In December, I signed nearly 50 diplomas. It is one of the great joys in my role as president.
As I did so, I thought about meeting some of these students when they were freshmen and watching them grow and develop during their years here. It gives me joy to watch them launch into service in Christ’s kingdom.
The stack of December diplomas I have signed has grown each of the last several years. Six years ago, the majority of diplomas were for graduates who had taken more than four years to complete their degrees. Today, the students receiving those diplomas are graduating in fewer than four years because they have earned college credits while still in high school or have completed online summer courses through Dordt.
I am thankful that our faculty are offering online courses from a Reformed worldview. This innovation allows our students to ready themselves more rapidly to work effectively for Christ-centered renewal in God’s kingdom.
While state universities seem to want to keep students enrolled as long as possible in order to receive more taxpayer dollars for each student enrolled, Dordt respects students’ desires to be good stewards of their time and tuition and encourages their efforts as they seek an early graduation.
I find this to be an exciting time at Dordt. Not only are our innovative online courses allowing more students to graduate in three and a half years, but our master’s programs have grown by 300 percent after moving to an online delivery format. And we recently welcomed 29 students to our new two-year Pro-Tech programs in farm management and operations and in manufacturing technology.
Whether they require two years, three years, four years, or more, every course, program, and interaction on our campus is designed to align with the Founders’ Vision:
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.
We will continue to innovate, adding more online offerings and expanding collaborative educational and industry partnerships. As we do so, we will maintain our Christ-centered focus. We are thankful for your trust, encouragement, and support—and for your prayers that God will bless our efforts.