David’s path to Geneva College was straightforward, even if his areas of study were a bit unconventional. His classes in various languages—a dash of middle-school Latin, followed by French and Greek in high school—prepared him to tackle biblical languages as a major. While taking high school Greek, he had already begun to eye what was and still is his end goal: attending seminary for a career in theology. His major in biblical languages at Geneva is clearly designed to further this goal, but so is his second major, philosophy, which he is taking in order to learn how to think.
“I appreciate each member of the biblical languages department for their depth of linguistic abilities, and their richness of knowledge of the original text,” David says. He picked Geneva as his college in part because he respects Geneva’s reputation for both philosophy and biblical languages.
There are a few specific reasons that David lists that enticed him, and might interest other potential biblical language majors: Most colleges don’t teach Hebrew and Greek together, and, as the respective languages of the Old and New Testament, David is studying both. Geneva is one of the few that offers eight semesters in a row on each language. By capitalizing on this, David will be able to graduate in four years.
Another reason behind David’s choice to attend Geneva College is the historical approach Geneva takes to philosophy and scripture. This adds a context, spanning from Martin Luther to the present, which enables the Christian student to realize he’s not in an interpretive vacuum. As a result, David’s big-picture understanding has grown in his time at Geneva.
“Being at Geneva helped me see that the Christian life is not an individual life,” he says, “but is meant to be lived out in community.” David has found plenty of opportunities for community involvement: he’s a member of the Genevans, the college’s choir, and participates in intramural soccer. He has also spent a semester studying in Jerusalem.
His favorite event by far, however, is the annual Humans vs. Zombies game sponsored by Student Activities. Towards the end of each spring semester, during HvZ week, David can be seen in spirited chase of other players. One theory behind his passion for the game is that his love for dead languages has prepared him to handle dead monsters. Another is that he’s just a competitive person.
“I am very competitive,” he agrees, nodding. This trait explains his drive to succeed in both his majors.
“Fluency isn’t the word,” David says regarding his ultimate goal in studying Hebrew and Greek. Since the languages are dead, “competency” is what he aims for. David hopes to learn the languages well enough to accurately interpret biblical text.
“I expect to be competent in Hebrew and Greek by the time I graduate,” he says, “as well as wet my feet with some poetry.” Other expectations, such as taking out a bunch of zombies, are just fringe benefits.
-Adam Rowe '14
Geneva awards bachelor's degrees in nearly 40 undergraduate major areas of study and offers seven master’s degree programs.