Dale Cooper

Dale Cooper



Dale J. Cooper (b. 1941) is chaplain emeritus of Calvin College (now University), a position he held for thirty years, starting in 1979. The chaplaincy, he said, offered the best of three worlds—the opportunity to teach, to preach, and to be a pastor to 4,000 students. Cooper—known to decades of students as “Coop”—initiated the LOFT worship service on campus in 1996.

In 2008, after retiring from his role as chaplain and religion professor, Cooper joined the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship as a resource development specialist for liturgical spirituality. His contributions included a four-year run as author of Coop’s Column, featuring spiritual reflections on Christian worship. Cooper also became an adjunct faculty member in Calvin’s department of Congregational and Ministry Studies, where he has served as a pastoral mentor in the Jubilee Fellows program. With the advent of the Calvin Prison Initiative in 2015, Cooper also began teaching at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility.

Cooper’s writings over the years have included a study guide to the Psalms, meditations for the Calvin journal Dialogue, and a twelve-part series highlighting John Calvin’s teachings for The Banner. Cooper was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church of North America in 1972. Before joining the Calvin College faculty in 1976, he worked for five years at Calvin Christian High School and Unity Christian High School.

In recognition of his extensive impact on campus and beyond, Cooper was named the recipient of Calvin’s Faith and Learning Award in 2017. He also received the Calvin Theological Seminary Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.

Cooper earned a bachelor’s degree from Calvin College (1964), an MDiv degree from Calvin Theological Seminary (1968), and a doctoral degree from the Free University of Amsterdam (1971). His family has established the Dale and Marcia Cooper Family Scholarship to benefit international students at Calvin.

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Significant Works on Calvin Digital Commons (click author name above for full search results)

Coop’s Column

Dale Cooper