• Position: Professor of Biology
  • Department: Biology
  • Phone: (616) 526-6401
  • Email: boum@calvin.edu
  • Office location: Devries Hall 221 | Map


Dr. Bouma  is active in the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA, www.asa3.org) serving on their editorial board, serves on the Bioethics Committees of Spectrum Health Hospitals and Metro Health, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Hospice of Michigan (www.hom.org).  

Dr. Bouma enjoys reading, gardening, cycling, woodworking, and photography. He, his wife, and two daughters are active members of Church of the Servant CRC.


  • B.A., Biology, Calvin College, 1972
  • Ph.D., Human Genetics, University of Texas Medical Branch, 1975
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 1975-78
  • Professor, Department of Biology, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, 1978-present
  • Fellow and Coordinator, Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985-86
  • Research Fellow, Institute of Religion and Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Medical Center, Houston, TX, 1991-92
  • Carnegie Scholar, Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Carnegie Foundation, Palo Alto, CA, 2000-2001
  • Oxford Fellow, Templeton-Oxford Seminars on Science and Christianity, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom, 2003-05
  • Adjunct Professor, Pacific Rim Campus, Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, 2007-08

Courses taught


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Academic Interests

  • cell biology, human biology, and human genetics
  • medical ethics (particularly end-of-life issues and genetic technologies; currently focusing on intersexuality)
  • environmental ethics
  • issues in science and Christian faith

Selected publications

Book 2012. Bioethics chapter in Delight in Creation: Scientists Share their Work with the Church. Edited by: Haarsma, D. and Hoezee, S. (Grand Rapids, MI. Center for Excellence in Preaching, 2012).

Looy, Heather, and Hessel Bouma III.  “The Nature of Gender: Gender Identity in Persons Who are Intersexed or Transgendered.”  Journal of Psychology and Theology 33(3): 166-178, 2005.

Bouma III, Hessel.  “Challenges & Lessons from the Terri Schiavo Case.”  Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith 57(3): 212-220, 2005.