Donald De Graaf

Donald De Graaf


  • BA, Calvin College, 1982
  • MA, Indiana University, 1986
  • PhD, University of Oregon, 1992


  • Director of Off-Campus Programs, Calvin College, 2009–present
  • Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Kinesiology, Calvin College, 1998–present
  • Assistant Professor, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, 1993–98
  • Program Advisor, TREATS, Hong Kong, 1996–97
  • Assistant Professor, Longwoord College, 1991–93

Upcoming events

Academic interests

experiential education, youth development, nonprofit management, global education

Research and scholarship


L. Colyn, D. DeGraaf, and D. Certan. "Social Capital and Organized Camping: It’s about Community." Camping Magazine 81 (March 2008): 30–36.

M. Mulder and D. DeGraaf. "Urban Growth, Community, and the Environment: An Experiential Pedagogy." Journal of Cities and the Environment 1 (2008).

J. Ashby, T. Kottman, and D. DeGraaf. Active Interventions for Kids and Teens: Adding Adventure and Fun to Counseling. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association, 2008.

D. DeGraaf, D. Jordan, and K. DeGraaf. Programming for Parks, Recreation and Leisure Service Organizations: A Servant Leadership Approach. 3rd ed. State College, PA: Venture Press, 2010.

K. Larsen, D. DeGraaf, E. Ditta, and C. Slagter. "The Long-Term Personal and Professional Benefits of Participating in Off-Campus Programs." Frontiers Journal (Fall/Winter 2013).

There and Back: Living and Learning Abroad. Grand Rapids, MI: Calvin College Press, 2016.

"Seeking the Common Good: Challenges and Opportunities for Recreation Programmers." In Christianity and Leisure: Issues in a Pluralistic Society, edited by P. Heitzman and G. Van Andel. 3rd ed. Sioux Center, IA: Dordt Press, 2016.

Performances or exhibitions


  • Scholars Award (2012). Awarded by the American Leisure Academy, at their annual meeting at the National Recreation and Parks Association Congress. Anaheim, California (October 17, 2012).
  • Building Bridges Award (2008). Awarded in recognition of significant contributions to and support of Camp Tall Turf’s mission and ministry of reconciliation. Award presented at the Building Bridges Banquet, Grand Rapids, Michigan, November, 2008.
  • Literary Award, Christian Society for Kinesiology and Leisure Studies (2008). Honors current members of the Christian Society for Kinesiology, Leisure, and Sport (CSKLS) who have demonstrated the integration of faith writing into one of the disciplines represented in the Society.
  • J. B. Nash Award (2007). Awarded by American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation (AAPAR) a branch of the American Alliance for Health Physical Education Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). Established in 1978 in honor of a former AAHPERD president the award is based on professional commitment, leadership, as well as excellence in service and research. Award presented at the 2007 AAPHERD National Convention, Washington, DC, March 13–17.
  • Innovation in Teaching Award (2007). Awarded by the Society for Park and Recreation Educators (SPRE) for a Urban Bike Tour developed in consultation with Calvin’s Service Learning Center. Award presented at the 2007 SPRE Teaching Institute, Clemson, South Carolina, January 25–27.

In the news


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