hope college > van raalte institute   

Mission Statement <
Location & Hours <
Staff <

Institute History

Institute Library <
New and
Recent Books




ACVR Conference


Recent Conferences




Staff Publications <
Annual Reports <
Conferences <
Van Wylen Library <
Joint Archives of Holland <

"'Burn the Wooden Shoes': Modernity and Division in the Christian Reformed Church in North America." In Reformed Encounters with Modernity edited by H. Jurgens Hendriks et al., 94-102. Conference Proceedings of the International Society for the Study of Reformed Communities (ISSRC), Stellenbosch, South Africa, June 16-18, 2000. Cape Town: ISSRC, 2001. (Robert P. Swierenga)

"Dagboek," Nederlands Dagblad, 22 September 2001. (James C. Kennedy)

"Euthanasie," NRC Handelsblad, 7 April 2001. (James C. Kennedy)

"God's Hand in History." In My Heart I Offer: Daily Reflections on the Journey of Faith, 58. Grand Rapids: Calvin College Alumni Association, 2001. (Robert P. Swierenga)

"Hope College: Its Origin and Development, 1851-2001." In Origins 19, no. 1 (2001): 4-13. (Elton J. Bruins)

In 1851 Classis Holland, now part of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church moved to establish a school for higher education, educationally comparable to today's high school level. Up to this time, due to extreme poverty, the immigrants in the Holland Colony had opted for public schools as the only possible way to have any education at all for its children. The district (public) schools, although funded by public taxes, were, in effect, quasi-Christian schools. The teachers taught the children to sing the psalms, and catechetical training was done in the schools by the elders of the churches. There was still a desire to have Christian day schools but Van Raalte was not able to get one started until his home congregation, commonly called Pillar Church, began its school in 1857.

The 1851 instruction began in October in conjunction with the district school but under the governance of the church. The new endeavor was named the Pioneer School with. Walter T. Taylor from Geneva, New York, as the first instructor. To his report to the Board of Education of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church at the end of the first academic year describing the great difficulties of his job, he appended Van Raalte's oft-quoted statement: "This is my anchor of Hope for this people in the future."

The General Synod of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church took the school under its wing in 1853. Soon separated from the district school, the Pioneer School was located on five acres near the center of the village donated by Van Raalte. Some graduates of the Pioneer School had already gone to Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the sole college of the Reformed Church, for their collegiate education.

Principals of the Pioneer School and its 1857 successor, the Holland Academy, came and went. Taylor served three years (1851-1854), Frederick P. Beidler one year (1854-55), and John Van Vleck four years (1855-59). Not until Rev. Philip Phelps Jr. accepted the call in 1859 to leave his pastorate in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, to come did the Holland Academy acquire some stability. Van Raalte and Phelps became close friends and collaborators in the cause of Christian higher education in western Michigan.

From "Hope College: Its Origin and Development, 1851-2001" by Elton J. Bruins in Origins 19, no. 1 (2001):5. "Oude en nieuwe vormen van tolerantie in Nederland en Amerika." In De lege tolerantie: over vrijheid en vrijblijvend-heid in Nederland, ed. Marcel ten Hooven, 244-55. Amsterdam: Boom, 2001. (James C. Kennedy)

Review of Patterns and Portraits: Women of the Reformed Church in America, ed. Renee House and John W. Coakley. In Reformed Review 54, no. 1 (autumn 2000): 66. (Elton J. Bruins)

Review of Zion on the Hudson: Dutch New York and New Jersey in the Age of Revivals by Firth Haring Fabend. In Reformed Review 54, no. 2 (winter 2000-01): 145-46. (Elton J. Bruins)

Review of Zion on the Hudson: Dutch New York and New Jersey in the Age of Revivals by Firth Haring Fabend. In Journal of American Ethnic History 20 (summer 2001): 108-09. (Robert P. Swierenga)

Historians have long explored the connections between religion and ethnicity in North America, but none have focused on the Reformed Dutch Church, one of the very oldest Protestant denominations dating from the 1620s. This mainstream Protestant denomination, centered in New York and New Jersey, clung to its national religious and cultural heritage for more than two hundred years, until the transformative events of the Second Great Awakening undermined its "Dutchness."

Firth Haring Fabenddocuments how the Dutch "Zion on the Hudson" upheld their Netherlandic traditions until the early nineteenth century, after which the ascendant progressive wing led the body into American evangelicalism. Thus, paradoxically, the church was both a fortress and transforming crucible. Says Fabend, "Dutchness was perpetuated generation after generation in the church, but in the church Dutchness finally met its master."

From a review of Zion on the Hudson: Dutch New York and New Jersey in the Age of Revivals by Robert P. Swierenga.

"Wat gaat er mis in de kleine oecumene?" In Tolereren of bekeren: Naar een christelijke visie op verdraagzaamheid, Roel Kuiper et al., 114-20. Zoetermeer: Boekcentrum, 2001. (James C. Kennedy)