Ratio Christi Staff

John Vandervelde

Chapter Director | Colorado Mesa University

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About me:

John began his career path as a professional mechanical engineer working for Hemisphere Engineering, an engineering consulting company in Edmonton Canada, where he practiced from 1978 to 1984. John met Christ in 1978, and this transformation began, initially almost imperceptibly, to take him on a new and radically different pathway. In 1983 the Lord began to redirect John into the arts and in 1984 he began to train full-time to become a professional ballet dancer. John landed his first dance job with the Spokane Ballet Company in 1985 and went on to dance with the Formolo Dance Ensemble, landing a contract with the Repertory Dance Theatre of Canada early in 1987; a contract interrupted by the Lord’s plans for John. In 1987 the Lord called him to move, along with his wife Karin, and at that time three children, from western Canada to Mississippi to join the Christian Ballet Company Ballet Magnificat, where he danced for 30 years, also fulfilling the roles of Personnel Director and Company Minister for this full-time evangelistic ministry.
After receiving a cassette tape titled “Why Christian Believe What They Believe” from a friend in 1989, John developed a passion for apologetics. He devoured apologetics materials where ever he could find them, never knowing that the Lord had yet another change, related to his love for apologetics, planned for he and his wife.
In May of 2013 the Lord made it clear to John and Karin that He would require yet another major move, this time from Mississippi to western Colorado, at some time in their not-too-distant future. Later that same year John was introduced to the ministry of Ratio Christi, listening to a podcast while he was on tour in North Dakota. John contacted Ratio Christi immediately, sensing that Ratio Christi may be his new calling in Grand Junction Colorado and began a masters in Christian apologetics through Luther Rice University in January of 2014.
John and Karin left their home, ministry and family and moved to western Colorado in May of 2017, the same month that John graduated with an MA in Christian apologetics. John became the chapter director of Ratio Christi at Colorado Mesa University in January of 2019.
John and his wife Karin have seven adult children (three of whom have since moved to Grand Junction with their families) and 9 (and counting) grandchildren. Ratio Christi at CMU is the fourth Ratio Christi chapter in the state of Colorado.


Although I was raised in a Christian home, I did not meet Christ until 1978 at the age of 23. I was deeply affected, primarily by four events from 1974 thru 1978. A lifelong friend of mine, who was in a similar spiritual state as I was, came to Christ and began witnessing to me on a regular basis. Secondly, shortly after being married in 1977, two elders from our local church came to visit and started saying the same things that my newly-converted friend was telling me. Thirdly, the album “Slow Train Comin'” by Bob Dylan deeply shook my my pseudo-Christian soul. Lastly, and perhaps prophetically, an apologetic for theism based on the second law of thermodynamics, was tucked in the middle of what was otherwise a secular Engineering textbook titled, “Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics” by Gordon Van Wylen and Richard Sonntag, Wiley, 1973. I could sense,reading between the lines, that the authors were Christians. The apologetic, in a little section titled “Some General Comments Regarding Entropy” concludes with the words, “…However, the authors see the second law of thermodynamics as man’s description of the prior and continuing work of a creator, who also holds the answer to the future destiny of man and the universe.” page 248