches in North Carolina and Louisiana. In 1979-99, he hosted the Calvin Colloquia at Davidson College when he was pastor there. He has also taught courses on Calvin at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

CHAPTER 11 - Of Baptism
Reflection by Rev. Dr. Gordon Mikoski
Text format

Gordon Mikoski serves as Assistant Professor of Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary. He received his B.A. from Whitworth University, his M.A. and M.Div. degrees from Princeton Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Emory University. A Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PCUSA, he served as a pastor for eight years in Michigan before returning to academia. His research interests include the relationship between the sacraments, the doctrine of the trinity, and Christian education. Among his recent publications is Baptism and Christian Identity: Teaching in the Triune Name (Eerdmans, 2009). He is also editor of Theology Today and the President of the Association of Practical Theology. He initiated and orchestrating Princeton Seminary's "Year with the Institutes" project in 2009 which celebrated the reformer's 500th birthday by making the McNeill/Battles translation of the 1559 Institutes available digitally to people around the world. He is actively engaged in the work of the Presbytery of New Brunswick.

CHAPTER 12 - Of the Lord's Supper
Reflection coming by Rev. Dr. Christopher Elwood

Christopher Elwood serves as Professor of Historical Theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where he has taught since 1996. He grew up in various places, including Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. He served for two years as headmaster of Shiveye Secondary School in Kenya's Western Province. Holding degrees from Davidson College and Harvard University, he has also done advanced study at the University of Geneva. A Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA), Dr. Elwood served congregations in Massachusetts. He regularly preaches and teaches in local congregations. He is the author of Calvin for Armchair Theologians (Westminster John Knox, 2002), The Body Broken: The Calvinist Doctrine of the Eucharist and the Symbolization of Power in Sixteenth-Century France (Oxford, 1999), and numerous articles on John Calvin, Reformation theologies, and Reformed theological traditions.

CHAPTER 13 - Of the Five Other Ceremonies Falsely Called Sacraments, That Is, Confirmation, Penance, Extreme Unction, Ecclesiastical Orders, and Marriage
Reflection by coming Rev. Dr. R. Ward Holder

R. Ward Holder serves as Associate Professor of Theology at Saint Anselm College. After receiving his M.Div. from Princeton Seminary, he was ordained by Milwaukee Presbytery and served as pastor of the Lisbon Presbyterian Church. Subsequently, he moved to Boston, where he currently serves as parish associate at First Presbyterian Church in Quincy. After earning his Ph.D. at Boston College in 1998, he taught at Boston College and Stonehill College before going to Saint Anselm College, where he currently serves as associate professor of theology. He wrote John Calvin and the Grounding of Biblical Interpretation: Calvin's First Commentaries (Brill, 2006) and Crisis and Renewal:The Era of the Reformations (Westminster John Knox, 2009). He co-edited Reformation Readings of Romans (T. & T. Clark, 2008) and A Companion to Paul in the Reformation (Brill, 2009). He also currently serves as vice president of the Calvin Studies Society, the largest North American academic society devoted to the life and thought of John Calvin.

CHAPTER 14 - Of Christian Liberty
Reflection coming by Rev. Dr. Aurelio A Garcia

Aurelio A. Garcia, a Presbyterian pastor, serves as Professor at the College of General Studies of the University of Puerto Rico. He did undergraduate and graduate studies (philosophy) at Temple University and graduate studies (Spanish Literature) at Cornell University. He obtained his M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton Seminary. He taught church history at the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico for three years until he was called to serve as pastor of the Hato Rey Presbyterian Church. He has been teaching Humanities at the University of Puerto Rico since 1999. His dissertation focused on Heinrich Bullinger's theology of history and his historiography. In 2008, he carried out post-doctoral research at the Universidad de Santiago de Chile on the American Presbyterian Missionary, David Thrumbull. His main areas of research interest are Reformation history and theology, the classical world, and early Christian literature. Dr. Garcia continues to be very involved in the life of the Presbyterian Church in Puerto Rico.

CHAPTER 15 - Of the Power of the Church
Reflection coming by Dr. Jung-Sook Lee

Jung-Sook Lee serves as Academic Dean and Church History Professor at Torch Trinity Graduate School of Theology in Seoul, Korea. She also serves as a board member of the Asia Theological Association. Born in Korea, she studied sociology at Ewha Womans University and went to seminary to become a missionary. Although she did not become a missionary, she continued her theological studies in the United States and received her Ph.D. from Princeton Seminary. Her dissertation focused on church discipline in Calvin's Geneva. Upon her return to Korea, she has written on Calvin's ministerial practices as actualization of his theology in order to remind Korean churches of the original spirit of Presbyterianism. She also writes on the history of Christian visual arts.

CHAPTER 16 - Of Civil Government
Reflection coming by Rev. Dr. Yang-en Cheng

Yang-en Cheng serves as Professor of Church History and Vice Principal for Academic Affairs at Taiwan Theological College and Seminary. He received his B.A. from National Chung-Hsin University, his M. Div. from Taiwan Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Princeton Seminary (dissertation: "The Theology of the Calvinist Resistance Movement: A Theological Study of the French Calvinist Resistance Literature [1572-1579]"). Some of his publications include Contextualizing Christianity in Taiwan: Collected Essays on the History of Christianity in Taiwan (Tainan: Jen-Kwang, 2005) and "Calvinism and Taiwan," in Theology Today, vol. 66, no. 2 (July 2009). His research interests include indigenous and contextual theologies-including the paper "A Short History on Charismatic Movements in Taiwan," presented at German-Taiwanese Consultation on Theology and Christian Studies, Heidelberg, Germany in 2007.

CHAPTER 17 - Of the Christian Life
Reflection coming by Dr. Bonnie Pattison

Dr. Bonnie Pattison wrote the book Poverty in the Theology of John Calvin (Pickwick, 2006). She received her M.A.T. from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN, her M.Div. from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN, and her Th.M. (historical theology) and Ph.D. (theology) degrees from Princeton Seminary. She has taught theology and ethics at Wheaton College (Illinois), North Park University, and Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary in Cameroon (West Africa). She is currently researching John Calvin's theological understanding of the suffering and persecuted Church.



Please note: The text of each chapter of Calvin's 1541 Institutes will only be available on the main page for a limited period of time. It will NOT be archived here. This archive will preserve the written reflections on each chapter and any other supplementary materials we produce for group study throughout the year.

You can purchase your own complete copy of the 1541 Institutes here.