John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism.

Full Name Jehan "John" Cauvin
Who theologian
Birth Date July 10, 1509
Death Date May 27, 1564
Country France
Born Noyon, France
Died Geneva, Switzerland
Cause of Death unknown

University of Paris

University of Orleans

University of Bourges

Father Gerard Cauvin
Mother Jeanne le Franc of Cambrai
Spouse Idelette de Bure Calvin

Charles Cauvin

Anthony / Antoine Cauvin

Mary Cauvin

Children three, all died in infancy


In 1536, at age 27, Calvin served as secretary to Renee of France, who later became one of his most important friends and allies.

Calvin was personally invited to lead a church for a group of refugees from Strasbourg in 1538 by Martin Bucer, another leading relgious figure of the time period. When Calvin declined, Bucer appealed to him until he agreed. Calvin would later praise Bucer's work.

Calvin was greatly influenced by polymath Michael Servetus, whom he met in 1546. They began to write to each other secretly, debating religion and philosophy. Eventually, these letters would be used against Servetus in a heresy trial.

Calvin was an admirer of Martin Luther, who expressed mutual respect.

Calvin was a patron of religious musicians and songwriters, most notably Clement Marot and Louis Bourgeois.

Calvin sheltered groups of English refugees from the religious persecuation of Mary I of England. However, he was a supporter of Thomas Cranmer.


Noyon, France - Born here, 1509. Grew up here, 1509 - 1522.

Paris, France - Studied here, 1522 - 1525. Lived here, 1530 - 1533.

Orleans, France - Studied here, 1525 - 1529.

Bourges, France - Studied here, 1529 - 1530.

Angouleme, France - Went into hiding here, 1533 - 1534.

Basel, Switzerland - Lived here, 1534 - 1536.

Ferrara, Italy - Stayed here for three months, 1536.

Geneva, Switzerland - Lived here, 1536 - 1538 and 1541 - 1564. Died here, 1564.

Zurich, Switzerland - Stayed here, 1538.

Basel, Switzerland - Stayed here, 1538.

Strasbourg, France - Lived here, 1538 - 1541.

Worms, Germany - Visited here, 1540.

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