"Leonard and Marjorie Maas Endowed
Chair in Reformed Theology"
and Marjorie Maas Endowed Chair in Reformed Theology" is awarded
to a faculty member whose scholarly emphasis is on the historical
development of Reformed theology through the present day. The professorship
has been donated by Leonard and Marjorie Maas of Holland, who are
longtime supporters of Hope as well as lifelong members of the
Reformed Church in America, the denomination with which the college
The chair's first recipient is theologian Dr. Mark Husbands, who
joined the Hope religion faculty in 2007, and who has made Reformed
theology a central focus of his scholarship and teaching.
"The generosity of Leonard and Marjorie Maas to Hope College
and the Reformed Church in America is a manifestation of their
commitment to the Christian faith," said Dr. James Bultman,
president of Hope College. "This endowed chair is yet another
example of their joyful lives of gratitude and their desire to
positively influence the Christian dimension of the college."
"Mark Husbands is an outstanding teacher and scholar with
a special interest and expertise in Reformed theology," Bultman
said. "Given Hope's historic roots and its affiliation with
the Reformed Church in America, it is entirely appropriate that
an internationally recognized teacher/scholar with a compelling
voice in Reformed theology be a member of our faculty."
Husbands has come to Hope after serving on the theology faculty
at Wheaton College since 2001. He had previously held appointments
at Tyndale College and Seminary in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Wycliffe
College at the University of Toronto; and Sheridan College in Toronto.
His doctoral dissertation focused on Karl Barth, a Swiss Reformed
theologian who lived from 1886 to 1968. The work, titled "Karl
Barth's Ethics of Prayer," has been accepted for publication
in the prestigious "Columbia Series in Reformed Theology" (Westminster
John Knox Press).
Husbands is the editor or co-editor of seven books, including "The
Beauty of God: Theology and the Arts" and "Women, Ministry
and the Gospel: Exploring New Paradigms." The soon-to-be-published
edited volume titled "Ancient Faith for the Church's Future" reflects
one of the dominant themes of Husbands' scholarship, that of depicting
the relationship between God's redemptive action and the moral
life. This work demonstrates the contemporary significance of the
patristic period from multiple angles: best practices in reading
ancient texts; patristic exegesis and hermeneutics; social justice;
early church-catechesis; worship; Christology; and Augustinian
political engagement and ethics.
Husbands has presented numerous papers and invited addresses during
scholarly meetings and has also published several scholarly articles,
essays and book reviews.
In addition to the theology of Barth, Husbands's teaching and
scholarly emphases include dogmatic theology, theological ethics,
Reformation and contemporary theology, Christology, Ecclesiology,
the Doctrine of Reconciliation, historical theology and World Christianity.
A native of Cardiff, Wales, Husbands was raised in Canada; graduated
from York University in Toronto with a Bachelor's degree in 1987;
completed his M.Rel. at Wycliffe College in 1990; and completed
his doctorate at the University of St. Michael's College of the
University of Toronto's School of Theology in 2005.
Leonard and Marjorie Maas have been active in the life of the
college for many years, and received honorary degrees from the
college in 2001. Leonard, who passed away in 2010, was a member
of the Board of Trustees from 1979 to 1993, serving since as an
of the board.
Marjorie was active in the Women's League for Hope College, which
raised funds for many years to enhance Hope's residence halls.
Their sons Thomas and Steven are both Hope graduates, members of
the classes of 1978 and 1981 respectively.
This marks the second time that
the Maas coupls has established a chair at the college that supports
Hope's Christian tradition. They also created the Leonard and Marjorie
Maas Endowed Chaplaincy, first awarded in 1998, to provide on-going
support of the campus ministries program at Hope.
They have also supported a variety of other projects at the college.
Together with their sons, they donated the college's Maas Center,
which was dedicated in 1986. They have established the Kelder-Maas
Scholarship in honor of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Kelder
and Mr. and Mrs. Lambert Maas. They also recently provided major
support for the newly constructed Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse
and the A. Paul Schaap Science Center.
Leonard and Marjorie Maas grew up in First Reformed Church in
Grandville, and then as youth with their families became charter
members of Olivet Reformed Church in Grandville. Leonard served
as an elder, and Marjorie was active in Olivet's Reformed Church
Women and served as president of the Grand Rapids Classical Union
of Reformed Church Women. They have both been Sunday school teachers
and choir members.
Leonard was a veteran of World War II, and served with the U.S.
Army in the European Theatre. Both before and after the war, he
worked for his uncle with Gillisse Construction Company, becoming
president when his uncle died in 1964. The firm's projects have
included roads, sewers and water mains, and land development including
mobile home parks. He purchased Grand Rapids Asphalt Paving Company
in 1970, and won the National Environmental Award from the National
Asphalt Paving Association in 1980.
In subsequent years he became involved in manufactured housing
community projects and other land developments, working with his
Marjorie graduated from Grand Rapids Junior College and Michigan
State University, and taught home economics at Hudsonville High
School prior to becoming a full-time homemaker. In addition to
her involvement with church and family activities, she consistently
served as a "sounding board" for her husband's business
She was a member of the Holland Home Board of Trustees from 1990
to 1996, and has been on the board of Words of Hope, on which she
now serves as an honorary member. The Maases were married in 1952.
Their sons are married, and the Maases have nine grandchildren.
more about establishing an endowed professorship