The English Department of Dordt University 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.

Follow

Faculty Work from 2022

PDF

A Grim Reality, a Good Hope: A Review of Fortune, Howard Schaap

PDF

A Reform(ul)ational Life of Faith: A Review of Faith Life and Theology: A Reorientation, John C. Vander Stelt, Shaun Stiemsma

PDF

Christians and Climate Change, David Schelhaas

PDF

Confronting Kuyper: A Review of Calvinism for a Secular Age (Chapter Seven: On Race), Shaun Stiemsma

PDF

Language as Communion, James C. Schaap

PDF

Questions So Simple, Answers So Far Beyond, David Schelhaas

Faculty Work from 2021

File

A Church Bound in Prairie Armor Holds a Tragic Tale, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

A House Divided, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

A Massacre, A War, An Impalpable History, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

August, Mary Dengler

File

A Vet Remembers Coming Home to His Wife and the Farm Crisis, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Big Bones in the Badlands, Lies, and a Promise Kept, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Blinded by Privilege in 1968 - When I Heard MLK was Assassinated, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Bountiful Garden Produce Inspires Poetry, David Schelhaas

PDF

Decomposition, Rose Postma

PDF

False Spring, Rose Postma

PDF

God at Babel, Rose Postma

File

Golden Dreams of the Great White North, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Honeymooning on the Oregon Trail, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Improving the Land, Making Money, and the Great American Story, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Invocation, Rose Postma

PDF

I Show You a Mystery, David Schelhaas

PDF

London Street: A Memoir (Book Review), James C. Schaap

PDF

Prescience, Bob De Smith

PDF

Proceedings of the 28th Northern Plains Conference on British Literature, Bob De Smith

File

Prospects from Prospect Hill, Part 1: Saved by a Mulberry Bush, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Prospects from Prospect Hill, Part 2: The Prayer Meeting, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

PTL, James C. Schaap

PDF

Rare Books, Bob De Smith

PDF

Review of Idiocracy, Joshua Matthews

File

September 11, 2001, Highland, Iowa: Lessons from a Ghost Town Brought Back to a Changed World, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Shadowlands, James C. Schaap

PDF

The Adjective Green, David Schelhaas

File

The Ancient Wanderers Among Us, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

The Bells of Helmus (Book Review), James C. Schaap

File

The Chilean Songbird that Soundtracks the Prairie, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

The Devil's Tower: What's in a Name?, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

The Epic of Anne Rubin Boermann in a Time of Broader Understanding, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

The Love of a Teacher: Ada B. Caldwell and Harvey Dunn, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

The Nobel Cheese Prize? Sinclair Lewis in Minnesota, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

The Prophetic and Black and Pentecostal Voice: A Review of Shoutin' in the Fire, Howard Schaap

PDF

Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much, Rose Postma

PDF

The Voice in My Head is Populist. And White., Howard Schaap

PDF

Unsettled Ground: The Whitman Massacre and its Shifting Legacy in the American West (Book Review), James C. Schaap

File

Where Our History Cuts Deep, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Why is Jesse James the Hero?, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Words That Couldn't Be Spoken, James C. Schaap

File

Zitkala-Sa: Native Journalist Who Uncovered Murder, Graft, and Exploitation, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

Faculty Work from 2020

File

A Christmas Story... Sort Of, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Acknowledgements, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

A Dream in a Town Named Academy, South Dakota, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

All of Life from the Castles at Slim Buttes, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Ascension, David Schelhaas

PDF

Bad Quarto, Bob De Smith

File

Bdote: Where Rivers Come Together and People Fall Apart, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Big Bluestem, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Christians Want Power? Sioux Center Pushes Back on New York Times Story, Lee Pitts

PDF

Fearful, Mary Dengler

File

Forced from First Class, Emma Coger Fought for Equal Rights and Entered History, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

For Dr. Marlin Vanden Bosch: Professor, Poet, and Pitcher, James C. Schaap

File

Galena and the General, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Horizons of Hope, Howard Schaap

File

Humbuggery, Medical Hoaxes, and Sweet Promises in Eureka Springs, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Hunger in the Fields: Mother Bloor Comes to Sioux City, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

In the Moment, Bill Elgersma

File

Labor Day: For the Essential Workers, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Labor Day: Stories of Work, James C. Schaap

File

Little Cathedral on the Prairie, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Living, Mary Dengler

PDF

Love in the Time of Coronavirus, David Schelhaas

File

Meisy's Resistance, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Monuments of the West on Our Blue Highways, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Movie Review: 1917, Joshua Matthews

PDF

Movie Review: Onward, Joshua Matthews

PDF

Movie Review: Parasite, Joshua Matthews

PDF

Nightcrawler: A Review, Joshua Matthews

File

No Heart of the Ioway, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Pancake Democracy in America, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Seven Stanzas at Easter, David Schelhaas

File

Shenandoah: Our Thirst for Home, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Silas Soule and the Courage to Stand Against the Tide of Injustice, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Siouxland's Response to the Spanish Flu, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

Soddies: Home, Home in the Range, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Sons of the Prairie, James C. Schaap

File

Swiss Sisters of Standing Rock, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Symptoms, Mary Dengler

PDF

"The Day of Realization": A Review Essay of Abbie Gardner's The Spirit Lake Massacre and Captivity of Abbie Gardner, James C. Schaap

File

The Little Church, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

The Novels You Re-Read, David Schelhaas

File

Then They Shot the Ponies, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

The Osage Church: Faith, Murder, and the Presence of History, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

The Presence of the Past: A Review of Abraham Kuyper's On Education, Shaun Stiemsma

PDF

The Secret Treasure of Coming Home: Ruth Suckow Park, Earlville, Iowa, James C. Schaap

File

The Story of Standing Bear - Part 1, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

The Story of Standing Bear - Part 2, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

The Story of Standing Bear - Part 3, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

File

The Story of Standing Bear - Part 4, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

PDF

Trying to Understand Memorial Day, Howard Schaap

PDF

Two Books that Will Contribute to Your Happiness, David Schelhaas

File

When Mosa Preserved a History, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger