The Dordt College engineering program strives to provide serviceable insight in the field of engineering from a distinctively Christian perspective while demonstrating the highest quality undergraduate teaching and learning; an education that will equip students for the task of life-long Christian discipleship.
1 The mission of the Dordt College engineering program grows out of The Education Task of Dordt College. This mission emphasizes that the basis and motivation for the Dordt College engineering program is our awareness of the calling we have as God’s covenant people, standing in the tradition of the Reformation, to bring every area of life under the lordship of Christ. “Standing in the tradition of the Reformation” means that every element of the Dordt College engineering program is rooted in a particular Christian worldview and nourished by an identifiable Christian philosophical tradition. That tradition believes the Bible to be the Word of God, and finds the writings of historic, sixteenth century Calvinism to be helpful in effectively using the “glasses” of Scripture to view God’s creation. Following a reformational réveil during the nineteenth century in the Netherlands, that Calvinist tradition was further articulated by Christians such as Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer and Abraham Kuyper. Kuyper founded the Free University in Amsterdam, where two professors, Vollenhoven and Dooyeweerd further articulated the tradition in terms of a Christian philosophical system. Working from that system, Hendrik van Riessen and Egbert Schuurman have laid the groundwork for a Christian philosophy of engineering and technology. Schuurman’s book, Technology and the Future, and the 1986 publication by the Calvin Center for Christian Studies, Responsible Technology, have been the most helpful statements of that philosophy to date. Part of the mission of the Dordt College engineering department is to contribute to that philosophical tradition.
2 Serviceable insight, as expressed in The Education Task of Dordt College, is “insight that enables Christians to carry out their task effectively in a complicated world”. In contrast to learning that often only “contributes to secularization and fosters individualism”, serviceable insight “is not designed to enhance the service of one’s self, but rather, seeks to equip the Christian community to respond obediently to the central Scriptural command, to love God above all, and your neighbor as yourself”. We are to “train Kingdom citizens aware of the demands of the cultural mandate, equipped to take their place and carry out their tasks within our civilization, and prepared to advance, in loving service, the claims of Christ over all areas of life.” “One goal of the College is to identify those occupational areas where serviceable insight is increasingly needed. In principle, no legitimate profession, occupation, vocation, or station in life can be precluded from Dordt’s educational concern. Wherever insight is required, there Dordt College is called to supply it.” Technology, and, in particular, the profession of engineering, refers to an area of life where the redemptive healing of the gospel is sorely needed. For example, the problem of energy consumption and stewardship, cited in a number of places in The Education Task of Dordt College, exemplifies the need for biblically directed serviceable insight in an area where failure of the various denominations of naturalism, humanism, and economism has already been tangibly experienced. The ubiquitous but directionless proliferation of computer technology represents another area crying out for meaning and direction. We see our task as that of training Christian engineers who can address tomorrow’s technological problems and bring the healing and the claims of the Kingdom to a suffering world.
3 Teaching Christianly entails engineering instruction that demonstrates the unity of creation and rejects the classic polarizations between technical and humanities, vocational and liberal arts, or natural and spiritual and embraces a biblical (i.e. wholistic) perspective on life and the task of engineering responsible technology.
- Distinctively Christian Education — Our professors are leaders in the development of a biblically guided engineering curriculum that extends from the introduction to engineering sequence through the capstone engineering design course.
- Academic Excellence — Our record of industry placement, graduate school appointments, and exceptional performance on the nationally administered Fundamentals of Engineering exam have together earned us a reputation for engineering excellence.
- Teaching and Learning Focused — Unlike large research universities, our focus is on teaching. An average class size of 16 students is ideal for building a close-knit learning community of faculty and students.
- ABET Accredited* — Dordt is one of only a few Christian colleges that has been fully accredited for over 20 years.
- Personal Instruction — The average engineering class is 14 students, ideal for teaching and learning. Students take several courses with each professor, creating a close community that enhances learning.
- Faculty Experience — Faculty bring doctoral research and professional experience to the classroom in all engineering fields represented in our curriculum.
- Integral Core Curriculum — Engineering majors receive a broad education that serves them well in an interdisciplinary profession.
*accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org
Click here for the comprehensive program objectives and outcomes.
- Religious orientation: The Dordt College engineering program seeks to guide students as they develop a Christian worldview, so that graduates of the engineering program will recognize that they are empowered by the spirit of Christ in order to responsibly serve the Creator, fellow humans, and the entire creation through their calling as an engineer.
- Creational structure: The engineering program will seek to provide their graduates a cohesive curriculum of diverse courses, so that graduates are prepared for life-long learning in any area of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The program will also provide students with the passion and competencies necessary for successful service as engineers in either graduate school or industry.
- Creational development: The program and curriculum will highlight the various aspects of human responsibility and involvement in the process of dynamically unfolding the creation. Graduates from the Dordt College engineering program will reflect a desire to unfold the potential of creation through science and technology as responsible stewards. Graduates will be able to articulate the historical roots and philosophical moorings associated with contemporary science and technology, and demonstrate the ability to critically assess how the spirits of the age impact technological direction.
- Contemporary response: The engineering program will enable students to convert their insights and competencies into committed action in service to God and their neighbor. A graduate of the Dordt College engineering program will acquire the tenacity and perseverance necessary for engineering service. A Dordt College engineering graduate will be able to articulate a vision for a community of Kingdom-committed citizens who serve as lights in a dark world by developing normative technological models and living faithful lives. Graduates will recognize the need for bringing the Gospel of redemptive healing to technology and seek to develop technology in ways that reflect a desire for the well-being (social, economic, ecological, etc.) of all of God’s creatures.