Uncovering a World of Possibilities

Joya Schreurs grew up 30 minutes away from Dordt University’s campus. She had always enjoyed attending the university’s choir and orchestra concerts, and she’d heard good things about their English and theology departments. Still, she wasn’t totally sure about going to college close to home.

“It was Dordt’s high-quality music program and its many opportunities – in contrast to the music departments of other colleges I was considering – that eventually got me in the door at Dordt, and I’m thankful it did!”

Schreurs chose to pursue a music performance minor out of personal interest, not as a vocational move. “I knew I didn’t want to have a career related directly to music, but I savored the time I spent at the piano so I decided to devote time to honing and sharing this skill while in college.”

Dordt’s music program might be small compared to that of a state school, but it has remarkable depth and a strong network of connections. “This combination means that any given music student will have a range of performance, learning, and other opportunities to grow as a musician,” says Schreurs.

She majored in English because she loved to read; she chose a theology major because she found herself drawn to life’s big questions, like “What’s the right thing to do?” and “How do we know what’s true?” During her years at Dordt, she engaged in deep theological study as well as in literature.

“The connection between my study of theology and my spiritual development may be obvious—my faith has been deepened and challenged as I encounter diverse expressions of belief and devotion in the vast Christian tradition,” she says. “In a less obvious—but really quite beautiful—manner, my English degree has been a complementary pursuit. Reading and writing have been, and will be, ways for me to continue to explore what it means to be human and dignify the humanity in others—which I believe is also an essential element of good theology.”

One of her favorite places to study on campus is in the English pod. “It has excellent study ambiance, and when it’s active with other English students and professors, the English pod has witty, stimulating conversation.”

But her interest in theology is where she plans to direct her attention post-Dordt. “I’ve applied to a handful of two-year Master of Theological Studies programs, with the hope of continuing into a Ph.D. program,” she says. She has set her sights on Duke University Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina; she is excited to be able to work with top-tier faculty in her area of interest there.

“At Dordt, I’ve met so many delightful, intelligent people who have poured into my growth as a friend, student, writer, reader, thinker, and church member,” she says. “When I reflect on my almost four years, I’m kind of floored by the level of generosity I’ve encountered. After I graduate and enter an unfamiliar place, I’m confident that I’ll have a community from Dordt to draw on and remain connected to.”