Creation as Calling
Leah Werkhoven would be the first to admit that open skies and mountains are where she feels most comfortable. So how did this Washingtonian with a passion for the great outdoors come to the plains of Iowa?
At first, Leah considered Dordt College almost too familiar to be her choice for college since both her parents and older siblings attended.
"I like the outdoors,” says the Monroe, Washington native. “And I guess I didn’t see Iowa as a place where I could pursue that interest.” Still, as a high school senior she visited Dordt along with several other Christian colleges. Based largely on the people she met, Leah decided that Dordt really was the best place for her. “Everyone was so welcoming,” Leah recalls. “That made a huge impression. I really felt comfortable here, like I belonged.”
Leah has always loved the outdoor world, but it took some time for her to officially choose her major.
“I grew up on a dairy farm. My brother majored in veterinary science, and my sister was an animal science major.” Finally after three semesters of remaining undecided, Leah decided on environmental studies.
“I’m feeling confident in my major, and I’m really loving my classes,” she says.
Leah is also part of Dordt’s cross-country team; she has participated in PLIA, the short-term mission trips offered at Dordt; and she has served as a WOW (Week of Welcome) leader during freshman orientation.
“I’ve really come to love it here,” Leah says. “I feel like I’ve grown so much in my faith over the past year. It’s great to know that the people surrounding you are so on fire for God.”
Leah plans to spend a semester off campus during her senior year to attend the Creation Care Studies program in New Zealand. After graduating, she’ll get further training in outdoor education.
“I’d love to do outdoor ministry, teaching people about loving God and his creation,” she says. Beyond that, she’s still open to possibilities. “As long as I’m out enjoying creation, I’ll be all right,” she says.