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 2014

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Tomato Soup, Luke Hawley

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Up the Hill, James C. Schaap

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Walt Whitman's Vision of the Inferno, or Dante in Drum-Taps, Joshua Matthews

Submissions from 2013

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Best of “The Reformed Journal” (Book Review), David Schelhaas

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Divine Comedy as an American Civil War Epic, Joshua Matthews

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Fall of Alice K (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Heron Lake (Book Review), Bill Elgersma

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Me Before You (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Mourning Hours (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Northwoods Hymnal, Luke Hawley

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Professional Writing in the English Classroom: Designing a High School or Middle School Course (or Unit) in Professional Writing, Jonathan Bush and Leah A. Zuidema

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Professional Writing in the English Classroom: Professional Collaborative Writing: Teaching, Writing, and Learning -- Together, Jonathan Bush and Leah A. Zuidema

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Time Travel (Book Review), Joshua Matthews

Submissions from 2012

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Angry Birds, Joshua Matthews

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Barack Obama: The Story (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Deliverance, James C. Schaap

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Doubt Denied, David Schelhaas

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Egret, Mary Dengler

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Fallible, Bob De Smith

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First Love, Bill Elgersma

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F Word, Joshua Matthews

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Grammar Workshop: Systematic Language Study in Reading and Writing Contexts, Leah A. Zuidema

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Holy Writ and Human Writ, James C. Schaap

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Illuminated Manuscript, David Schelhaas

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Infallible, Bob De Smith

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Making Space for Informal Inquiry: Inquiry as Stance in an Online Induction Network, Leah A. Zuidema

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North Wind is an Old Friend, Howard Schaap

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Not Sure (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Professional Writing in the English Classroom: Are You a Writing Bully? Considerations for Teachers and Students, Jonathan Bush and Leah A. Zuidema

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Professional Writing in the English Classroom: Let's Get Real: Using Usability to Connect Writers, Readers, and Texts, Jonathan Bush and Leah A. Zuidema

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Professional Writing in the English Classroom: Literature-Based Professional Writing: An Oxymoron Whose Time Has Come, Jonathan Bush, Leah A. Zuidema, Kelley R. Newhouse, Michele L. Propper, Ruth M. Riedel, and Barbara S. Teitelzweig

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Quakes Beneath the Sea, Mary Dengler

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Rising Early, Howard Schaap

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Taking My Dad Fishing, Howard Schaap

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Upon Learning that April is Genocide Prevention Month, David Schelhaas

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Wheel of Fortune, Joshua Matthews

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White Linen, Mary Dengler

Books from 2011

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Acquainted with the Light, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Ananias Walks Home, Bob De Smith

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Bruised Reeds, James C. Schaap

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Contentious Conversations, Leah A. Zuidema

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Eaarth (Book Review), David Schelhaas

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"Emptiness About the Heart of Life": A Reformed Approach to Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and Michael Cunningham's The Hours, Mary Dengler

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Jonathan Swift at Work, Bob De Smith

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Leaves in the Wind, David Schelhaas

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Music and Politics: U2 and the Country of Adolescence, Howard Schaap

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Of No Fixed Address, Bill Elgersma

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On the Death of a Church Musician, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Paul Simon's Memento Mori: A Review Essay, James C. Schaap

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Professional Writing in the English Classroom: Beyond Language: The Grammar of Document Design, Jonathan Bush and Leah A. Zuidema

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Professional Writing in the English Classroom: Good Writing: The Problem of Ethics, Jonathan Bush and Leah A. Zuidema

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Professional Writing in the English Classroom: Student Writers as Problem Solvers in Literature Classrooms, Jonathan Bush, Leah A. Zuidema, Dawn Reed, and Katie Greene

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Rather Enjoying Myself, Thanks, Bob De Smith

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Richard III, Mary Dengler

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Ring-necked Pheasant, Howard Schaap

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Scratch Tickets, Howard Schaap

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Single-Heartedness, David Schelhaas

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Sixth Street Symphony, Leah A. Zuidema

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Stubbornness, James C. Schaap

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Tee Ball, Howard Schaap

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Warriors, Shades, and Nymph, Mary Dengler

Submissions from 2010

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After Getting the Mail, Howard Schaap

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City of Tranquil Light (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Devil Reads Derrida (and Other Essays on the University, the Church, Politics, and the Arts) (Book Review), David Schelhaas

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Eating at Neruda's Table, Bob De Smith

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Emily Dickinson, Peter De Vries, and the Strangely Unshakeable Calvinist Character, James C. Schaap

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Emotion Recollected in Tranquility, Howard Schaap

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Eviction, Mary Dengler

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Faith in Fiction? Solzhenitsyn's One Day as a Practical Defense of Fiction, Bob De Smith

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Family Reunion, Howard Schaap

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Holding Steady, Bill Elgersma

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January 26: 28 Degrees and a Bright Red Sunshine, David Schelhaas

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November 5 Cold and Clear, David Schelhaas

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Phantom Braking, Bob De Smith

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Presumptions, Mary Dengler

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Professional Writing in the English Classroom: Professional Writing: What You Already Know, Jonathan Bush and Leah A. Zuidema

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Re-Hearing "Every Square Inch": Anthropocentrism in Neo-Calvinist Rhetoric, Howard Schaap

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Rehoboth, A Place for Us: An Album of Family Stories, James C. Schaap

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What You Got to Hear, James C. Schaap

Submissions from 2009

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Arriving, Bill Elgersma

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Calvinist Foibles on Massachusetts Bay: Review Essay, James C. Schaap

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Fallen Pride, Mary Dengler

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Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace, James C. Schaap

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Geese Leave Summit Lake, Howard Schaap

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Home (Book Review), David Schelhaas

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Interracial Marriage, Howard Schaap

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January Thaw, David Schelhaas

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My Best Hour of the Week, Bob De Smith

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Nightmare of Christmas, James C. Schaap

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No Truth But in Things, Howard Schaap

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Oh, Brother, Mary Dengler

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Paradise in Wal-Mart, Mary Dengler

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Reaping, Mike Vanden Bosch

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Retired, David Schelhaas

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Reverence, Mystery, and Christian Education, James C. Schaap

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Seeing Literature Through Students’ Eyes: The Text Preview, Leah A. Zuidema

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Six Hundred Sermons: A Closer Look at One Pastor's Writing Practices, Leah A. Zuidema

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Space, James C, Schaap

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What Will You Name It? Dordt College Commencement Address, May 9, 2008, Jeri Schelhaas

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Word Made Flesh, David Schelhaas