ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Department Profile

Mission Statement

The mission of the environmental studies program is to cultivate stewardship of God’s world as a lifestyle and a profession by enabling the campus community to develop a deeper understanding of creation, and by encouraging each person to join with our heavenly Father in the task of maintaining and restoring the earth’s beauty and diversity.

Biblical Foundations

Environmental studies at Dordt College is founded upon the truth that the earth is the Lord’s (Ps. 24:1). He created it (Gen. 1:1), declares it good (Gen. 1:31), knows it intimately (Job 38-41), lovingly sustains it (Matt. 6:25-33), and takes delight in the praise that all of his creation offers (Ps. 148).

He created people in his image (Gen. 1:27) and gave us the charge to keep his creation (Gen. 2:15). We also have been given dominion (Gen. 1:28-30), but this place of honor is situated within the context of a garden that has been blessed with vibrant fullness and fruitfulness (Gen. 1:22) and that is provisioned daily by the God for whom we steward (Ps. 104). As image bearers, then, we are to exercise this rule with servant hearts (Phil. 2:5-7) and with the love that God showers upon all of his creatures.

We have sinned in our failure to keep the earth and in our desire to grasp rather than to serve (Isa. 24:5). But God has loved the cosmos (Jn. 3:16) and has offered redemption through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ (Col. 1:19-20). And as penitent, forgiven, and grateful disciples of Jesus, we are enabled by the power of his Holy Spirit to be God’s instruments in keeping and redeeming all of creation (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

Program Strengths

Student Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  1. Describe the fundamental physical and biological processes used by God to sustain his world.
  2. Articulate a basic understanding of human social structures (cultural, political, economic) and their relationships to creation stewardship.
  3. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to live and work as God’s representatives in a specific physical location or setting.
  4. Describe how humans have "developed" God’s world during recorded history, and identify examples of both good stewardship and abuse.
  5. Work with Christ to preserve, redeem, and transform creation.