Dordt College News

Tintle named new research director

June 23, 2014

I am passionate about research,” says Dr. Nathan Tintle, the newly appointed director of research and scholarship at Dordt College. “Research helps us discover and learn about the wondrous intricacies of God’s creation—to be on the frontlines of the continuous unfolding of a creation that, at every step, is yet again more wondrous, beautiful, and complex than the previous step.”

Tintle’s interest in research began in graduate school, but he wishes now that he’d had opportunities earlier. He hopes to help make that happen for more undergraduate students at Dordt in his new position, and he will also encourage his colleagues to think broadly about what research can include and what it can do for them, their students, the institution, and the community.

“Being involved in some type of research almost always leads to growth and enrichment,” Tintle says. He finds that what he learns often translates directly to what he does in his classroom by giving him a new way to think about a topic or a new approach to try.

“As importantly, it stimulates your mind and gets you passionate about what you’re doing,” he says. And passion leads to good teaching.

As professors engage in research—of a variety of types—they can draw students into collaborative work that benefits everyone. And research can be a means of service to the community, both the academic community and the general community. Dordt faculty members have a rich tradition of addressing issues that are important to our world in a way that takes faith seriously, Tintle believes.

When Tintle talks about doing research, he’s thinking much more broadly than what traditionally happens in labs or on computers. He’s also thinking more broadly than writing articles or books or obtaining grants. For him “doing research means continuously pushing yourself to increase your knowledge of yourself and your discipline so that you stay fresh, try new things, and share what you’ve learned with others.”

“Teaching in higher education is different from teaching on earlier levels,” he adds. He’ll try to help faculty members identify research projects that fit who they are and what they are interested in. He’s thankful for opportunities Dordt faculty and students have available to them through the faculty journal, Pro Rege, and the student academic conference, Ideafest. He’s also appreciative of the Andreas Center for Research and Scholarship, which makes it possible for some faculty members to engage in research that is important to the Christian academic community but might not be funded by another source.

“Dr. Tintle possesses a collaborative spirit, and his skills will help him model scholarship efforts and provide others with encouragement and successful guidance in their scholarly ventures,” says Dordt College Provost Eric Forseth.

Sally Jongsma

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