Our Mission Statement

The Festival of Faith and Writing began as an exploration of the communities made and served by religious writing. Over the years, it has become a community itself—a gathering that encourages the many kinds of exchange that religious writing seems to occasion. Our intent is to bring together the different constituencies of this writing—authors, publishers, readers, and academics—for conversation and celebration.

In recent years, serious religious writing has gained an increasingly significant hearing in the literary world. Of course, not all such writing is done by Christians. Fortunately, the Reformed tradition balances strong confessionalism and a hearty confidence in the intellectual freedom afforded by grace. Calvin College is well suited to host a diverse array of writers, perspectives, and beliefs that allow for an earnest search for knowledge of God.

In this balance of confessionalism and freedom, then, we welcome a wide range of faithful writing makers and readers: 

  • We wish to locate, celebrate, and encourage serious imaginative writing by Christians of all denominations and communions. 
  • We welcome the work of writers in other faith traditions who acknowledge or seek spiritual understanding, grace, or transcendence. 

Calvin College feels fortunate to host a Festival to which so many bring so much enthusiasm and personal warmth. This achievement owes much to the involvement of Calvin students, faculty, and staff, and the Festival hopes to retain this character. Here people come together for love of good writing, often because they have been invited by people like themselves. 

A Festival 2010 attendee describes her experience this way: “It is so very informative and absolutely uplifting to hear such intellect and philosophy and faith all put together into vocation as a mission. Your conference is not about commercialism; it is about our calling and our answers. There is no other place in my life where I hear such satisfying and challenging thoughts, eloquent language, and substantive discussion. It lifts me out of the surroundings I am in and elevates my own thinking.”


About the Festival