After graduating magna cum laude from Hope College in 1979 with degree in mathematics, Professor Koopman moved to Washington, D.C. where he earned a Masters of Theological Studies at Wesley Theological Seminary in 1984. He then went on to study at the Catholic University of America, receiving a PhD in American government in 1992.
His academic specialties are American political institutions and religion in American politics. Koopman joined the Calvin faculty in 1995 after fifteen years working in national politics. He has interrupted his academic work at times for assignments in politics, government, and higher education leadership.
Koopman has co-authored two college texts – Understanding American Politics (University of Toronto, 2013) and Religion and American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (Pearson/Longman, 2010) – and other books and articles tracing the history of the federal faith-based initiative. Koopman also writes about how to integrate Christian faith and public life in practice, and in his role as a professor helps students to do the same as they explore American politics and their own callings and careers.
Because politics is the art of the possible in the effort to increase public justice, one good way to understand politics is to test its practices in classroom simulations and other activities. Koopman employs these and other pedagogical methods to introduce students to the practice, not just the subject matter, of politics so they can decide if they want to pursue public life as a calling and career. For those who do choose to do so, Koopman works with students to identify internships and other learning opportunities to develop appropriate skills and abilities during the undergraduate years.
Koopman speaks about his academic specialties and teaching interests to a range of audiences. He is a periodic source for Michigan and regional media and has also been quoted in The Washington Post and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife, Gayle Boss. They have two adult sons.
American Politics, Congress, the Presidency, Parties and Elections, American Political Economy, American Political Thought, Religion and American Politics
Additional open hours and appointments can be arranged, on request.
The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Politics
Contributor(s): Douglas L. Koopman,
Published: August 16, 2009
Religion and American Politics: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives
by Doug Koopman, Amy Black, Larycia Hawkins
Published: July 21, 2010
In Defense of Parties, and in Choosing the More Limited One in Respectful Conversation
by Doug Koopman
Published: January 1, 2018
Serving the Claims of Justice: The Thoughts of Paul B. Henry
by Paul B. Henry
Published: April 21, 2001
Pews, Prayers and Participation: Religion and Civic Responsibility
by Corwin E. Smidt, Kevin R. den Dulk, Douglas Koopman, Stephen Monsma
Published: November 12, 2008
Spread the Word: Making the Case for Robust Religious Freedom in Cornerstone Blog
by Doug Koopman
Published: September 19, 2016
Understanding American Politics Second Edition
by Doug Koopman, Stephen Brooks, J. Matthew Wilson
Published: September 4, 2013
The Obama Faith-Based Office: Continuity and Change in Religion and the American Presidency
by Doug Koopman
Published: February 7, 2012
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