Dennis Van Kampen (B.S. '99, M.S. '03) will be recognized as the Professional and Graduate Studies Alumnus of the Year on Feb. 17, 2017, during the Cornerstone University Winter Gala at Frederik Meijer Gardens. Please RSVP online by Feb. 3, 2017.
Dennis Van Kampen is the Executive Director and CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries, an organization in Grand Rapids that seeks to end homelessness.
Dennis has not always been involved in non-profit ministry organizations. He initially went to school to become a police officer and served as a reserve and marine patrol deputy for 15 years in Ottawa County, while also obtaining his paramedic license.
Then he became the health officer for YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin, where he eventually became the Executive Director. After staying in camp ministry for 17 years, he served in church ministry as a children's pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church, then at Hope Evangelical Free Church.
Five years ago, he was chosen to be the Vice President of Programs at Mel Trotter. Mel Trotter Ministries started in 1900 and is the second largest organization for the homeless in Michigan, providing shelters, medical clinics, recovery programs, and job training to those who are hungry, homeless, and hurting. Their goal is to help people find permanent housing and jobs.
After being Vice President of Programs for 3 ½ years, Dennis became CEO of the organization. In addition to his ministry work, he also teaches in Cornerstone’s PGS program as an adjunct professor and is a lay pastor at Mars Hill. He sees his mix of past and current careers as part of God’s design because of how they help him perform his current roles as administrator, pastor, and ministry leader.
Dennis stays involved with his church and serves on boards such as the Mercy Health Governing Board for Federally Qualified Health Centers, and the Heartside Neighborhood Collaboration Project Board. He spends his free time reading, traveling, hiking, and doing activities with his family: his wife, Kelly, and his four children Noah (18), Nate (14), Malea (11) and Haley (10).