Friday, January 14, 2022

Dr. Koert Verhagen

Dr. Koert Verhagen is Taylor’s Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion.

“Originally from Cincinnati, OH (home to many long-suffering professional sports fans; but still one of the greatest cities in the USA), I came to Taylor for my undergraduate degree and the hook was set. Upon leaving Taylor, my education and work moved me from Colorado to Boston to Chicago to Dublin, and, eventually, to St. Andrews, Scotland, where I completed my PhD and engaged in post-doctoral research.

Throughout this journey, my sense was that God was preparing to work with students at a place like Taylor. By “a place like Taylor” I mean a Christian liberal arts university that is academically rigorous, forming whole persons, and equipping for the service of God and others. I didn’t just want to teach my subject matter, I wanted to approach it in a way that acknowledges Christianity’s significance, not merely on a cognitive level, but holistically, in the lived realities with which students wrestle on a daily basis. For me, Taylor is the gold standard when it comes to approaching higher education from this angle.

Imagine my delight, then, when the opportunity came up for me to make my way back to Upland, IN! I love what I do at Taylor because I get to come alongside students as they discern how their call to discipleship interfaces with, orients, and empowers their particular vocational calling. This is necessary because Christ does not call his followers to a generic form of life, but intends for them to, empowered by the Holy Spirit, use their particular gifts in order to edify the church and further his mission in the world. This is the work I get to participate in both in and out of the classroom at Taylor, and it is privilege.

Alongside of my abiding academic interests in philosophy, theology, and all things related, students will also become quickly aware of my love for pop culture references that are slightly too old for them, music (Taylor Swift, Wilco, and Manchester Orchestra are current favorites), single-origin coffee, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and, of course, my family—Diana, my wife, and our two boys, Everett (3 yrs) and Duncan (2 yrs).”

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