Dr. Jennifer Feenstra Professor of Psychology; Department Chair


Ph.D., University of New Hampshire
M.S.T., University of New Hampshire
M.A., University of New Hampshire
B.A., Calvin College

VPH 211D

Dr. Feenstra is a social psychologist with research interests in social support, volunteering, and service-learning. Her research has been published in the Journal of College Student Development, Teaching of Psychology, Journal of Psychology and Christianity, and the Journal of Education and Christian Belief and she has made presentations at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the American Psychological Association Annual Convention. She serves as the faculty adviser for Northwestern's chapter of Psi Chi, the national honor society in psychology.

Dr. Feenstra was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2011-12 and awarded a sabbatical to teach and do research in Romania. Working with Romanian colleagues at Babes-Bolyai University and the New Horizons Foundation, she looked at the effects of New Horizons Foundation programs on the development of social capital in Romanian youth. The co-director of Northwestern's Honors Program, Feenstra received Northwestern’s 2017 Faculty Inspirational Service Award. She was appointed to the Northwestern College Endowed Professorship in 2021.

PSY100SS - Exploring Psychology

(4 credits) (NWCore option under Self and Society) In this course students learn how, using methodologies such as observation, survey and experimentation, psychological science explores the causes and consequences of human action. An overview of major findings from the field of psychology such as biological bases of behavior, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, human development, personality, intelligence, psychopathology and therapy, the effect of others on individuals will be discussed and students will be encouraged to apply this knowledge to their own views and actions. Students will consider why the integration of faith and science in understanding humans is important and will explore ways of accomplishing this integration.

PSY214 - Social Psychology

(4 credits) This course involves the study of the way individuals think about, influence and relate to one another. Topics include: attitude change, social thinking, conformity, obedience, persuasion, prejudice, aggression, altruism, roles, norms and environmental influences on social behavior. The major aim of the course is to encourage an appreciation of the relationship between personal and situational determinants of social behavior. Prerequisite: PSY100SS, 221SS, or SOC101SS. Cross-Referenced: Cross-referenced in sociology.

PSY215 - Research Design and Introductory Statistics

(4 credits) This course acquaints the student with basic empirical research techniques in the behavioral sciences including political science, psychology, social work and sociology. The course aims to enable the student to function as a conductor and a consumer of behavioral science research. Techniques include: observation, questionnaire and survey, interview, single-subject designs, qualitative research, and experimental and quasi-experimental methodologies. Topics include: descriptive and basic inferential statistics, sampling methods and research ethics. Prerequisites: PSY100SS, SOC101SS, PSC101SS, or PSC105SS, and fulfillment of the Quantitative Resoning requirement.

PSY221SS - Developmental Psychology: Childhood

(4 credits ) (NWCore option under Self and Society) This course explores the development of the child from the prenatal period into adolescence. Children's physical, cognitive, emotional, personality, social, moral and faith development is examined. Psychological research methods for studying children are covered.

PSY225 - Developmental Psychology: Adulthood

(4 credits) This course explores psychological issues and theories in normal adult development, with emphasis on cognitive, social and personality functioning from young adulthood to old age.

PSY250CC - Cross-Cultural Psychology

(4 credits) (NWCore option under Cross-Cultural Engagement) As human beings we live our lives within the context of culture. Although many aspects of human life are similar across cultures, differences are also evident in a variety of dimensions. In this course we examine the ways humans differ across cultures and how culture impacts the way humans think and feel, as well as the way culture changes how we understand ourselves and our stories. Christian faith requires love and respect for others in the midst of the challenges culture can present. Ways Christians can learn from and love others will be discussed.

PSY260 - Psychology of Personality

(4 credits) Includes theories about the dynamics and structure of personality and current research on personality. The course emphasizes psychoanalytic, trait, humanistic and behavioral views of personality. Prerequisites: PSY100SS, 221SS, or both PSY224 and 225.

PSY406 - Psychology Research Lab

(4 credits) As a culminating experience, senior students conduct a semester-long empirical research project and produce an APA-formatted report. This is substantive project that allows the student to individually explore a self-selected research topic in depth and to experience the research process from initial idea to finished publication-ready manuscript. It challenges the student to think creatively, to integrate knowledge and skills obtained throughout the psychology curriculum, and to produce a worthwhile contribution to the field. Prerequisites: 20 credits of psychology courses including PSY215 and 216.


Edman, L. O., Jackson, A., & Feenstra, J. S. (2016). Are we doing what we say we’re doing? Assessing integration in CCCU undergraduate psychology programs. Journal of Psychology and Christianity.

Feenstra, J. S. (2015). Summer camp and citizenship: Program with Romanian youth. The Physical Educator, 72, 185-199

Feenstra, J. S. (2013). Social Psychology. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education.

Feenstra, J.S. (2012). The great parking debate. In N. Schiller & K. Herreid (Eds.), Science stories: Using case studies to teach critical thinking (pp. 113-120). Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association Press. Also published, 2011, in the case study library: http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/

Feenstra, J.S. (2011). Vocational exploration through service: The effect of service-learning on student understanding of God’s calling. Journal of Education and Christian Belief, 15, 65-74.

Feenstra, J.S. (2009). Joe joins the circus: Learning theory case study. National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science Case Collection, http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/

Feenstra, J.S. (2009). Instructor’s Manual for Use with Intimate Relationships, 5th Ed. by R. Miller and D. Perlman. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Feenstra, J.S. (2008). Instructor’s Resource Manual for Social Psychology and Human Nature.Belmont CA: Thompson Wadsworth Publishers.

Feenstra, J.S. (2008). Social Psychology. Encyclopedia of Christianity: Volume 5. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Feenstra, J. S. & Brouwer, A. M. (2008). Christian vocation: Defining relations with identity status,college adjustment, and spirituality. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 36, 83-93.

Feenstra, J. S., Banyard, V. L., Rines, E. N., & Hopkins, K. R. (2001). First year students’ adaptation to college: The role of family variables and individual coping. Journal of College Student Development, 42, 106-113.

Feenstra, J. S. (2002). Abraham H. Maslow. Child Development: Volume One of the MacmillanPsychology Reference Series (pp. 247-247). New York: Gale Group.

Vander Stoep, S. W., Flagerlin, A., & Feenstra, J. S. (2000). What do students remember from introductory psychology? Teaching of Psychology, 27, 89-92.

Conference Presentations

Feenstra, J. S., Weidner, C., Estes, J., & Anderson, M. (2016, May). Making a Difference: Using the Theory of Planned Behavior and Generativity to Predict Volunteering. Association for Psychological Science Convention, Chicago, IL.

Feenstra, J. S. (2015, November). The role of religion in study abroad. CIEE Annual Conference, Berlin Germany.

Edman, L. & Feenstra, J. S. (2015, April). How are we doing? Teaching and assessing integration in CCCU Psychology departments. CAPS Conference, Denver, CO.

Beeson, M. & Feenstra, J. S. (2014, May). Correlates of gender ideology in religious female college students. Poster presented at the Association for Psychological Science Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Feenstra, J. S. (2012, May). Volunteerism worldwide. Invited address at the International Social Work: Working Together For Success Conference, University of Petrosani, Romania.

Feenstra, J. S. (2012, April). Experiential education in a post-communist society. Multi-disciplinary conference, Vienna Austria.

Feenstra, J.S. (2010, June). Service-learning and understanding God’s calling. National Faith-Based Service-Learning Conference, Messiah College, Grantham PA.

Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Association for Psychological Science

Society for the Teaching of Psychology