Dordt seeks to provide a holistic learning experience in which classroom and other educational activities work hand-in-hand with every other aspect of a student's experience.
A kingdom perspective is infused throughout the curriculum. Dordt's curriculum is designed to help students develop Christian insight within a four-point framework:
- Religious orientation: Who owns your heart?
- Creational structure: How do things hang together?
- Creational development: How did we get where we are today?
- Contemporary response: What should we do now?
Dordt's core curriculum provides a foundation of history, philosophy, and theology, as well as various 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, 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 dealing with contemporary issues helps students formulate answers to the four questions above as they move from the undergraduate academic setting into a larger world.
Dordt is committed to increasing the ways in which classroom learning is enhanced by structured educational experiences outside the classroom. The college has included a cross-cultural component in its Core Program that requires students to explore another culture, either through coursework, study abroad, or volunteer service. In addition, Dordt 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.
More than 85 percent of Dordt students live on campus. The Dordt 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. 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.