Autumn 2015‎ > ‎

5. Finding Ways to Give Back

ICS graduate and member of the ICS and FICS Boards, Dr. Matt Bonzo is a primary “sender” of students to ICS: fifteen, at last count! He is married to Dorothe, secretary at ICS when they met, teaches philosophy at Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, and is Director of the Institute for Christianity and Cultural Engagement there.

by Matt Bonzo

My first contact with ICS was through an advertisement in Christianity Today. After completing a master’s degree, I was looking for a Ph.D. in philosophy from a Christian perspective and came across a small ad about a graduate school that offered degrees in philosophy. I had read a little Kuyper but knew very little about ICS or the tradition in which it was placed. So before deciding to apply to the Ph.D. program I decided to visit.

As I walked away from 229 College St. after that first visit, I was struck with an impression that something must be going on there, though I wasn’t quite sure I could articulate it. There was something beyond the wisdom of the faculty, the hospitality of the staff, the depth of the scholarship, the collegiality of students, and even beyond the aura of Dooyeweerd. The best description I could come up with is that there was a spirit about the place. 28 years later and I still sense that spirit at ICS. And in a limited sense, as a member of the Board of Trustees and the Friends of ICS board, I have been entrusted to care for that spirit.

…nurturing the spirit of ICS for another generation

Sometimes the duties of the board can seem mundane and sometimes they can be overwhelming, but the members of the Board, as well as so many faithful supporters, all recognize the importance of nurturing the spirit of ICS for another generation. My deep loyalty to ICS is rooted in gratitude for what I have received. Rarely does a day pass when I am teaching or writing that I am not acutely aware of the gifts given me during my days at ICS. I can’t begin to understand myself without reference to Jim Olthuis, Hendrik Hart and Cal Seerveld. They have poured more into my life than I could ever begin to repay. But gratitude should eventually turn into generosity and so I continue to find ways to give back. And my hope is that our loving God will take my small efforts and combine them with the many sacrificial gifts from faculty, staff, students and supporters so that ICS’s spirit will continue to be poured out in abundance to thirsting people.