Presidential Transition

With the pending retirement of Kuyper College President, Nicholas Kroeze, announced in September 2015 and to occur in early to mid-2017, he and the board of trustees want to provide a seamless transition of leadership from the present to the future administration. For that purpose, the board appointed a Transition Team in November charged with developing a search and transition process that both honors the leadership and legacy of Dr. Kroeze while also finding the most qualified individual to lead the College in the years ahead.

The team, chaired by board of trustees member Paul Holtrop, includes Anne Bauman, a Kuyper alumna; Benjamin Hoekman, a Kuyper student; Kirsten Herich, a Kuyper staff member; Judi Ravenhorst Meerman, a member of the Kuyper faculty & alumna, Ken Capisciolto, a member of the president’s cabinet, and board of trustee members Rev. John DeVries, Karen Helder, Rev. Henry Admiraal, and Rev. Art Van Wolde, who is also a Kuyper alumnus. 

As the process to select Kuyper’s next president moves forward, the transition team covets your prayers in asking that God will bless the entire process. If you have additional thoughts or questions, please direct them to

Transition Team Members

Paul Holtrop—Board of Trustees & Chair of Transition Team
BA in Business Administration—Calvin College; MA in Educational Leadership and Human Resource Development—Western Michigan University.

Mr. Holtrop is Co-Founder and Principal of Sage Performance Counseling which offers strategic counsel to ensure organizations achieve results through enhanced leadership skills, engaged employees, and efficient business practices.

Comments on his role: “Kuyper has a distinct purpose and unique niche in ministry-based higher education. The Transition Team has the obligation to ensure that Kuyper continues to do an exceptional job growing mission-minded students regardless of their occupational choices.”



Anne Bauman—Alumna
BS in English Professional Studies—Kuyper College

Ms. Bauman is Social Media Manager at Our Daily Bread Ministries, overseeing a team of digital social media marketers, managing 150 different social media accounts with 2 million worldwide followers.

Comments on her role: “I desire to see the College succeed. I believe Kuyper fills a unique role in higher education as a ministry-focused school vs. a traditional liberal arts institution. I want to see that unique role continue.”


Benjamin Hoekman—Student Kuyper College
Junior—Music & Worship and Pre-Seminary Studies

Mr. Hoekman is a Kuyper Teaching Assistant, Core Group Facilitator, and Student Ambassador. He is also a volunteer Worship Leader & High School Student Ministries Leader at Madison Square CRC.

Comments on his role: “I am deeply humbled to be given this opportunity. I pray that through the efforts of the Transition Team, others may continue to be molded by God to serve around the world.”


Art Van Wolde—Board of Trustees & Alumnus
BRE in Pre-Seminary—Kuyper College; MA and MDiv—Calvin Seminary

Rev. Van Wolde is Lead Pastor at Haven CRC in Zeeland, Michigan. He previously served Bunde CRC in Clara City, Minnesota and Calvary CRC in Pella, Iowa. 

Comments on his role: “Kuyper’s pragmatic educational bent makes it distinctive among other Christian Colleges. I am committed to serve the Transition Team to assist in finding the next president of Kuyper to carry forward the mission of the College.”           


Kirsten Herich—Staff Member

BBA in Management—Davenport University

Ms. Herich is the Assistant Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Kuyper College.

Comments on her role: “I am honored to be a part of the Transition Team, and desire for Kuyper College to be best positioned to continue to make an impact on students and ‘every square inch’ of the world.”


Judi Ravenhorst Meerman—Faculty Member & Alumna
BRE—Kuyper College; MSW—Western Michigan University; LMSW—State of Michigan; PhD—Michigan State University.

Dr. Ravenhorst Meerman is a Professor of Social Work at Kuyper College and Director of Social Work Field Practicum. Prior to Kuyper College, she served as Vice President of Pathfinder Resources and as a social worker.

Comments on her role: “I am honored to represent the faculty on the transition team. I am committed to work with the team toward identifying the best candidate to lead Kuyper into the future.”


John DeVries—Board of Trustees
BA in History—Calvin College; MDiv—Calvin Theological Seminary

Rev. DeVries serves as Director of Chaplain Services, Inc., where he oversees both the organizations Healthcare and Workplace divisions. Prior to his present position, as an ordained minister in the CRC, he served churches in Los Angeles.

Comments on his role: “I appreciate Kuyper’s Reformed worldview. As part of the Transition Team I want to help Kuyper continue to be a light to the world at this important time in its history.


Henry Admiraal—Board of Trustees

BA in Greek—Calvin College; MDiv—Calvin Seminary; DMin—Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Rev. Admiraal served as Lead Pastor of two CRC churches – Seymour CRC and Westend CRC, each for 20 years. Although now retired from full-time ministry, he has served two churches as Interim Pastor on a part-time basis.

Comments on his role: “Being on the Board of Kuyper College has deepened my high regard for the College, its academic quality, and the commitment of the faculty for the care of the students.”


Karen Helder—Board of Trustees

BA in Psychology—Dordt College; MS Clinical Psychology—Eastern Michigan University; MSW—University of Iowa

Ms. Helder served as a therapist/case manager for Wedgewood Christian Services, in student services as a counselor at Dordt College, as director of professional services after returning to Wedgewood and just recently retired as regional director of operations from Bethany Christian Services.

Comments on her role: “I am interested in and committed to serving Kuyper College because I deeply value Kuyper’s Mission, Vision and Values.  Also, I appreciate the practical ministry orientation of the college, and I have great respect for the faculty, staff, and students of the college. Kuyper is a delightful place to serve God and God’s people!”


