Oct 2, 2023

Dordt ranked on "Best Christian Colleges in America" list by Niche

Dordt was recently ranked number 17 on Niche's "Best Christian Colleges in America" list. The list ranks 122 institutions and lists 535.

Female student looks up and discusses something with male student across from her in class

Dordt University was recently ranked number 17 on Niche’s “Best Christian Colleges in America” list for 2024.

The ranking looks at “leading academic institutions that offer students an education and college experience rooted in Christian traditions and faith.”

The Dordt University Founder’s vision was to provide “an education that is Christian not merely in the sense that devotional exercises are appended to the ordinary work of the college, but in the larger and deeper sense that all the class work, all of the students’ intellectual, emotional, and imaginative activities shall be permeated with the spirit and teaching of Christianity.”

“The Founder’s Vision was not just a part of Dordt’s history, it is woven into Dordt’s framework today,” says Aaron Baart, chief of staff and dean of chapel at Dordt. “From the students we recruit, to the staff and faculty we hire, to the way we teach and do other activities, Dordt University seeks to keep Christ central in all that we do.”

Dordt University distinctly incorporates faith into daily life. The university’s strategic plan lists “develop effective kingdom citizens” as its first and foremost goal, including in academics. This might look like a class period where students wrestle with how a topic impacts faith in their workplace, or how they will interact with others in their communities as they view them as fellow image bearers of Christ.

“All of our academic programs, including the Core program, start with this question from The Educational Task and Framework of Dordt University: “Who owns the cosmos, and who owns your heart?”’ says Dr. Leah Zuidema, vice president for academic affairs. “In every area of study, we look at God’s good design and plan, consider the impact of the fall, give thanks for Christ’s redeeming work, and challenge students to learn with their heads, hands, and hearts so that they are equipped to join in Christ-centered renewal wherever God calls them. It is a joy to see how our students take the insights they learn and apply them as they serve in their workplaces, homes, communities, and churches.”

Faith is also woven into co-curricular activities such as athletics and music. Dordt’s athletic department approaches athletics “The Defender Way,” which includes a commitment to the Great Commission and equipping student-athletes to be servant leaders.

Dordt also offers regularly scheduled growth opportunities such as weekly chapel, Praise and Worship, and small groups. Students also have the opportunity to participate in short-term mission trips over spring break, Christmas break, or during the summer. The Campus Ministries staff also walk alongside students, mentoring and providing pastoral care.

“Students do not simply spectate or consume what Campus Ministries does, but are a vital part of driving our events, programs, and all parts of Campus Ministries,” says Sam Ashmore, Dordt’s campus pastor. “Students lead our small groups, worship teams, mission trips, and have a voice in planning chapel series and other events we have. God is powerfully at work in the next generation, and it is our aim to help recognize and accentuate God’s Spirit and activity within our student body.”

Dordt’s Campus Ministries team seeks to be invitational and student-driven.

“The most encouraging trend with this generation is that they do not want to be followers of Jesus that simply consume,” says Ashmore. “They want to be followers of Jesus that produce something beautiful. They want a seat at the table to be able to make real, tangible change and transformation in the world! The best part of my job is getting to give students that seat and watch our world be forever changed.”

About Dordt University

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, the Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education, Forbes.com, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

A picture of campus behind yellow prairie flowers