Dr. Douglas Kindschi, now in his 43rd year at Grand Valley State University, served in the position of dean for 28 of those years. He is currently University Professor of Mathematics and Philosophy and the Director of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute. While Dean of Science he was responsible for 14 departments including the basic sciences, mathematics, computer science, the School of Engineering, the School of Health Professions and the Water Resources Research Institute. In August, 2015, Grand Valley named its new science building the P. Douglas Kindschi Hall of Science recognizing his role in advancing the sciences at the university.
Douglas Kindschi received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Houghton College in New York, did graduate study at the Divinity School, University of Chicago. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also completed a minor in philosophy as a part of his doctoral study.
While a graduate student at the University of Chicago Divinity School he first encountered the interfaith dialogue. In January 2010 he was appointed as the founding director of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute. In 2012 he created the community-wide “Year of Interfaith Understanding” which supported over 300 events and received national attention. In 2014 the institute sponsored the very successful exhibit, “Religious Tolerance: Islam in the Sultanate of Oman” both at the university and then at the city’s library. The community’s “Year of Interfaith Service” in 2015 brought together faith groups with service organizations in the community. In 2018 the “Year of Interfaith Friendship” was launched with a number of Affinity Groups bringing persons with various faith perspective together around common interests.
From January to July 2013 he was a visiting fellow at the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme at Cambridge University in England. In 2016 and again in 2018 he returned to Cambridge for the spring term where he is a visiting fellow at St. Edmund’s College.
In November of 2016 he was invited by the government of Oman to consult with their Ministry of Religious Affairs on their Religious Tolerance project. Among the ten invited from all over the world he was the only one from the United States.
He has been active for many years in the community and has served on the boards of the Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center, Porter Hills Retirement Communities and Services, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, the Van Andel Education Institute Council and the Advisory Board for the DeVos Medical Ethics Colloquy. He was the founding chair of the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute Advisory Board and a founding member and chair of the Science Support Advisory Board for the Raytheon Polar Services Corporation program in the Antarctica. Kindschi is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.
On the personal side, he has been married to his wife, Barbara, for 55 years and they have 4 children and 6 grandchildren. Together they enjoy cross-country skiing, reading, walking the Lake Michigan beach and travel (especially since four of the grandchildren live with their oldest daughter and son-in-law in Germany.)