Dr. Mark Husbands

Leonard and Marjorie Maas Chair of Reformed Theology
Director of the Emmaus Scholars Program
Fellow of the Center for Ministry Studies

Hope College


Dr. Mark Husbands

Leonard and Marjorie Maas Chair of Reformed Theology
Director of the Emmaus Scholars Program
Fellow of the Center for Ministry Studies

Hope College


"The theologian who labors without joy is not a theologian at all. Sulky faces, morose thoughts and boring ways of speaking are intolerable in this science...But we must know, of course, that it is only God who can keep us from it." (Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, II/1, p. 656).


Click here to access a current list of courses that am teaching.



Click here to access an site that includes a sample of recent scholarship.

Integral Mission

Click here to learn more about my work with integral mission and the Emmaus Scholars Program. 





As a professor at Hope College I teach a number of classes available to all students whether they are enrolled in the Christian History and Theology Major or simply seeking to fulfill their General Educations requirements.

This Fall I will be teaching Faith Seeking Understanding, (REL261).


As the Director of the Emmaus Scholars Program I teach a number of classes that are only available to Emmaus Scholars including the Emmaus Seminar on Reconciliation, REL295, and the experiential learning course, MIN395, "Integral Mission and Intentional Community".

I teach the REL295 seminar and the first half of MIN395 course each fall and in the Spring I teach the second half of MIN395, "Integral Mission and Intentional Community".

Here is the link to the MIN395 course syllabus.


Emmaus Scholars Program


Emmaus Scholars Program

Emmaus Scholars with "Hollywood" (chef Vincent Moore) from Christ House (a fully integrated medical facility and intentional community serving homeless men and women) in Washington, D.C., March 20, 2014.

Emmaus Scholars with "Hollywood" (chef Vincent Moore) from Christ House (a fully integrated medical facility and intentional community serving homeless men and women) in Washington, D.C., March 20, 2014.

2013-2014 Emmaus Scholars

Do you want to get to know these Emmaus Scholars? Click on their images to read more about the impact of this program on their lives.

Jake Boersma

Sophomore, Chemistry Major

From Grandville, MI and loves to play guitar and lead worship.

Last year I was persuaded by Paul Boersma to apply to be in the program. I met with my FYS professor, Tim Schoonveld and realized very quickly that this program was presenting an opportunity for me to not only grow in my own faith, but to be surrounded by other individuals who were intentional about growing in theirs...Hands down, living together in an intentional Christian community has been the most rewarding aspect of the Emmaus Program for me this year. My six housemates and the seven girls living next door have become thirteen of my closest friends here at Hope College...I can say with absolute confidence that these people whom I’ve gotten to know so well over the course of this year will go on to be life-long friends.

Brandon Bowser

Sophomore, Chemistry Major

From Midland, MI, and loves to run.

Although I didn’t know what to fully expect out of this newly developed program, I felt that God was leading me to join a deeper Christian community here at Hope and Emmaus offered that. It also offered a critical study of social justice issues and how our faith leads us to walk with the poor which was something I was very interested in but hadn’t learned much about. Both of these factors led me to apply for the program and once I met the people who would be doing it with me, I was hooked!

Lauren Gentry

Chemistry Major, French Minor

From Bloomington, IL and loves to play to hike, camp, canoe or anything else outdoors in God's great creation.

I still don’t exactly know why or how I came to apply for the Emmaus Scholars Program other than by God’s gracious prompting. I think I wanted a place where I could be myself, the person God made me to be, without judgment while being challenged to grow in knowledge, faith, and relationships, and I wanted to be able to provide that to others. I found that and so much more...I’m awed and inspired at the creative ways God uses His people. I don’t have to fit the mold of pastor or missionary, as valuable and necessary as those professions are, to be a part of His great work. As a college student discerning my future career, the freedom that comes from knowing God will use me wherever I end up is life-giving. My “calling” is more than my career. My calling requires me to not shed my faith when I put on my scrubs or business suit but to wear both humbly in the work place.

David Green

Sophomore, Chemistry Major

From Midland, MI and loves to take walks.

The Emmaus Program has helped me to integrate my faith into many areas that I would not have applied it to previously. For example, I had never connected my faith with my perception of poverty, racial reconciliation, economic systems, or politics beforehand. I feel that I now have a much better understanding of what it means to seek the Lord and pursue His kingdom work on this earth today...I felt uncomfortable by a lot of what I learned earlier in the Program, and it forced me to decide if I really wanted to live a self-pleasing life or one that may more fully glorify the Lord. I would say personally that I think every individual could use a year in a program like this.

