2016 Recipient

Congratulations to David Smith (Education; the Kuyers Institute), the recipient of the FEN Award for Excellence in Teaching!

David has been a leader for many years in helping the college think carefully about Christian education, Christian faith, pedagogy, and understanding the gifts of other traditions. With this award we recognize particularly his work launching the International Journal of Christianity and Education, which “seeks to fulfill the ongoing mission of the worldwide Christian church while being fully engaged with the wider field of educational scholarship.” As a result of David’s leadership, educators around the world are deepening both their curiosity and their understanding about what Christianity and education have to do with each other.

Purpose of the Award

The annual From Every Nation Award for Excellence in Teaching recognizes innovative and effective efforts of Calvin College faculty to promote a multicultural, anti-racist curriculum. It rewards the development and utilization of creative, original, effective teaching and materials that reflect any of the themes of FEN.


Any full-time or reduced-load member of the teaching faculty may be nominated for this award. Individuals may receive the award only once.

Selection Criteria

Award recipients have developed or utilized creative, original, effective teaching reflecting at least one of the themes of the FEN initiative: racial diversity, anti-racism, racial reconciliation and restoration, and multicultural citizenship. Award recipients will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment and innovative approaches to teaching the goals of FEN.
  • Original contribution(s) to assessing student learning outcomes in these areas.
  • Innovative pedagogy that is creative, facilitates student learning, honors the goals of FEN, and addresses current practices, trends, and issues.
  • Sustained impact on teaching and on improving instruction and curriculum around the goals of FEN. Such impact may be demonstrated through adopting and disseminating effective teaching practices, developing special projects and curricula, and sharing teaching expertise with others.

Selection Process

The Academic Council will solicit nominations from September through October. All members of the college community, including students, are invited to submit a half- to full-page letter indicating how the nominee’s involvement in classroom or campus activities have incorporated FEN objectives, and self-nominations are welcome; all correspondence must include the nominator’s contact information. Information from the nominee’s faculty activities report may be consulted by the Multicultural Affairs Committee, which will select the award winner.

Past Recipients