NetVUE Conference - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

NetVUE Regional Gathering 
"Educating for Citizenship: Vocational Reflection for the Public Good "

October 4-5, 2019

GENEVA COLLEGE | 3200 College Avenue, Beaver Falls, PA

About The Event

This event is designed to generate conversations around the reclamation of one of the original purposes of American higher education: the making of citizens. Issues of social justice, civility, plurality and unity, and the common good are important for the cultivation of engaged citizens. This gathering will explore how vocational reflection can provide a framework for educating undergraduate students about citizenship. Speakers will be drawn from area nonprofits and community organizations.

Conference Speakers

Stephanie Summers

Keynote Speaker: Stephanie Summers

Stephanie Summers is the CEO of the Center for Public Justice, a Christian, independent, non-partisan civic education and public policy organization based in Washington, D.C. The Center works to equip citizens, develop leaders and shape policy through a variety of initiatives. She is a co-author with Michael J. Gerson and Katie Thompson of Unleashing Opportunity: Why Escaping Poverty Requires a Shared Vision of Justice (Falls City Press).

Breakout Speakers:

Bradshaw Frey
Dr. Bradshaw Frey, Sociology and Higher Education,  is in his 36th year as a professor of Sociology and Higher Education at Geneva. The focus of his research has been on segregation and re-segregation in schooling. With a colleague he founded a living/learning community in conjunction with the sociology program called City House now in its 13th year. With two colleagues and two students founded the Beaver Falls Community Development Corporation as well as a new community development major. Also for 13 years he’s been taking students in a criminology class to the county jail where they are joined by an equal number of inmates for two hours a week of class time.

Reclaiming Citizens: Students and Inmates Restore Each Other
This session will explore the reciprocal relationships between college students and inmates from a local county jail who are together once a week for a 15-week semester in a common class. Now in its fourteenth year, this class has helped humanize inmates-students and has helped sensitize college students to the spiraling problem of mass incarceration. Both groups emerge more ready to embrace a restorative role in a critical issue of our time.
Heather Brady
Dr. Heather Brady, Dept. of Liberal Arts,  is an associate professor of liberal arts at Grand View University, teaching community engagement courses related to global awareness. She teaches undergraduate students about African history, culture and migration. Her current research focuses on African immigrant community leadership in Des Moines. In addition to her teaching, she coordinates the annual Global Vision Week on campus and acts as study abroad exchange adviser.

Breakout Session Topic:
Citizenship through Social Justice: Engaging Students in Immigrant and Refugee Communities.
This session will offer an opportunity for participants to learn about and share experiences in teaching social justice and citizenship through community-based learning. Heather Brady will offer her insights based on the core seminar on global awareness and diversity that she teaches on immigrant and refugee communities. Throughout the session we will share ways vocational exploration can help guide us toward a deeper understanding of citizenship, above all in relation to matters of diversity, equity and inclusion in the community.
Douglas Bradbury
Dr. Douglas Bradbury, is an associate professor at Geneva College where he teaches courses in the student ministry program and within the Biblical Studies department. He received his Interdisciplinary PhD from Union Institute & University. His dissertation, Quantum Reconciliation: A Framework for Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Inescapable Mutuality” received the Virgil Wood Award which recognizes scholarship that expands the work of Dr. King. For over 30 years he has been involved in Haiti and was a co-founder of Haiti H20 a mission organization that promotes sustainable community development in remote communities in Southwest Haiti. Doug also has been active in adventure based transformational leadership having led over 5000 participants in adventure based, backcountry contexts. He and his wife Cande, annually lead mountaineering trips in the Rockies with students and other groups. Additionally as avid surfers, Doug, Cande and their five kids facilitate surfing camps in southern California during the summers, integrating spiritual formation practices with the joy of catching waves.
Breakout Session Topic:
Sustainable Global Citizenship
Much is written regarding the impact service learning has on students’ identity formation, worldview and leadership development. As we assist students towards global citizenship , do we promote service models that affirm privilege all the while offering “toxic charity” to the groups we serve? How might we encourage a shift in consciousness necessary for sustainable global citizenship?
Jay Neikirk
Dr. Frederick "Jay" Neikirk, is Professor of Political Science at Geneva College. His teaching and research interests focus on American government and public policy,Reformation political thought, and the intersection of theology and politics. For the last twenty-seven years Dr. Neikirk has been the primary instructor in “Great Issues in Politics” at Geneva College, a course required in the Core Curriculum, and one thatis designed to help students think about and prepare for their calling in the public square and the application of their faith to that calling.

Breakout Session Topic:
“Great Issues in Politics” at Geneva College: “Educating for Citizenship” as Part of the Core Curriculum

POL 352 (“Great Issues in Politics”) has, in one form or another, been a capstone course at Geneva College since the founding of the College. In the late 19th Century such a course would not have been unusual since most institutions of higher education had courses in Moral and Political Philosophy. Today this course is fairly unique. This session will discuss how the history and theological commitments of the College have enable Geneva College to retain this course as a requirement. It will also explore the topics and pedagogy of the course in an effort to foster dialogue as to what should be included in such a course, and how we can use such a course to prepare students for civic engagement without crossing the line into unfair indoctrination.

