The origins of the Christian Reformed Church will be highlighted during a lecture at Hope College on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Dr. James A. De Jong, who is a visiting research fellow at the Van Raalte Institute at Hope, will present the address "Reassessing 1857: Overlooked Considerations in the Birth of the Christian Reformed Church of North America" on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 3:30 p.m. in the Herrick Room of the DeWitt Center.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

De Jong is president and professor of historical theology, emeritus, of Calvin Theological Seminary. He taught theology at Trinity Christian College and Dordt College, before serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary from 1981 to 2001. He retired in 2003.

De Jong has been a visiting research fellow at the Van Raalte Institute since September 2005, working on the topic of the history of Reformed Church in America and Christian Reformed Church relations between 1857 and the present. His research has used resources available at the Van Raalte Institute and the Joint Archives of Holland, such as "De Hoop," "Christian Intelligencer," "Holland City News" and others.

A native of Paterson, N.J., and the son and grandson of pastors in the Christian Reformed Church, De Jong graduated from Calvin College in 1963 and Calvin Theological Seminary in 1966, and earned a Th.D. from the Free University of Amsterdam in 1970. He specializes in church history, particularly the history of Reformed theology and the history of missions. He is the author, editor, or contributor to numerous books and encyclopedias. His articles have appeared in more than 20 professional journals, and he has had more than 90 reviews published in journals and magazines.

The Van Raalte Institute, located in the Theil Research Center at 9 E. 10th St., specializes in scholarly research and writing on immigration and the contributions of the Dutch and their descendants in the United States, but is also dedicated to the study of the history of all the people who have comprised the community of Holland throughout its history.

The Herrick Room is in the southwest corner of the second floor of the DeWitt Center, which is located on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street. Refreshments will be available prior to the lecture.