Barry Bandstra Named to the Evert J.
and Hattie E. Blekkink Professorship
Barry Bandstra of the religion faculty holds the Evert J. and Hattie
E. Blekkink Professorship.
“Barry Bandstra was an obvious choice for the Blekkink endowed
Dr. James N. Boelkins ’66, provost at Hope. “He models
the quality of the Blekkink chair that was exemplified by the previous
holders—Elton Bruins, Dennis Voskuil and Allen Verhey. He
is an accomplished scholar and teacher, a demonstrated servant-leader,
a strong supporter of the college’s mission, and a humble
and caring colleague. He is a person with vision who couples that
vision with the energy and hard work that it takes to implement
that vision. It was a joy to support Professor Bandstra’s
nomination and selection for the Blekkink professorship.”
First held in 1981, the Evert J. and Hattie E. Blekkink Professorship
was created from a bequest of the late Victor and Ruth Blekkink
in honor of their parents, and is open to faculty members in the
departments of education and religion. The chair provides financial
support for a tenured member of the faculty who is selected on
the basis of a distinguished record as an outstanding teacher,
for recognized scholarly contributions, and for significant contributions
to the overall mission and life of the college.
Dr. Bandstra has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1983.
In addition to teaching, his current responsibilities include chairing
the department of religion and serving as director of academic
computing at the college.
His primary scholarly interests are the Old Testament, biblical
Hebrew linguistics and the use of computing technology as an instructional
He has taught 16 different courses at the college, ranging from
the beginning-level “Introduction to Biblical Literature” course,
to “Archaeology and the World of the Bible,” to a seminar
for religion majors on the Dead Sea Scrolls, to the interdisciplinary “Encounter
with Cultures” course. During the 1980s and 1990s, he led
multiple Hope May Term courses in the Middle East.
Dr. Bandstra has spent more than two decades designing materials
for both the personal computer and the Web. In 1989, he received
one of only 12 Apple Computer Courseware Development Grants awarded
to the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges; in 2000, britannica.com
gave his multimedia textbook Reading the Old Testament a four-star “Superior” rating;
in 2002, he received a grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching
and Learning in Theology and Religion to develop “Reading
Hebrew: A Biblical Hebrew Internet Course,” which he has
made available for free.
His publications include the textbook Reading the Old Testament:
An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, now in its third edition;
three articles in the Encyclopedia of the Ancient World; and several
articles in edited books and scholarly journals. He has also presented
numerous papers and invited addresses.
Dr. Bandstra recently completed a four-year term on the college’s
Board of Trustees. He has served on numerous Hope faculty committees,
and is a past chair of the college’s Administrative Affairs
Board. His active involvement in the life of the college has included
making multiple presentations during the annual “Arts and
Humanities Fair” for high school students, serving as a featured
speaker during the annual “Winter Happening,” and speaking
to groups such as the Hope Academy of Senior Professionals (HASP).
In 1988, he led an alumni tour to Israel and Jordan.
He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1972,
and completed a B.Div. at Calvin Theological Seminary in 1975,
an M.A. and M.Phil. at Yale University in 1978, and a Ph.D. at
Yale University in 1982. He and his wife, Debra, have three grown
sons, Adam, Jonathan and Daniel.
Endowed chairs are established by donors who wish to assist the
college on a permanent basis through the support of a faculty member.
The gift is placed in the college's endowment fund with investment
income used to support the work of the honored professor. In addition
to recognizing faculty members for excellence, endowed chairs provide
funding for summer research projects as well as some salary support.
more about establishing an endowed professorship