Dordt College News

Dordt College honored for community service

May 16, 2011

Dordt College was one of only 21 Iowa Colleges to be named an honor roll member by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

The Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that promote community service and can show meaningful results in their communities. By being selected for the Honor Roll, Dordt College is recognized by the highest levels of the federal government for a commitment to service and civic engagement on campus, in the community, and throughout the nation.

From serving at the afterschool Kidzone project to participating in mission trips to Nicaragua, a heart for service is evident among the student body at Dordt College. The three largest Dordt sponsored mission programs are PLIA, AMOR, and COP.

This past year, 135 students participated in PLIA (Putting Love Into Action), a program where students travel to locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. They work in ministry centers, doing such things as home repair, painting, childcare, and teaching. International opportunities are available to students through Dordt’s AMOR (A Mission OutReach) program, which sent 35 students to Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. COP (Community Outreach Program) has involved hundreds of students in volunteer service through agencies and ministries in the Sioux Center area.

In addition, students continue to find new ways to use their education and unique skills to serve. According to Campus Pastor Aaron Baart, this year’s students have served as off-air counselors for HopeLine, a program tied to the Dawson McAllister Live radio show and helped lead Friday evening Bible studies at a maximum security prison in Sioux Falls.

Baart sees that many Dordt students view their service as part of their commitment to the gospel. “Students will say, ‘This gospel that we read demands an entire life’s commitment. I want all of my life to show that this is a message worth living and dying for.’ This is ‘by our love, the world will know us.’”

At the heart of these service projects lies Dordt College’s approach to education, which recognizes that learning must lead to service, and that service enhances learning. The strength and vitality of volunteer service programs at Dordt has always come from students’ personal commitment to Christian service. While the benefits of the volunteer project to recipients are key, these programs also provide students with a rich learning experience in planning, organization, leadership, group processes, and even fund raising.

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