Ken Capisciolto—Member of President’s Cabinet

BA Business—Hope College; MBA—Grand Valley State University

Mr. Capisciolto is Kuyper’s Vice President for College Advancement responsible for fund development programs, institutional marketing, alumni relations and public relations. Prior to his position he served in executive-management positions in the private, public and non-profit sectors.

Comments on his role:  “It is a privilege to represent my Cabinet colleagues on the Transition Team. As a college faculty, staff and administration we share a deep commitment to serving our students well; daily living out the mission, vision and values of the College. We look forward to seeking and calling a new president who will provide leadership as we enter a new era for the college.”

Dr. Carl Zylstra Appointed Interim President of Kuyper College

Jacquelyn Bolt, Chair—Kuyper College Board of Trustees, announced that the Board of Trustees of the College has appointed former Dordt College President, Dr. Carl Zylstra, as interim President of Kuyper.

According to Bolt, the appointment will ensure continuity of experienced, executive leadership, as Dr. Nicholas Kroeze, Kuyper College’s current President, begins a sabbatical and ultimate transition into retirement. 

Read more.

Presidential Transition Progresses to Application Review and Interviews

October 10, 2016

The search for Kuyper College’s next president is progressing well. The Presidential Transition Team has developed a search and transition process that honors the leadership and legacy of Dr. Nicholas V. Kroeze while also choosing the most qualified individual to lead the College in the years ahead.

Read more. 

Kuyper College Launches Search for Next President

August 17, 2016 

Kuyper College has launched its search for the next president of the 78-year-old Christian College, announced Paul Holtrop, chair of the Presidential Transition Team.

“We are seeking a visionary leader, someone who understands the opportunities and challenges before us and, with dependency on the Holy Spirit, is eager to lead Kuyper College into the future,” Holtrop said.

The college is being assisted by the executive search firm JobfitMatters, a nationally recognized company specializing in higher education and the non-profit sector. Criteria and information about the position is at

Read More.

Survey Summary

Presidential Search Wraps Up Survey

July 9, 2016

The search for Kuyper’s next president entered a new phase of the process. The Transition Team, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, retained the services of a search agency, JobfitMatters (JFM). Together, JFM and the Transition Team developed an online survey which was sent to constituents in May. The information gathered from the survey will help inform the Transition Team on the desired characteristics of the next president.

Members of JFM were present on campus for two days in April conducting initial fact finding interviews. During their visit they met with key stakeholders and held group meetings (listening posts) with students, staff and faculty.

Survey results will be used in the creation of an opportunity profile which will be shared with potential candidates and the College community.

Kuyper College Presidential Search Enters New Phase

May 6, 2016 

Survey Will Gather Information and Referrals Beginning May 10 

The Presidential Transition Team is pleased to announce that the search for Kuyper’s next leader has entered a new phase of the process. The Transition Team, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, has retained the services of search agency JobfitMatters (JFM). The JFM and Transition Teams have developed an electronic survey. The purpose of the survey is to gain input from college constituents on the desired characteristics of the next president and begin gathering referrals of potential candidates. At the end of this survey phase, the Transition Team will use the information provided to launch the official search for the next president of Kuyper College. 

Read More.

Presidential Transition Update - Kuyper College Retains Search Agency to Aid in Presidential Search

April 18, 2016

Kuyper College has retained JobfitMatters to assist in the search for its next president. With their assistance, the Presidential Transition Team will conduct the search process and will, in turn, make candidate recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The Board will make the final hiring decision.

Read more. 

Presidential Transition Process Update - February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016

With President Kroeze’s pending retirement (announced in September 2015 and to occur in early to mid-2017), he and the board of trustees want to provide a seamless transition of leadership from the present to the future administration. For that purpose,  the board appointed a Transition Team in November charged with developing a search and transition process that both honors the leadership and legacy of Dr. Kroeze while also finding the most qualified individual to lead the College in the years ahead.

Read More.

Kuyper College President Nicholas V. Kroeze Announces Retirement

September 1, 2015 

Kuyper College President Nicholas V. Kroeze Ed.D., has announced his plan to retire from the College in early to mid-2017. Kroeze, 63, informed the College Board of Trustees of his decision at a meeting last week and faculty and staff at a meeting held today.

“After 22 years of service, it is healthy for the institution to have fresh leadership in developing a new long-range strategic plan. We have accomplished most of the goals we have set for the College during my tenure,” said Kroeze. “We have accomplished much together as Kuyper has grown to achieve a respected position in our West Michigan community and in the broader higher education community. We have affirmed the College’s historical roots and purpose while making application of those more contemporary to today’s society. The trajectory of the College is positive and I have counted it a privilege to be part of charting and navigating its course.”

Read More.

JobfitMatters Search Partner

JobfitMatters is a nationally-recognized expert in recruiting presidents and cabinet-level leaders for nonprofit organizations with a specialty in faith-based higher education. Since 1995, they have assisted in more than 200 cabinet-level searches. Relevant experience includes searches with Dordt College, Biola University, and Holland Christian Schools.

JobfitMatters’ goal is to find the right fit between Kuyper College and its next president. As such, their first step is to better understand Kuyper and gain perspective about the desired characteristics of a new president. To that end, over the next several weeks they will be conducting surveys of and interviews with Kuyper College Board members, faculty, staff, students, alumni and other stakeholder groups.

For additional information on JobfitMatters and their team, visit