A picture of Mark McCarthy

Dr. Mark McCarthy

Professor of History

I received my Ph.D from the University of Notre Dame in 2004. My degree was in modern European history with a focus on Russian and Eastern Europe. My dissertation was on a Russian evangelical revival among the aristocracy in the 1860-1880s. For the first 8 years after graduation I worked at Montreat College near Asheville, North Carolina. Even though the mountains were quite beautiful in Western North Carolina, my wife and I were very happy to have the opportunity to come to Dordt in 2012. My favorite time period in history is 19th century Europe and World War I.

In terms of the 19th century, there was so much change during these hundred years it is hard to even imagine. Within the space of one persons lifetime Europeans went from living in small villages, reading by candela light and traveling by means of human, animal or wind power to huge booming cities, electric lights and the internal combustion engine. In terms of human health we went from blood letting to the understanding of germ theory. In terms of human governance we went from the divine right of kings to the modern democratic welfare state. That amount of change in so short a time span still has consequences for us today in our own lives.

For World War One, this marks the pinnacle of European power and influence in the world. Even since the 1500s Europe had been growing and expanding in terms of political, economic and military power. The world was linked together in a way that it had never seen before and Europe was at its center. Within the space of four years, though, that world would be fundamentally transformed. By 1918 four of the worlds great empires, Russia, German, Austria and the Ottomans, would be no more and the two remaining empires, Great Britain and France, would be severally wreaked. Just as an example of the transformation brought about by the war and its aftermath, the world does not reach 1914 levels of international trade until the early 1980s. Being able to examine these events from a biblical perspective leads to some fascinating insights.

Courses Taught

  • Kingdom, Identity, and Calling (Core 100)
  • Roots of Western Culture and Worldviews (Core 140)
  • Western Culture in Global Context (Core 145)
  • East Asia (Core 274/HIST 214)
  • Age of Empires: 19th Century Europe (HIST 224)
  • War and Peace: 20th Century Europe (HIST 225)
  • Forward to Revolution: Russian History and Culture (HIST 329)
  • Historiography (HIST 380)


  • PH,D., Modern European History, University of Notre Dame (2004)
  • M.A., Modern European History, University of Notre Dame (1998)
  • M.A., Russian Literature, University of Iowa (1996)
  • B.A., Russian, University of Iowa (1992)
  • B.A., History, Calvin College (1990)