The basis and motivation for the Dordt College Engineering Program is our awareness of the calling we have as God's covenant people, standing in the tradition of the Reformation , to bring every area of life under the lordship of Christ. In particular, and as expressed in The Educational Task of Dordt College, we are to "train Kingdom citizens aware of the demands of the cultural mandate, equipped to take their place and carry out their tasks within our civilization, and prepared to advance, in loving service, the claims of Christ over all areas of life." "One goal of the College is to identify those occupational areas where serviceable insight is increasingly needed. In principle, no legitimate profession, occupation, vocation, or station in life can be precluded from Dordt's educational concern. Wherever insight is required, there Dordt College is called to supply it."
Technology, and in particular the profession of engineering, refers to an area of life where the redemptive healing of the gospel is sorely needed . Thus the Dordt College Engineering Program seeks to provide serviceable insight in the field of engineering from a distinctively Christian perspective; in a manner that demonstrates the unity of creation and rejects the classic polarizations between technical and humanities, vocational and liberal arts, or natural and spiritual; while demonstrating the highest possible quality of undergraduate teaching, which we understand to be, most fundamentally, the enabling for Christian discipleship.
1 "Standing in the tradition of the Reformation" means that every element of the Dordt College Engineering Program is rooted in a particular Christian worldview and nourished by an identifiable Christian philosophical tradition. That tradition believes the Bible to be the Word of God, and finds the writings of historic, sixteenth century Calvinism to be helpful in effectively using the "glasses" of Scripture to view God's creation. Following a reformational reveil during the nineteenth century in the Netherlands, that Calvinist tradition was further articulated by Christians such as Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer and Abraham Kuyper. Kuyper founded the Free University in Amsterdam, where two professors, Vollenhoven and Dooyeweerd further articulated the tradition in terms of a Christian philosophical system. Working from that system, Hendrik van Riessen and Egbert Schuurman have laid the groundwork for a Christian philosophy of engineering and technology. Schuurman's book, Technology and the Future, and the 1986 publication by the Calvin Center for Christian Studies, Responsible Technology, have been the most helpful statements of that philosophy to date. Part of the mission of the Dordt Engineering Department is to contribute to that philosophical tradition.
2 For example, the problem of energy consumption and stewardship, cited in a number of places in The Educational Task of Dordt College, exemplifies the need for biblically directed serviceable insight in an area where failure of the various denominations of naturalism, humanism, and economism has already been tangibly experienced. The ubiquitous but directionless proliferation of computer technology represents another area crying out for meaning and direction. We see our task as that of training Christian engineers who can address tomorrow's technological problems and bring the healing and the claims of the Kingdom to a suffering world.