Professor of the History of Christianity and Worship

David M. Rylaarsdam


Professor of Historical Theology A.B. (Dordt College, 1989) M.Div. (Calvin Theological Seminary, 1993) M.A., Ph.D. (University of Notre Dame, 1997, 2000)

David Rylaarsdam began his teaching career at Smith Memorial Bible College in Nigeria, and since has taught at the University of Notre Dame, Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and now, Calvin Theological Seminary. He has also served a variety of churches as interim pastor and received missionary training in Mexico City. David sees church history as an opportunity to listen to testimonies of older brothers and sisters in the faith.

“As my students and I listen, we respond to these testimonies in our writing and reflection, in our discussions, in what we believe and in how we live. In other words, we are drawn into conversation with these believers spread through all time. We become part of their community. I relish being a leader and participant in this community discussion, a guide and fellow inquirer with my students as our faith seeks understanding, as we seek guidance from our sisters and brothers of all ages in how to read Scripture, how to make disciples, how to discern wisely the spirits of our age, how to avoid the mistakes of the past. I pray that my students will be persuaded to perceive the story of God’s people as their story so that they may grow wiser and be drawn into a richer, more intimate union with God, the main actor in their stories.”

David is married with three children.

David has contributed to numerous publications and presentations. His dissertation topic was “The Adaptability of Divine Pedagogy: Sugkatabasis in the Theology and Rhetoric of John Chrysostom.”

Speaking Topics

Sacraments:Children at the Lord’s SupperSpiritual Formation:Spiritual Formation and the Spiritual DisciplinesWorship:Worship in the Early Church