Jeff VanDerWerff
Professor of U.S. Government & Public Life; Dean of the Social Sciences
Jeff VanDerWerff

Dr. VanDerWerff teaches in Northwestern’s political science department and provides leadership for departments in the social sciences. He is regularly asked to speak on political topics and has assisted with election night coverage on local broadcast media.

Academic leader
A member of Northwestern’s political science department since 1999, Dr. VanDerWerff is dean of the social sciences and teaches courses in American politics, public policy and constitutional law. His writing has been published in the American Review of Politics, and he has presented at conferences such as Christians in Political Science and the Iowa Conference on Presidential Politics.

Poised politician
Dr. VanDerWerff is a recognized speaker who has led campus and regional conversations on political discourse, civic responsibility, voting rights, and the integration of faith and politics. In 2016 he ran for a seat in Iowa’s House District Four—giving him unique insight into the election process.

Award winner
Because of his leadership within and outside the classroom, Dr. VanDerWerff was a recipient of Northwestern’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2016. Students commend him for broadening their range of political ideas, not only in relation to their world and country, but also to their hearts and faith.

Springsteen fan
Dr. VanDerWerff’s views about public life take shape in the words of Bruce Springsteen’s “Land of Hope and Dreams”: “Responding to God’s call on our lives leads to the kind of virtuous citizens a land of hope and dreams requires,” he says. “Northwestern grads should be about bringing heaven to earth as they climb aboard Springsteen’s metaphorical locomotive rolling through life.”

Read Dr. VanDerWerff’s bio