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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Submissions from 2017

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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

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Righteousness and Peace, James C. Schaap

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Saints from the Fire, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Saying What Can't Be Said: Modifying Love, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Searching for the Presence of God, David Schelhaas

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Silence: A Movie Review, Joshua Matthews

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Silence: A Review Essay, Joshua Matthews

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Space Travel, Mary Dengler

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Stained Forever by a Sanguine Glow, David Schelhaas

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Stories from River Bend Church, James C. Schaap

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Take Long Looks at Anything, Luke Hawley

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Taking My Daughter to Hidden Figures, Howard Schaap

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Tales from the Neighborhood, James C. Schaap

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Temple Playground, Mary Dengler

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The Blessed Sacrament of Potlucks, Howard Schaap

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The Bloody Benders, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Case for Christ (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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The Circle (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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The Cottonwood that Bent the Highway, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Dark Tower (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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The Grammar of Complicity, Howard Schaap

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The Great Loss of the Great War, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Hidden Conditions of Heroism, Howard Schaap

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The Importance of Literature, Luke Hawley

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The Refugee Down the Pew, Howard Schaap

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The Refugees (Book Review), Howard Schaap

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The Resounding Voice of What's Not There, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Shack (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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The Villasur Massacre, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Voice of His Word, James C. Schaap

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The WPA in LeMars, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Thy Word Have I Hid in My Heart, James C. Schaap

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Time-Zone Poems, Bob De Smith

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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War for the Planet of the Apes (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Where the Buffalo Roamed, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Where We Put Our Fears, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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White Buffalo Girl's Grave, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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White Buffalo of the Omaha Chiefs, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Who Needs Men? Titania’s World and Shakespeare’s Argument for Marriage In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bob De Smith

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Who's Who in the Rogues' Gallery, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Wilderness Vision, James C. Schaap

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Willa's New Home on the Prairie, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Wonder Woman (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Wooden Shoe Militia, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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You and Me and West Texas: Review of Hell or High Water, James C. Schaap

Faculty Work from 2016

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Akimbo Cross, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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A Powerful Medicine, Howard Schaap

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Aspiration(s), James C. Schaap

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Become a Believer, Howard Schaap

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Behold the Power of Gesture, Howard Schaap

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Between the World and Me, Michael Brown, and White Imagination, Howard Schaap

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Coaching Teacher-Writers: Practical Steps to Nurture Professional Writing, Troy Hicks, Anne Elrod Whitney, James Fredricksen, and Leah A. Zuidema

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Deadheading to Firecracker, Joshua Matthews

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Ex Machina: Notes for Viewing, Bob De Smith

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Exploding the Nuclear Family, Howard Schaap

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Faith, Not Confidence, Howard Schaap

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For the LORD is a God Who Knows, Leah A. Zuidema

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From Small Wonder(s), James C. Schaap

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Hand from the Whiteness: When Bears Ear Saved Mary C. Collins, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Hard Midwestern Life and Equal Rights, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Heorot, Bob De Smith

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Hesed: Sunday After Shabbat, Mary Dengler

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How Then Shall We Eat?, Tanya DeRoo

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Hugh Glass and the Epic Poetry of Siouxland, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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I Am the Way, the Truth, the Life, Leah A. Zuidema

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Incense, Bob De Smith

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Is Certainty the Same as Faith?, Howard Schaap

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Is Consumerism Consuming Us?, Howard Schaap

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Joseph the Imperturbable, Howard Schaap

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Just Add Water, Bill Elgersma

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Language of Arrival, Joshua Matthews

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Last Buffalo, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Light of the World, Joshua Matthews

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Liturgies of the Body: The Jump Shot and Spiritual Practice, Howard Schaap

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Love Undone at Blackbird Hill, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger