Geneva College

Don Opitz

Don OpitzOffice Phone: 724-847-6883                

Disciplines/Field of Instruction

  • Professor of Sociology with interests in social theory, environmental sociology and utopian studies
  • Higher Education with interests in learning theory and college teaching

Degrees Received

  • B.A. from Westminster College 1983
  • M.Div. from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in 1989
  • Ph.D. from Boston University in 1995

Courses Taught

  • In our graduate program in higher education I teach The Foundations of Learning and Knowledge, Introduction to Campus Worldviews, Vocation of Teacher, Principles of Effective Teaching, Leadership and Mentoring in Higher Education, and The Higher Ed Professional.
  • In the undergraduate sociology program I teach Readings in Contemporary Sociology; Sociological Theory and Method; Work, Vocation and Leadership; Social Groups, Utopia and Shalom, and the First-Year Honors Program’s spring term Society course.


  • The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness, with co-author Derek Melleby. Brazos Press, 2007
  • But Now I See: A Crash Course on Worldview and Why it is Important, Comment Magazine, 2008
  • Our Reformed Identity, Professional Development Workshop for Student Life Division at Calvin College, February 2008
  • Academic Faithfulness lectures at The President’s Symposium on Christ-Centered Education at Huntington University, March 2008
  • Callings, Multi-faceted Faithfulness, and the Church, Pastor and Lay Workshop at Westminster College, March 2008
  • Academic Faithfulness lectures at North Central University, April 2008
  • New Directions in Educating Student Affairs Professionals, ACSD 2010
  • Academic Faithfulness in the Field of Student Affairs, CACSD 2013

Geneva College Honors Program Banner

Current Projects

  • Reading poetry. My life has been far too unpoetic, so I am loving the words of Hopkins, Auden, Wilbur, Heaney, Milosz and others. I am open to recommendations.
  • Simplifying. I am a consumer, and I consume way too much—too much food, too many natural resources, too much energy, and I produce too much garbage. I have been reading in environmental science and environmental sociology. It is easy enough to read and learn about stewardship, but the challenge is actually changing the patterns of consumption and waste in my life.
  • A new edition of The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness should be out in the coming months, now entitled Learning for the Love of God. I’m sure it will sell like hotcakes.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot and writing a little on a project that I’m calling The Good House. It is a theology/sociology of place. We’ll see.


  • I have been married to Christine for 20 fabulous years. Christine is a marvelous cook, a wiz at organizing, and she is the most generous and caring person I have ever met. My lovely step-daughters are now grown women—Lauren is working as an accountant with Dicks Sporting Corporation and Katie is working with the EAP program at Cigna Corporation. I love standing knee deep in a stream, somewhere in a forest away from traffic, listening to the rushing water, spotting birds along the shore, and hoping that a trout just might take my fly.

Geneva College | 3200 College Ave., Beaver Falls, PA 15010