Hope College has been a friendly member of Holland, Michigan since 1864. Holland, interestingly, is the "Tulip Capital of the World." Tulips of a rainbow assortment aligned every street in the city. The tulips give Holland its quaint, warm, friendly, semi-nostalgic feel.
While at Hope College, I met wtih Bill Vanderbilt, the head man in admissions. I also had a chance to spend quality time with Josh Banner, a former Casady teacher and currently the Minister of the Arts and Worship at Hope College.
Josh and I go back to when we were 13 years old. Josh just finished his third year leading worship at Hope's chapel services as well as their Sunday night gathering, a voluntary service, that is attended weekly by over a 1000 of Hope's student body. Hope College offers an outstanding liberal arts education with the kind of spiritual shading that provides students a safe place to explore issues related to faith and culture.
For example, in October I visited Hope, and I attended an evening showing of Lars and the Real Girl.
After the movie, 150 or so students interacted with Hope faculty in the theology, psychology, and English department. It was so refreshing to listen to students and faculty exchanging ideas, dialoguing honestly and genuinely about topics and themes ranging from loneliness to sexuality, from the value of community in a preson's journey of healing, to the "balm" of the imagination through the arts to aid in the healing process.