Dordt College News

Speaking of Pastors published

August 1, 2006

Speaking of Pastors

Pastors talk and parishioners listen.

But the tables are turned in a new book edited by Dr. James Schaap, Sioux Center, and published by the Christian Reformed Church that is available for purchase this month.

Speaking of Pastors: Parishioners Tell Their Stories is a collection of essays by ten writers who were recruited by the editor to share encounters that they and others have had with pastors along life’s journey. After bringing together a group of participating writers, Schaap edited the collaboration into book form, as well as writing the preface and his own essay contribution. Dr. Schaap is a professor of English at Dordt and the prize-winning author of more than 20 books, ranging from short stories to novels.

“Our hope and prayer is that the stories recounted in the essays in this book help us all, pastors and lay folks, bring praise to our God,” says Schaap in the preface. Also contributing to the project was Dr. Lorna Van Gilst, professor of English at Dordt College; and Dordt alumna Kristen (Cnossen) Nichols (Class of 1997).

This collection of essays is a project initiated by the "Sustaining Pastoral Excellence" (SPE) program, and funded by a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant to the Christian Reformed Church denomination. The book will be distributed to CRC pastors, retired pastors, clerks of councils and seminary faculty in September. It will also be utilized by seminaries to train students in pastoral care.

Speaking of Pastors is a companion volume to Persevering in Ministry: Pastors Tell Their Stories, a book published in 2004 with essays from the pastor’s side of the pulpit. Both books are available from Faith Alive Christian Resources at and from the Dordt College Bookstore at

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