Louis Berkhof (1873-1957) was born in Emmen in the Netherlands, and emigrated with his family in 1882 to Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1900, he graduated from Calvin Theological seminary and took up the pastorate of First Christian Reformed Church in Allendale, Michigan. Two years later, he went to Princeton Theological Seminary, and within two years had earned his BD degree. Then he returned to West Michigan to pastor Oakdale Park Church located in Grand Rapids. He was an outstanding teacher, and the author of some twenty-two books, including his magnum opus, Systematic Theology, first published in 1934.
In 1906 Berkhof returned to his alma mater, Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, as professor, and served on the faculty for thirty-eight years until the end of his life. He was the seminary’s President from 1931.