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 2019

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3.2 Beer at the Buckaroo, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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A Family Plot, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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A Kindness That Saved the Farm, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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A Town Named Victory, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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A Winter's Tale, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Bank Heist, Sioux Center, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Black Robes on the Prairie: Dyeing for Tradition, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Black Sunday: Poems (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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Bud and Dode and Death in Le Beau, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Cottonwoods for a Better Future, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Digging into Durable Books, Joshua Matthews

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Dreamers, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Dvorak in Spillville, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Faith and Superstition, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Fire, Loss, and What Cannot Be Said, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Giveaway, James C. Schaap

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Hope Emerson from Hawarden to Hollywood, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Jesse James' Train Robbery and Creation of a Myth, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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John Wick: Chapter Three - Parabellum (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Labor Day, the Side-Eye Holiday, Howard Schaap

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Labors of the Prairie, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Melville's Moby-Dick: A Lesson in Reading, Mary Dengler

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Movie Review: Green Book, Joshua Matthews

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Movie Review: Roma, Joshua Matthews

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Netflix Review: Bandersnatch, Joshua Matthews

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Netflix Review: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joshua Matthews

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One Night on the Old Missouri Trail, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Part One: Reforming Journalism, Lee Pitts

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Part Two: Journalism as a Sharing of Stories, Lee Pitts

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Pentecost, James C. Schaap

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Pilot Rock: A Lighthouse to the Past, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Pure Celebrity, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Some of Us Were Only Spectators, James C. Schaap

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Sonnets to the Dust Bowl, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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So You are Thinking about Reading Moby-Dick..., Joshua Matthews

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Spenser's Images of Grace and the Canons of Dort: Faerieland Meets the Five Main Points of Doctrine, Bob De Smith

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That Big Hearted Virgil Earp, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Battle of Pecatonica, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Comfort Bird (Book Review), James C. Schaap

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The Illuminated Path to an Illuminated Bible, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Keeley Cure, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Legend of Jedediah Smith, James C. Schaap

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The Missouri: River of Time and Memory, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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The Significance of Story: A Review of On Reading Well, Shelbi Gesch

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The Time of Peace and Cats, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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What Do We Do With Our Bad Stories?, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

Faculty Work from 2018

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Acculturation Through Education, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Advent Joy: The Joy of the Incarnation is in Tents, Howard Schaap

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An Innocent Voyage West and the Trail of Tears, 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 Plains Understanding, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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A Quiet Place (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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As Armistice Approached, War's Engine Roared, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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

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Battle of the Spurs, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Big Oil and Climate Change Denial, David Schelhaas

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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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Buffalo Soldiers in the Trenches, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Can'ts and Don'ts, Bill Elgersma

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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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Children of God Living in a Groaning Creation, David Schelhaas

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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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Ebenezer, Howard Schaap

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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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Ents, Bob De Smith

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Exit West (Book Review), Howard Schaap

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First Man (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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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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International Children's Movies: A Review of the Last Thirty Years, 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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Lost to the War Then Lost to Time, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Memories and Magic We Kept in Attics, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Movies Are Prayers (Book Review), Joshua Matthews

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Neighbors, Mary Dengler

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New Hope at Christmas, James C. Schaap

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Not Masters but Stewards of the Earth, David Schelhaas

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Odd Exchange: From Ascension Day to Pentecost, Bob De Smith

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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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O West Wind!, Bob De Smith

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Policy, Practice, and Dialogue: A Framework for NCTE Action and Relational Strategy, Leah A. Zuidema

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Prepopulated Data, Howard Schaap

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Ready Player One (Movie Review), Joshua Matthews

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Robin Hood's Little House on the Prairie, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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Seared and Bleared, Smudged and Smelly, David Schelhaas

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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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Tekakwitha, The Native Saint, James C. Schaap and Mark Munger

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