About Geneva


History & Heritage

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Geneva College has been providing academically excellent, Christ-centered and affordable education to students for nearly 170 years. Since opening its doors on Thursday, April 20, 1848, the college’s dedication to educating students—traditional, adult learners and graduate—without regard to gender, race or creed has earned Geneva a well-deserved reputation for accessibility.

Historical Highlights

  • Named in honor of Geneva, Switzerland, the center of the Reformed faith movement
  • Originally located in Northwood, OH, the college moved to Beaver Falls, PA, in 1880
  • Established a Female Seminary just three years after opening, and became fully co-educational in 1865—praised for providing an equivalent education for both genders
  • Opened its doors to freed southern slaves around 1865, an uncommon practice during the post-Civil War period
  • A leader in providing adult learners a path to earning a degree, Geneva initiated its Extension Program in the early 1900s, which laid the foundation for the Adult Degree Programs


Geneva College was founded and is governed by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA). Geneva’s worldview acknowledges God’s relationship to every aspect of His creation. Thus, a Geneva education emphasizes the connection between the Christian faith and every academic, athletic and student activity.

Reformed Faith Distinctives

  • Scripture: The Bible is the only infallible rule for faith and life
  • Divine Sovereignty: All of life unfolds according to God’s eternal counsel and will
  • The Covenants: God reveals progressively through the Old and New Testaments His promise and plan to redeem humanity and creation itself through Jesus the Christ
  • The Law of God: God’s moral law, summarized in the Ten Commandments, restrains societal evil, demonstrates everyone’s need for salvation in Jesus Christ and guides Christians in their growth in grace
  • The Church: The church is the redeemed people of God in the Old Testament and New Testament eras of history
  • The Kingdom of God: Jesus Christ reigns as the mediatorial King over all nations and peoples; He is Lord in every aspect of life

Sources: Rev. Rutledge Etheridge, Chaplain, and What is a Reformed Church? by Stephen E. Smallman (P&R Publishing, 2003)

Read the philosophical basis on which a Geneva College education rests