Inhuk Hwang

Junior, Psychology Major, Music Minor

From Seoul, South Korea, and loves to experiment with food.

I wanted to become an Emmaus Scholar because I saw it as an opportunity to deepen my faith. The idea of having a supportive Christian community appealed to me very highly. The Emmaus Scholar’s routine of prayer has helped me translate the experience into a habit that I won’t soon forget. From living closely knit lives with other Christians have also helped me grow in my faith...Wth the Emmaus Scholars Program, I learned that life, learning, faith, and witness cannot be without all of the others. I now envision my future life more according to my faith and call to witness, and take a different approach to my learning in the classrooms. I can also see that I am more able to both demonstrate and proclaim the gospel than before.

Abbie Larink

Junior, Spanish Major, Communications Minor

From Grand Rapids, MI and loves listening to great music.

I first wanted to become an Emmaus Scholar because I had never heard of “integral mission” before, but I knew it would be important for my vocation and participation in ministry work (I had no idea just how important at the time). Just as vital was the opportunity to live in intentional Christian community: a group of individuals with visions set on serving God and others, love founded on Christ, and laughter that’s absolutely contagious... It is stunning and uncommon to have Christian community, adults who care deeply about the formation of your faith and life, and a beautiful, broad array of learning opportunities. This year has been everything that I imagined college would be and more, and I strongly encourage others to join.

Nathan Longfield

Sophomore, Christian History and Theology Major, Mathematics Major

From Dubuque, IA, and loves to play ultimate.

I first wanted to become an Emmaus Scholar because I wanted to grow in my faith and live in a community where Christ was central to relationships and I could have deeper conversations about faith with my peers...This program has helped me, through conversations and study, to develop a deeper understanding of my faith and given me a renewed appreciation of prayer. It has helped me to understand that Christ must be central to all aspects of life....The most important things I have learned are that living in community, even Christian community, is not always easy. Also, I have learned about how central serving the oppressed and marginalized is to the gospel.

Amie Napier

Sophomore, Environmental Engineering Major

From Canton, MI and loves to play the piano

The Emmaus Scholars has been rewarding in its excess of unique and trans-formative experiences. I have seen more inspirational organizations this year than you could shake a stick at and have had the chance to do things that I wouldn’t have considered previously. Some examples include lobbying a representative in D.C., attending a theology conference, and had dinner with a series of highly impressive people...I would encourage other students enthusiastically to participate! Every aspect of the program is thoughtfully constructed to serve the students and their growth - there aren’t many opportunities to be completely immersed in a community that exists to support you and growth with you in faith, so the possibility of participating in that should be considered a rare gift.

Andrew Peecher

Junior, Christian History and Theology Major, Classics Major

From Springfield IL, MI and loves to spend time reading or playing soccer with friends.

The program’s central focus on “integral mission”—the idea that the proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel are bound up with one another—has been by far the most important. And it has shaped everything else: the community, the D.C. Immersion trip, the service learning projects, and so on. The Emmaus program is currently the most formative experience I’ve had at Hope, and it’s poised to finish in that spot as well. Over the course of a few months, I’ve grown in almost every aspect of my life imaginable. And, to boot, I’ve gained life-shaping spiritual practices, a firmer understanding of my faith and life, a whole host of new friends, and an appreciation for gourmet root beer.

Marie Schrampfer

Junior, Religion Major, French Major

From Appleton,WI and loves to go on adventures.

During our Mennonite Dinners, site visits, immersion trip, and many other events, we had the opportunity to hear from those who have heeded God’s call for justice, and who are much farther along in their walk than we are. Hearing their stories - whether they were about living in community, working to end poverty, discerning their future, striving to bring justice to the marginalized, integrating their faith into their field of study, or a combination of these things - has been truly inspiring. They have encouraged us along, showing that there are others who are passionate about similar things, that there are concrete ways to implement what we’ve been learning, and that even though a life of discipleship and justice work can be difficult, it is well worth the struggle.

Alicia Schubert

Junior, English Major, Religion Minor, American Ethnic (Native American focus) Minor

From Enon, MI and loves to play the sing.

The Emmaus Scholars Program has helped me to strengthen and develop my faith more than I ever imagined it would. Attending daily prayer has shown me the importance of lifting up individual and communal praises and requests on a regular basis, as well as the importance of reading and discussing Scripture as a community. Traveling to conferences has introduced me to groups of people who are passionate about studying and living out God’s Word. Spending a week in Washington, D.C. and meeting several people and organizations who are devoted to faithfully serving the poorest and lowliest showed me that such a career is possible...The most important thing I have learned from being in the Emmaus Scholars Program is the necessity of integrating proclamation (verbally sharing the Gospel) with demonstration (living out the Gospel).

