Dordt College, located in Sioux Center, Iowa, has been providing a strong liberal arts education to its student body for almost 60 years. Opened in 1955, the college now serves around 1300 students annually, providing a solid education in a variety of topics, though all with an underlying theme stemming from its Christian roots. Its affiliation with the Christian Reform Church underlies all its teaching, attracting students looking to educate themselves in the context of what God’s plan is for their future.
Dordt offers majors in over 30 areas, with another 10 pre-professional programs and a Master’s of Education program, all of which have earned Dordt numerous awards for quality (as recently as 2011, ranking 3rd among Midwest colleges in US News and World Report and has been on that list since 1991). Their approach to education incorporates a “Kingdom Perspective” that holds all its graduates to a series of goals that lean heavily on their Christian beliefs. This “Christ-centered education” looks to show students what God’s purpose is for them by helping them learn with the idea that God is at the heart of all things and your future is one in which you should glorify God’s purpose with your in life.
Partially online courses are offered at Dordt through Courses@Dordt every semester, though there is no full degree program offered in an off campus program. The site is used for classes that are not offsite, but serves as a supplement to the classroom learning. On Courses@Dordt, students can submit documents for grading, or proofing, etc. Professors often have additional readings available for viewing, electronic course documents, and possibly some class notes or chats. So while these are not online courses, many do have an online component.
Four year degree programs can result in Bachelor’s of Arts, Science, and Social Work, with programs as diverse as biomedical education and psychology, yet all maintaining the goals of education with Christian values at its core. Even in its Associate degree and Master’s programs, academic advisors and students work together to create schedules that help meet the goals of the “Educational Framework of Dordt College”, which contains goals ensuring students are learning in the Dordt tradition. This includes seeing their education in a religious light, finding out how their chosen path can be used for God, and how God’s creation of your chosen major is meant to serve Him.
In addition to traditional distance learning definitions (like online classes), Dordt also offers learning at a distance from the college, bringing each student’s education to real world settings. Not only do they offer a Chicago Semester, a chance to learn in a big city setting, but numerous partial and full semesters in places as far reaching as the Netherlands and Nicaragua. This diversity in learning environments gives a number of intern and missionary opportunities that help “explore what faith means to them and how it affects their relationships…with persons from other cultures”.
90 programs of study are available, all taught from a perspective of how their decisions and education affects God’s plan, not just for the student, but for the world around them. Dordt offers a consistently top of the pile education that readies young Christians for a world where God’s plan and their own synchronize to create a complete person come graduation and beyond.