Debra Rienstra

Professor / Writer

I am a writer, professor, amateur musician, and lifelong member of the Reformed Christian tribe. I am also the mother of three children who are now attempting to learn the mysterious ways of adulting. For my day job, I teach early British literature and creative writing at Calvin College, where I have been on the faculty since 1996. I still need to pedal fast to keep (mostly) ahead of smart, feisty undergraduates.

I have published three books, nearly two hundred essays for The Twelve, and numerous articles, poems, and reviews in popular and scholarly contexts. I have a B.A. from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Rutgers.



Does Theology Make Us Passive on Climate Change?

“Does ‘image of God’ make us lazy?” I jotted this in my notebook earlier this week, between phrases like “hinge point in history” and “geophysical tipping point.” I was listening to a lecture by Kathleen Dean Moore, a moral philosopher, nature writer, and environmental activist.…
March 16, 2019

Please Stop: Calvin Seniors on Vocation

Next time you encounter a college senior, you will inevitably be tempted to ask, “So what’s your major?” and “So what are you going to do with that?” Before you utter those words, please stop. Be gentle. Think of something else to ask. Why? Because…
March 2, 2019