Hofrenning’s teaching focuses on American politics including campaigns and elections, environmental politics, and the intersection of religion and politics. As a scholar, he has written a book and numerous articles about a range of topics including religion, campaigns, lobbying, and issues of pedagogy. He is currently working on a book (due out with Routledge Press in 2025) entitled The Promise–and Perils–of American Politics.

Beginning in 2004, he has taken students to New Hampshire immediately prior to the New Hampshire primary which sits at the beginning of the parties’ presidential nominating process. The class studies the nominating process and students intern with presidential campaigns. Various media outlets covered the course.  In 2008 and 2016, students also wrote for popular blogs (Oles in ’08 and Oles on the Campaign Trail) featured in theStarTribune. Viewers accessed the sites over 15,000 times.

As a media commentator, Hofrenning has written op-ed pieces and provided commentary for a range of print, radio, and television outlets across the country. The StarTribune has been the most frequent place for his commentary, but he has also commented for Minnesota Public Radio, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and BBC Worldwide Radio.  He has been part of the Political Science panel on the Twin Cities Public Television show, Almanac.

Hofrenning has done some administrative work as Associate Dean of the Social Sciences and Chair of both the Departments of Political Science and Environmental Studies. He also has served as interim Director for both the Academic Civic Engagement Program and the Center for Innovation and the Liberal Arts, a college center that focuses on teaching and learning. Finally, he was the Founding Director of the Institute for Freedom and Community, a public affairs program at St. Olaf that fosters intellectual inquiry into public issues. “The Institute aims to challenge presuppositions, question easy answers, and foster constructive dialogue among those with differing values and contending points of view.”

Professor Hofrenning was born in New York and grew up in Minnesota. After studying at a seminary, he did his graduate work in political science and public policy at Duke University and the University of Minnesota.

Daniel Hofrenning CV