PRESIDENTIAL PROFILE

The information on the page was posted during a 2011-12 search for a president of Dordt College. On April 20, 2012, the Board of Trustees named Dr. Erik Hoekstra the fourth president of Dordt College.

The next president of Dordt College will have an opportunity to build on the school’s strong heritage and further advance its mission and vision. The president will assume leadership of a remarkably healthy school. Throughout its history, Dordt College has benefited from a loyal and committed constituency. With God’s blessing and constituent support, along with fiscally responsible leadership, Dordt College has been able to maintain its healthy financial position. Dordt College is owned and controlled by an incorporated society composed primarily of members of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA). It is governed by the 30-member Board of Trustees, which is composed of geographically selected CRCNA representatives and at-large representatives from the broader Reformed evangelical community.

The Position

The president of Dordt College serves as the senior executive, having and exercising overall leadership for the school. The following positions report to the president:

The Dynamic Opportunities of the Presidency

The President of Dordt College has the opportunity to influence the lives of thousands of students through three interconnected areas of leadership: institutional, academic, and missional and spiritual.

Institutional leadership refers to the strategic, administrative, and financial aspects of operating the institution. The President must have the visionary ability to make strategic decisions, looking beyond the present into the future. The President must build a highly effective administrative team. She or he must also have competence in the strategic allocation of financial resources, coupled with a demonstrated ability in developing relationships and alliances that lead to significant contributions to the college.

Academic leadership refers to the promotion of scholastic excellence and rigor. In the ever-changing world of higher education, the President, in collaboration with the Administrative Cabinet, must continually evaluate the academic programs offered. The President should understand the nuances of Reformed, Christ-centered higher education. To exercise this leadership, the President should have appropriate academic credentials and a record of visionary leadership.

Missional and spiritual leadership refers to the President’s responsibility and commitment to protect the mission and champion the vision of the college. The President must have a deep understanding of and passionate commitment to Dordt College, constantly developing, guarding, and promoting its mission. We seek a President who is personally committed to Jesus Christ, who models the life of a disciple, and who sets the spiritual tone for the campus.

These three dimensions are essential to effective leadership at Dordt College.

Professional/Personal Qualifications

We seek a President with character and integrity, a leader who exhibits the Fruit of the Spirit and walks closely with God. The President must have a true heart for God’s Word and for his people. Leading by example, the President will encourage the Dordt community to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. The President will act as a servant leader while seeking and respecting the gifts and abilities of others.

A gifted visionary, the next President will cast and communicate a vision for the future while securing  support from the Dordt community. Excellent communication between the President and the college’s constituent groups is essential. The President must be a strong writer, adept at public speaking, and effective at interpersonal communication—understanding social media as a means of communication.

Relationships are integral to success in the presidential role. We seek a President who understands, cultivates, and works within historical community relationships – both locally and farther afield. The President must be a keen listener, developing and maintaining healthy relationships with students, faculty, and staff, as well as with longstanding and new constituent groups.

The ideal candidate will have teaching experience at the college or university level. While historically those serving as President of Dordt College have been ordained clergy, this is not a requirement for our fourth President. We seek an individual who is committed to our mission and who has a passion to serve and support the faculty and students and lead them toward increasingly higher levels of scholarship and academic excellence.

The changing landscape of Christ-centered higher education demands creative leadership. The ideal candidate will foster a culture of innovation at Dordt by hiring people who think creatively, by building a leadership team diverse in talent, and by understanding the giftedness of individuals and enabling them to contribute effectively and innovatively to advance the mission and well-being the college.

The President lives in the tension created by needing to be accessible, visible, and relational while maintaining an active travel schedule promoting the mission and vision of Dordt College, giving adequate administrative leadership, and devoting time to be alone with God.

The Opportunity/Challenge

The President, building on the strengths of Dordt College, will be challenged to:

The presidency of Dordt College is a great opportunity for the person who is passionate about its mission and vision and motivated in the following areas:

Dordt’s Mission

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, the mission of Dordt College is to equip students, alumni, and the broader community to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life.

Our next president, with God’s help, will have the opportunity to advance the mission of Dordt College. It will be essential for the President to embrace and clearly articulate the Reformed Christian perspective and to commit wholeheartedly to the task of equipping the Dordt College community to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal. Central to the mission are:

Reformed Christian perspective. The vision and programs of Dordt College are firmly and intentionally grounded in a comprehensive kingdom perspective. By this we mean that Scripture and creation reveal a sovereign God, that all things are under his control and find their goal and purpose in his glory, and that the creation is his kingdom. Even though human disobedience has greatly disrupted our world, we are confident that God, with his Word of grace, reclaims his world through the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Through faith in Christ, we are restored to covenantal fellowship with God.

Equipping students, alumni, and the broader community to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal. We believe that God created us in his image to "cultivate" creation by caring for its well-being and developing its potential. Because Christ rescued the creation from the curse of sin and reigns as king over it, we, his imagebearers and redeemed children, have work to do. We seek to transform culture and bring shalom to a broken world. Our task at Dordt College is to equip students to become insightful, obedient, and active servants in God’s world, working for the expression of his kingdom everywhere.

Dordt’s History

Dordt College is infused with the energy and excitement of an institution that is still young and the confidence of an institution that is already well-established. Through God’s blessing and the hard work of his servants dedicated to Christian higher education, Dordt has grown from the small beginnings of 5 faculty members, 35 students, and one building, to a vibrant institution of 80 faculty and over 1,400 students living and learning on a modern, well-equipped 115-acre campus.