Erick Skaff

Junior, Chemistry (pre-med)

From Flint, MI, and loves to swim.

I first wanted to be an Emmaus Scholar because I wanted to find a way to grow my faith. I did not know exactly what form that would take or how my faith would grow, but I trusted God that He would reveal Himself. I was drawn to the idea of living with other believers who were strong in their faith and the positive influence they could have on my life...The most important thing I learned from being an Emmaus Scholar is the value of Christian community. In order to live a life of faith, you cannot do it on your own, but you need the witness of Christian brothers and sisters and the spiritual guide of those who are further along in the journey of faith. .I now have better understanding of the prominence of Christian Justice in the Gospel and the form that takes in our world today. This has changed how I understand my faith and witness in the world.

Mariana Thomas

Sophomore, Composite Cross-cultural Communications Major

From Chicago, IL and loves socializing with people and being part of the Black Student Union.

I became an Emmaus Scholar because I expressed my desire for Christian community to Campus Ministries staff and they suggested I apply for the new Emmaus Scholars Program...The program has challenged me to love others because Christ has called me to do so as His follower, regardless of my preconceptions. I have also learned the significance and importance of liturgical prayer. I continue to learn that people are surprising and can learn and grow just as I have done this semester.

Elly Vander Zouwen

Junior, Communications Major, Spanish Minor

From Midland, MI and loves to sing and hang out with friends.

This program has helped me grow in my faith by showing me the deep connection between Jesus and justice. The most important thing I’ve learned this year is the deep connection between being a Christian and seeking justice in His Kingdom. Through this program, I learned that life, learning and faith cannot be separated. That in everything I do and everything I participate in, I can be a witness to the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. In the classroom, the grocery store, my friendships - everything...It’s a wonderful experience that will stretch and grow you in the best way possible!

Want to learn more about this wonderful program?

We invite you to read on...

Living in intentional, loving, and reflective Christian community, Emmaus Scholars seek to embody a life of scholarship, prayer, hospitality, and integral mission (a ministry of Christian witness and social responsibility).



The Emmaus Scholars Program is an intentional Christian community focused upon "lived theology" and "integral mission".

What is "lived theology"?

"Lived Theology" takes place in the midst of an active and vital community of Christian faith that intentionally joins head, heart, and hands. Lived theology seeks to avoid abstract learning cut off from the concrete needs of race, economic inequality, relational poverty and human needs.

What is "integral mission"?

Integral mission focuses upon both the proclamation and demonstration of God's transformative love. Integral mission connects Jesus and Justice in ways that create space for people to encounter the peace and reconciliation of the Kingdom of God.

You can get a good sense of what current Emmaus Scholars are learning by reading their blogs.

Some of the blog posts focus upon our “site visits” (sharing in community development and justice work in and around Holland), others are personal reflections or even pieces that emerge out of the collaborative research being done by Emmaus Scholars as they consider the intersection of integral mission and issues of poverty, health care, economics, politics, gender, or race.

Who can Apply?

If you are a Christian student (freshman or sophmore) at Hope:

  • looking to join a great community of students who want to share in the work of the kingdom of God;
  • wanting to grow spiritually, socially, intellectually, and morally;
  • seeking to learn how to love the poor, demonstrate and proclaim God's love for the broken;
  • wondering how your faith can be the foundation of your learning about racial reconciliation, poverty, economic inequality and social responsibility;
  • open to developing strong servant-leadership skills;
  • eager to grow and learn all of this within a supportive and spiritually vital community; then…the Emmaus Scholars Program is for you!

The Emmaus Scholars Program has been shaped by the biblical and theological work of Global South scholars. The presence of God’s life and witness throughout various cultures and peoples is a tremendous gift, source of joy, and witness to the reconciling peace of Christ. Accordingly, we believe that diversity is a wonderful gift of God, and offers us a key interpretive lens and window upon biblical justice. Students of color and international students are strongly encouraged to apply to become Emmaus Scholars!

Following the biblical mandate to pursue justice, mercy, and reconciliation (Micah 6:8, 2 Cor 5:16-20), the Emmaus Scholars Program embodies the following distinctives: 

  • Moral Vision
  • Critical Thinking
  • Convicted Civility
  • Integrated Spiritual Life
  • Active Commitment to Justice