Dr. Bill Kennedy

Senior Research Fellow
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Dr. Bill Kennedy’s informal association with the Van Raalte Institute and Hope College began about 1999, when Bill was doing research and writing in the area of Dutch-American studies. In 2002 he was formally engaged to annotate the minutes of the Classis of Holland 1858–76, an assignment which eventually expanded to include the already published but not annotated minutes 1848–58. Bill has officially been a senior research fellow of the Van Raalte Institute since 2003. He has written several published articles on Dutch-American subjects in the intervening years and hopes to have the minutes of the Classis of Holland (RCA) published in 2016 or 2017.


  • Th.D., American church history, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1968
  • Th.M., New Testament, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1958
  • B.D., Fuller Theological Seminary, 1956
  • A.B., history, Occidental College, 1953

Professional Experience

Bill was an associate professor of religion (1963–71) and a professor of religion (1971–97) at Northwestern College. During his time at Northwestern College, he was a Marvin and Jerene De Witt Professor of Religion, 1994–97.

AWARDS & Recognition

Bill has presented several academic papers in various venues, chiefly for the Association for the Advancement of Dutch-American Studies. He has also published a number of scholarly papers.

Why Do You Love hope? 

Bill loves Hope because it gave employment to his son for the first six years of his teaching career. He also loves Hope because it has given him a “home away from home” and a second career (after retirement) at the Van Raalte Institute.

Outside Hope

As an avocation, Bill has been a genealogist/family historian for over seven decades for his own and, more recently, his wife’s and their daughter-in-law’s families (the latter two being Dutch). For many years already, he and his wife have made lengthy annual trips to visit family and friends in the Netherlands, where they have a second home. He enjoys reading mysteries, history books and many, many periodicals. He also loves opera.

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Dr. Bill Kennedy

Phone Number616.395.7095

Theil Research Center-Room 111 9 East 10th Street Holland, MI 49423-3513