Since joining the CIU faculty in 2001, Baarendse cites classes in Literature and Research, Five Great Novels, Arts and Ideas, Classics of Christian Literature, and Shakespeare among his favorites in his teaching course load. His passion for course topics is often evidenced by the many non-humanities majors who regularly register for his courses. “Taking a Baarendse course” is cited by many humanities majors as their first interest in the humanities, as well as being one of their reasons for becoming humanities majors. He cares deeply about his teaching, and is always seeking ways to be more effective in the classroom and to improve student learning. Students also appreciate the personal interest Baarendse takes in them outside of class, as lunchtime typically finds him engaging with students in the dining room.
Baarendse was born and reared in Austria, where his parents served as missionaries. His previous classroom experience includes teaching third culture children at Black Forest Academy in Germany. He calls on his experiences from living and working in Austria when leading student trips to Europe.