History

Do you love stories and wish you could study everything? Major in history at Dordt, and you’ll learn how people’s stories and decisions shape culture and values.

At Dordt, you’ll find that history is more than just names and dates. Dordt’s history faculty will show you a new, exciting approach to history: Immerse yourself in a time period through a historical simulation, discuss how history impacts current events, get your professor’s take on a historical event, and more.

After graduating with a major in history, you’ll be ready for a variety of career paths including public policy, law enforcement, public relations, and museum studies.

Program Options

The history curriculum begins with an introductory Western Culture and Worldviews course and continues with a range of survey courses on Latin American, American, European, Muslim, and Far Eastern societies and cultures. Courses span from ancient to contemporary history. You'll select upper-level studies in American and European history, such as U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction or the Modern Middle East. Many courses also offer cross-disciplinary connections with other programs.

As a history major you'll learn to develop the tools a historian needs for further historical studies, you'll take a course in historiography to develop a Christian perspective on interpreting history, and you'll participate in a senior seminar where you'll practice research, writing, and presentation skills.

  • History education: prepares you for middle or high school teaching
  • Museum studies emphasis: includes communication, art, business, political studies, and education courses
  • Pre-law emphasis: includes business law, criminal justice, communication, English, philosophy, and political studies courses
  • International development emphasis: includes theology, economics, environmental studies, and political studies courses
  • Management/administration emphasis: includes business, communication, and psychology courses
  • Digital media minor: Eight hours of digital media courses

Opportunities

A variety of study-abroad programs allow you to experience life and culture in Russia, Egypt, Latin America, Europe, and more.

Experience history through simulations, a staff ride, and our mini model Arab League.

  • Simulations: Dordt is among a handful of member colleges nationwide in the "Reacting to the Past" Consortium led by Barnard College of Columbia University. Students in these courses participate in historical simulations based on actual events. "It's easier to learn the material when it's important to me," said one student after a French Revolution simulation. "It was important because I was fighting for a cause." These simulations encourage students to go beyond the dates and figures and look at the motives and worldviews behind these events. The Chronicle of Higher Education has spotlighted the Dordt history department's efforts in this area, featuring comments from History professor Dr. Paul Fessler and student Nate Gibson.

  • Staff Ride: While studying the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, students take a staff ride to battlefields in Wilson's Creek, Missouri, and Pea Ridge, Arkansas. Students experience history firsthand as they conduct extensive research and become an expert on one or two people in the battle. At the battlefields, they use this knowledge to analyze the motivations and implications of the events.
  • Mini Model Arab League: Dividing into teams representing key countries in the Middle East, students research their country's perspective on important issues such as nuclear weapons, foreign relations, and environmental concerns. Mirroring the real Arab League, students write and debate resolutions in committee sessions. Then, the whole class meets to push through the legislation that would most benefit their chosen country.

Learn More

Check out our program strengths and get to know our facilities.

Dr. Walker Cosgrove

Dr. Walker Cosgrove
Associate Professor of History

CL 1121
(712) 722-6256
Walker.Cosgrove@dordt.edu

About Me

Dr. Scott Culpepper

Dr. Scott Culpepper
Professor of History

CL 1125
(712) 722-6327
scott.culpepper@dordt.edu

About Me

Dr. Paul Fessler

Dr. Paul Fessler
Professor of History
Department Chair

CL 1122
(712) 722-6254
paul.fessler@dordt.edu

About Me

Dr. Mark McCarthy

Dr. Mark McCarthy
Professor of History

CL 1123
(712) 722-6295
Mark.McCarthy@dordt.edu

About Me