Each spring break the Center for Faith and Practice (CFP) organizes multiple short-term mission trips as opportunities for student participation. These Quest Trips are designed to encourage discussion and reflection on service and social justice issues. By working in a local community, students are encouraged to become involved in area ministries during the rest of their time at Geneva.
This semester, 30 students are participating in teams travelling to locations including Aliquippa, Pa., Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. from March 4–14. The trip to Aliquippa will include service work at the Uncommon Grounds Café and with youth development organization Aliquippa Impact. Students travelling to Pittsburgh will be working with the Pittsburgh Project, the food kitchen at the Hot Metal Bridge Church, as well as connecting with John Stahl-Wert of Serving Leaders and working with alumni who currently serve in Pittsburgh. In New Orleans, students from Geneva have worked with the Trinity Christian Community since 2006 in response to Hurricane Katrina, and will be returning to help continue restoration of the city. Students travelling to Washington D.C. will be visiting organizations which deal with social justice issues such as human trafficking, poverty and disease. Their focus will be to learn how they can live more justly and better love their local and global neighbors.
Junior writing major and Quest Trip coordinator Allie Reefer attended the Washington D.C. trip last year and is now a student leader for the same trip. “The Quest Trips are designed, especially this year, to get students involved in the cities we go to, whether through service projects or just experiencing the environment,” says Reefer. “The hope is that what they learn on the trips, they can translate to Beaver Falls and even in their own home towns.”
Teaching students about social justice issues and building community are key themes for the trips. The trips “connect students to the city and show the participants how to be a servant, as we are called to be, in any area we are living in,” says Reefer. “They are about mutual connections and community rather than simply going in and fixing a problem.”
Geneva College is a comprehensive Christian college of the arts, sciences and professional studies. Founded in the tradition of the Reformed Christian faith, Geneva prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society: work, family and the church. Geneva College’s philosophy of education is based on the Foundational Concepts of Christian Higher Education. Geneva is a founding member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU).
In the past four years, on average, 90% of Geneva students are working or in grad school within six months after graduation.