GEO Mission Statement

By Dr. Jason E. VanHorn

What is your Department vision?

When I and my co-Chair at the time posed this question to the GEO faculty in August of 2017, we anticipated many responses. Some were standard and some surprised me. At the time I thought we would come to a quick resolution. We did not. 

During the exercise, we broke our conversation into two parts, a statement on who is the GEO department (mission statement) and then who we wanted to be (vision statement). Through a lengthy process of two years, we finally came up with a mission statement. 

The GEO Department is:
a community working together to investigate Earth and its human habitation, cherish its intricate physical processes and rich cultural diversity, and act justly as stewards of God’s creation. 

Although we’ve settled on this statement of who we are, we have yet to plan a vision for who we want to become. In light of the transition to Calvin University, the GEO Department is considering a variety of trajectories.

  • We want to innovate;
  • We want to publish excellent work;
  • We want our students to succeed in graduate school and vocation;
  • ​We want to garner national attention for excellence in our GEO programs.


There are, of course, other trajectories we will consider and GEO will begin the process of visioning this August. We’ve had a tremendous number of successes in the last 20 years in GEO and our hope is to have more. 

What is your department mission? What is your department vision? Who are you and who do you want to become?  Share your thoughts below, I’d love to hear them.

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