Jun 27, 2024

Kearney’s expertise in communication and music to enrich Dordt University

Dr. Michael R. Kearney joins Dordt University as Assistant Professor of Communication, bringing expertise in religious communication, crisis communication, and communication ethics, along with a passion for music and fostering dialogue within the Reformed Christian tradition.

Dr. Michael R. Kearney has accepted a position at Dordt University as Assistant Professor of Communication.

Kearney recently completed his Ph.D. in Rhetoric at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His research interests include religious communication, crisis communication, and communication ethics. He received a bachelor’s degree from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

“Dordt’s commitment to the Reformed Christian tradition inspires me in terms of teaching, scholarship, and service,” says Kearney. “I am looking forward to joining this community of teachers and scholars who care deeply about students, the church, and their fields of study.”

Communication played an important role in church history, adds Kearney. The Protestant Reformation “issued a profound call to self-examination in the light of God’s Word: What do we believe, and why do we believe it?”

“The Protestant Reformers presupposed that returning to the key texts of Scripture and the early church could help people navigate through tremendous conflict—so reading, studying, and debating with one another emerged as essential skills.”

There are many perspectives on the Reformed tradition, and some of the differences and disputes continue to this day. Kearney recognizes that good communication skills cannot make all conflict disappear.

“However, I do believe that studying communication can assist a new generation of church members and citizens in handling disagreements with both conviction and openness. I also believe that the Holy Spirit continues to work through our sinful, broken words to lead and guide the church, as Jesus said.”

Dean for the Arts and Humanities Luke Hawley is thrilled to have Kearney at Dordt. “He has an infectious energy when he talks about subjects he is interested in, whether it be communication or organ. I think that eagerness will be infectious for Dordt students who take his courses.”

A native of Long Island, New York, Kearney is also an organist, pianist, and composer. He runs URC Psalmody, a blog created to foster education and fellowship among church musicians in the Reformed and Presbyterian tradition, with a focus on metrical psalmody. URC Psalmody’s YouTube Channel has more than 4,400 subscribers.

Kearney says he is looking forward to joining the Dordt community and contributing to its Reformed educational ministry.

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 the Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education, Forbes.com, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

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