Byron Borger
Byron Borger, along with his wife, Beth, own Hearts & Minds, an independent bookstore in Dallastown, Pennsylvania, which they have run for 33 years. Beforeopening their bookstore, they worked in campus ministry for the CCO in Pittsburgh, where Byron served on an early Jubilee conference planning committee, after which he worked for the Thomas Merton Center, advocating around various issues of peace, justice,and creation-care. Byron enjoys being involved in conversations about how the Christian faith influences all of life, including public life, hearing how people relate their faith to their careers, citizenship, and leisure. Byron blogs regularly about booksat

Registration: $50 (for NetVUE members)

For participants from NetVUE member institutions: the registration fee of $50 per person covers all costs of the gathering, including meals on Friday and Saturday and Friday night accommodations. Participants must make their own hotel reservations at the Microtel (information below), which may include additional nights at a special rate (but additional nights are at their own expense).

Registration: $100 (General Public)

For participants from non-NetVUE member institutions and the general public: the non-member registration fee of $100 covers the all meals on Friday and Saturday, but not lodging. Those from outside the immediate area who need lodging must make their own arrangements. Non-members are welcome to stay at the Microtel (and receive a special rate), but they may also seek out other accommodations; in either case, lodging is at their own expense.

Overnight Accommodations

Participants who need overnight accommodation should reserve a room at the Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham. Friday night hotel costs are covered for NetVUE member registrants. Others may obtain the Geneva rate of $83/night. (This rate is also available for the nights preceding and following the gathering, but all participants must pay for extra nights themselves.) A shuttle will be provided to and from the hotel for all participants in the event.

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham
2801 Darlington Rd, Beaver Falls, PA 15010
Phone: (724) 581-5273
View in Google Maps

Area Transportation

When making travel arrangements please note that the closest airport is the Pittsburgh International Airport. This airport is approximately 35 minutes from campus. Event participants needing to arrange transportation to & from the airport can contact to make arrangements. A shuttle will be provided to and from Geneva to the Microtel Inn & Suites.

Campus Map
View Campus Map
Directions To Geneva College

Event Schedule

Friday, Oct. 4

3:30 - 4 p.m.

Arrival, Registration

Geneva College, Benedum Room at Alexander Hall

4 - 5:30 p.m.

Welcome & Keynote Presentation

6 p.m.


Benedum Room, Alexander Hall

Saturday, Oct. 5

7 - 8 A.M.

Breakfast on your own

Provided at Microtel

8 - 9 A.M.


Coffee/tea & Pastries Provided

9 - 10 A.M.

Keynote Session

10 - 10:30 A.M.

Book Presentation

10:45 - 11:30 A.M.

Breakout Sessions I

  • Reclaiming Citizens: Students and Inmates Restore Each Other, Dr. Brad Frey
  • Sustainable Global Citizenship, Dr. Doug Bradbury
  • “Great Issues in Politics” at Geneva College: “Educating for Citizenship” as Part of the Core Curriculum, Dr. Frederick “Jay” Neikirk
  • Citizenship through Social Justice: Engaging Students in Immigrant and Refugee Communities, Dr. Heather Brady

See speaker bios for session descriptions

11:30 A.M. - 12:45 p.m.

Guided Discussion over Lunch

1 - 2 p.m.

Breakout Sessions II

  • Byron Borger
  • Sustainable Global Citizenship, Dr. Doug Bradbury
  • “Great Issues in Politics” at Geneva College: “Educating for Citizenship” as Part of the Core Curriculum, Dr. Frederick “Jay” Neikirk
  • Citizenship through Social Justice: Engaging Students in Immigrant and Refugee Communities, Dr. Heather Brady

See speaker bios for session descriptions

2:15 - 3 p.m.

Plenary Panel

3:15 - 4 p.m.

Closing Keynote Session

Recommended Reading List (Books)

Gerson, M. J., Summers, S. A., & Thompson, K. T. (2015). Unleashing opportunity: Why escaping poverty requires a shared vision of justice. Beaver Falls, PA: Falls City Press
Mouw, R. J. (2010). Uncommon decency: Christian civility in an uncivil world. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books.
Patel, E. (2010). Acts of Faith: The story of an American Muslim, in the struggle for the soul of a generation. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
Smith, J. K. (2017). Awaiting the King: Reforming public theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Volf, M. (2014). Public faith: How followers of Christ should serve the common good. Seoul: IVP.
Wear, M.R. (2018). Reclaiming Hope: Lessons learned in the Obama White House about the future of faith in politics. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Recommended Reading List (Essays)

Citizenship as Craft by Rachel Anderson
Citizens Aren’t Just Born. They’re Formed by Kevin den Dulk
Confident Pluralism by John Inazu
A Nation Under Two Flags: Liberal Education, Interfaith Literacy, and the New American Holy War by Eboo Patel

Old Main

This event is made possible by the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE). NetVUE is administered by the Council of Independent Colleges with generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Images of Campus

Geneva Arch
Campus Clock View
Old Main at the center of Campus