Dordt College began in 1953 as Midwest Christian Junior College. The impetus for a new college was primarily the need for qualified teachers for Christian day schools in the area. When doors opened in 1955, the 35 students and five faculty members held classes in a new four-classroom building set on a former mink farm and surrounded by fields of crops. Around the time the institution became a four-year college, its name was changed to Dordt College in honor of the historic Reformed synod held in Dordtrecht, the Netherlands, in 1618-1619, a synod which emphasized the sovereignty of God through his electing grace.

Over the past six decades, Dordt’s remarkable growth in size, offerings, and reputation has led us to exclaim in humble amazement, "What hath God wrought!" Dordt’s first four-year B.A. degrees were awarded to a graduating class of 58 in 1965. The college grew rapidly in the ’60s and ’70s, with enrollment climbing above 1,200. During this time the faculty grew as well; many faculty members, intending to teach here only a few years, became thoroughly committed to the college mission and remained for their entire careers. The initial faculty of five has grown to eighty.

Although the initial academic emphasis was on teacher education, Dordt has greatly expanded its offerings to include programs in such diverse areas as agriculture, engineering, social work, criminal justice, biotechnology, international business, and theatre management. Dordt College is not only preparing students to serve in a wide variety of careers and occupations, but also to understand those fields as under God’s sovereignty and important in his Kingdom.

Dordt’s three presidents have provided leadership and commitment to a distinct vision for Christian higher education. Rev. B.J. Haan, who served from Dordt’s founding until 1982, worked tirelessly to lay the foundation that is today more clearly articulated in “The Educational Task of Dordt College." Dr. J.B. Hulst, a founder and early dean of students, was as ardently committed to that vision as his predecessor and supervised the development of a strategic plan for the future of the college, titled "Renewing the Vision." Dr. Carl E. Zylstra, the first non-founder president, presented as his inaugural theme in 1996 "Living the Vision," urging faculty and students to make the continuing educational vision concrete in their teaching, learning, and living.

Our fourth president will be privileged to serve a flourishing and stable Christian college, leading it forward on the basis of a strong foundation and clear vision as we continue to serve our students, our supporting constituency, and the broader Christian community.

Dordt’s Distinctives

Dordt College seeks to provide a holistic learning community in which classroom and other educational activities work hand-in-hand with every other aspect of a student's experience.

A kingdom perspective is integral to the curriculum. Dordt's curriculum, which is founded upon and guided by The Educational Task of Dordt College, is designed to help students develop Christian insight within a four-point framework:

 

Dordt's core curriculum provides a foundation of history, philosophy, theology, and communication skills. Other core courses in language and the arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences provide a broad context for more specialized studies. Majors, accredited pre-professional programs, and a master's program provide in-depth insight into the nature and demands of a variety of vocations and professions. A capstone course helps students apply the four themes of the Educational Framework to contemporary issues as they move from the academic setting into a larger world.

 

Dordt College is also attentive to the ways in which classroom learning is enhanced by structured educational experiences outside the classroom. The curriculum includes a cross-cultural component that requires students to explore another culture, either through course work, study abroad, or volunteer service. In addition, Dordt College has encouraged faculty to develop service-learning opportunities, which combine reading and research with planning and executing a related service project, followed by active reflection on the activities and outcomes of that project.

Dordt College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, the social work, engineering, education and nursing programs are accredited by their respective professional organizations.

About 85 percent of Dordt College students live on campus. The Dordt College experience includes much more than the time students spend in the classroom or in other curricular activities. The non-curricular aspects of college life play a vital role in implementing the educational task of Dordt College. Because of that integral role, we use the term "co-curricular" to describe the wide range of activities we provide that develop and enhance what is taught in the curriculum. The college works to foster an attitude of service and loving obedience by planning social and devotional activities as well as community-building and service projects. Such activities are not considered mere additions to the academic task, but a critical part of developing serviceable Christian insight.

To learn more about the academic programs and co-curricular opportunities offered at Dordt College, please visit our website.

Dordt at a Glance

Quick Facts

Student Profile

Top Countries Represented (other than USA)

Out-of-State Students – 63%

US States Represented – 36

Top States

Top Denominations Represented:

Tuition and Aid:

Graduation Rates:

Faculty:

Off-Campus Studies:

Finances:

Top 5 Majors at Dordt

Co-Curricular Involvement:

Average Chapel Attendance – 750+

Student Organizations, Clubs, & Intramurals – 73% of Students

Undergraduate Programs - 40

Masters of Education Program with coursework in:

Degrees Offered:

Process of Candidacy

If you sense that the gifts and experience God has given you are a good initial match for Dordt College, we invite you to begin the inquiry process. We will handle all candidate information and conversations confidentially. You may contact SIMA®, the executive search firm assisting Dordt in this search, at any stage of the process to get more information and to ask questions. (Contact information is provided below.) 

Please provide the following documents and responses for review:

The names and contact information (telephone and e-mail) for four references who know you and your career well enough to comment on your suitability for the presidency of Dordt College. (References will be contacted only after we have requested and received your permission to do so.)

Submit this information in Microsoft Word (.doc) format to:
Tommy Thomas
SIMA®International
resumes@simainternational.com
Phone: 615.261.4623

In the subject line of the email, please write “Dordt College - President”