The English Department of Dordt College believes that "nothing matters but the kingdom of God, but because of the kingdom, everything, literally everything, matters." (Gordon Spykman, Dordt College commencement 1988, "Kingdoms in Conflict")

From that perspective, we teach students how to read poems, stories, plays, and essays. Such reading requires examining how an author uses language to create imagined worlds and to communicate meaning. It also requires that the reader examine how literature from a variety of time periods and cultures challenges or affirms our values and enriches our lives. We aim to foster life-long reading in all our students.

We also demand that students respond to specific selections they read as well as to the broader world in which they live. Thus we teach our students to write poems, stories, essays, and research papers, all of which may help them articulate their Christian understanding of literature and life.

Because we expect all of our graduates will write for publication, we aim to teach them to write clearly, concisely, and forcefully so that the ideas they express and the causes they represent will be advanced.

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Faculty Work from 2018

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Acculturation Through Education, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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A Peacemaker Enters the War to End All Wars, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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A Quiet Place (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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A Walk into Nature's Past, James C. Schaap

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Black Sunday: Dust to Dust, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Bleeding Kansas, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Broken Kettle Dawn, When the Past and Present Merge, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Carry A Nation: Prairie Radical, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Chappaquiddick (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Count Your Blessings, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Darkest Hour (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Death and Immunity on the Missouri River, 1851, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Empathy That is Simply Divine, James C. Schaap

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Enlist!, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Game Night (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Grafting a New Government in Sioux County, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Hammerin' Hank, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Hostiles (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Living by Faith Alone, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Looking for Dawn (Book Review), Howard Schaap

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Movies Are Prayers (Book Review), Joshua Matthews

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Oscar Micheaux: Siouxland's Filmmaker, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Our Landscape that Inspired Dreams, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Ready Player One (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Siouxland Ozymandias, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Solo: A Star Wars Story (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Suffering, Double Negatives, and the Friday We Call "Good", Howard Schaap

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The 15:17 to Paris (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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The Big Problems with Being Small, Joshua Matthews

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The Book of Job and Our Human Suffering, James C. Schaap

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The Democratic Embrace of Hermann the German, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Fossil at Cherokee, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Home of Standing Bear, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Liturgical Lives of Pets, Howard Schaap

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The Path of Dreams and Ruin, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Rider (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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What Happened at Drum Creek, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Willa Cather's View of WWI from Nebraska, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

Faculty Work from 2017

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A Broken Monument for Our Past, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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American Made (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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A Miracle in No Man's Land, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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An Iron to the Head, Joshua Matthews

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Anthem from the Mud, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Archangel Gabriel's Namesake and Tyrannicide, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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A Warrior. A Hero., James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Bad Village, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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"Beauty and the Beast", Joshua Matthews

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Believing in Creation, Howard Schaap

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Blade Runner 2049 (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Buffalo Chip's Heroic Stand, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Children's Blizzard, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Collateral Damage, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Compact Theology - Hymns for Psalm 28, Leah A. Zuidema

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Countdown, Howard Schaap

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Custer's Gold Rush, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Desperation, Persuasion, and Hope, Howard Schaap

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Dromore Farms: When Young Lords Played Polo in LeMars, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Dunkirk (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Email from a Young Poet, Howard Schaap

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Epiphanies, Bill Elgersma

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Exuberant Peace in the Face of Fear, David Schelhaas

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First Suffragette, James C. Schaap

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Good Samaritans on the Prairie, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Hacksaw Ridge: A Movie Review, Joshua Matthews

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Hairwork, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Haunted by the Father: The Poetry of Li-Young Lee, Howard Schaap

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Heavyweight Preaching, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Hell or High Water: Tattered and Familiar, Bob De Smith

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How God Enters My Poems, David Schelhaas

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How to Pray for Your President, David Schelhaas

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Humility on the Plains, James C. Schaap

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I Am, Leah A. Zuidema

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"I Am Your Father", Joshua Matthews

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In Defense of Halloween, or in Defense of the Better Story, Howard Schaap

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In Defense of Halloween: The Fuller Story, Howard Schaap

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Innumerable Hosts of Graves: Death and Fish Along the Missouri, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Movie Review), Donald Roth

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Lake Michigan (warmer than you think), Bob De Smith

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Law and Disorder in O'Brien County, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Life (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Listening to Grandmothers, Howard Schaap

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Little Crow the Hero; or, Little Crow the Villain, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Logan Lucky (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Logan (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Loss of a Child Transcends Time and Language, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Lully Lullay, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Manchester by the Sea: A Movie Review, Joshua Matthews

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Miracles and Mystery; or, Medicine Men and Saints, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Multiculturalism on the Frontier, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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My Father's Tears, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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New Promise and a New Agenda, James C. Schaap

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No Butter Shall Pass!, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Overwhelming Justice and Mercy, Leah A. Zuidema

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Perfume River (Book Review), Howard Schaap

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Plague of Locusts: Word is Getting Out, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Private Associations, Bob De Smith

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Q + A with Derek Webb, Luke Hawley

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Rashomon (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Remember Sacagawea, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger