Tuesday 7 August 2012

ICS announces results of successful presidential search

The Rev. Dr. Thomas Wolthuis and Ms. Dawn Wolthuis have been appointed to the position of President of the Institute for Christian Studies. They will succeed Mr. Chris Gort on January 1, 2013.

 “We went into this search process in a posture of faith and discernment, not really knowing what would happen,” said Bob Sweetman, a faculty representative on the Search Committee. “What happened is rather remarkable. Tom Wolthuis brings to ICS a grounding in the Kuyperian theological and worldview tradition, an entrepreneurial can-do ethic to be seen in a past life as a church planter, an easy manner with people that allows him to communicate effectively across a broad religious and intellectual spectrum, and last but not least, a wide open embrace of the adventure laid before him.

 “Dawn brings an energetic, forthright and systematic mind and imagination, a history of business and marketing experience (and enthusiasm) now focused upon using her academic training in mathematics and computer science in service of academic institution building. Together, they combine a range of abilities one could not reasonably expect to find in a single applicant. The chance to have all that talent and energy in ICS’s corner just had to be an answer to our prayers.”

As Professor of Theology at Dordt College, Iowa for the past ten years, Tom Wolthuis served as department chair and taught a range of courses from Biblical foundations and Christian perspectives to worship, youth ministry and spiritual formation. He previously taught New Testament theology at Northrise University in Ndola, Zambia, and Religion and Theology and Communications Arts and Sciences at Calvin College, Michigan. Tom is also an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church. Tom has a PhD in Religion from Duke University, a Master of Theology and a Master of Divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary.

Dawn Wolthuis is an experienced Information Technology and Higher Education consultant with over 20 years experience; she is a former teacher of Mathematics and Computer Science at Calvin College. She has a Master’s degree in Mathematics from Michigan State University.

 The appointment of the Wolthuises comes as ICS actively explores new institutional collaborations in research and teaching with academic partners in North America and Europe. “Tom and Dawn’s vision and experience in promoting Christian higher education and their excitement about active involvement in the Canadian context will be clear assets as they contribute to the strengthening of institutional partnerships, support the ICS’s teaching and mentoring of students in interdisciplinary philosophy and theology, and engage in public outreach,” said Board of Trustees Chair, Henriette Thompson.

Tom describes his goal as “helping people and organizations grow in the Gospel and ministry in the world by inspiring them to envision possibilities and develop new ways to serve.” Dawn has “a passion for identifying patterns that help anticipate future trends… and to help organizations direct their partnerships and projects toward the future.”

ICS’s appointment of Tom and Dawn Wolthuis to the position of ICS President is the result of an extensive search process that began in August 2011 and was conducted by a search committee of eight. “Committee members had the privilege of talking about the ICS and its educational mission with several people who were interested in the position. Our conversations with them about a strong and vital role for ICS into the future encouraged us to believe in the importance of that mission and the community that supports it,” said Aileen Van Ginkel, search committee chair.

The Wolthuises will begin their orientation to the presidential role on October 1 with current President, Chris Gort. The fall will be an opportunity for them to begin meeting faculty, students, staff, Senate and Board members, supporters and academic partners in Canada in preparation to assuming the presidency role on January 1, 2013.

Tom and Dawn have two grown daughters and two grandchildren residing in the US. Additional information about Tom and Dawn Wolthuis will become available on the ICS web site: