Awed with Caution

The United States is a big country. The continental portion (that is, excluding Hawaii and Alaska), stretches over three thousand miles. This means that to get anywhere interesting or remotely different from your own neighborhood stomping grounds, it is necessary to travel a significant distance by car or plane. Needless to say, I was struck with the boundless possibility for adventure when I discovered the compact scale of the British Isles. Living in a place like Scotland, one can travel to a variety of wild and different cities and landscapes, all in less than a day’s journey. That is precisely what Lizzy and I decided to take advantage of this past weekend. With “the world as our oyster” we set out to spend a couple days in York, England.

Within minutes of alighting from the train in York, we found ourselves walking on the medieval wall that still surrounds the city and gazing at the most stunning building I have ever beheld. York Minster Cathedral, with its soaring Gothic towers, arcaded stained-glass windows, and gleaming white stone is truly an unparalleled sight. This wonder of craftsmanship looms over the city and dominates the skyline.


The Humanities 203 class at Geneva College talks about Gothic architecture and how builders liked to utilize color and light for dramatic and religious effect. The huge windows were intended to catch the sun, brightening what had previously been dark, vaulted, stone interiors. The result was supposed to be conducive to illumination – both literal and spiritual. Walking into York Minster, this fact from a previous class came immediately to mind. And I must say, if that was the intent, the builders certainly succeeded. I do not think I have ever beheld such a magnificent interior space. So much stone and yet the entire thing was bathed in light and color. One cannot help being overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the place, almost a quarter mile in length from end to end. A Christian place of worship of some kind has stood on the location for well over 1200 years. With its importance to Christianity in Britain, York Minster is almost as much a testament to the English monarchy as it is to the Church. Statues of kings from William the Conqueror to Henry VI cross the central nave. Political symbolism is as prolific as Christian symbolism in the windows and ceilings. Personally, my favorite space in the building has to be the Chapter House. It is an octagon-shaped chamber with seven sides consisting of soaring stained-glass windows and a massive domed ceiling. It was used by the Parliament of King Edward I in 1297. The sheer beauty of the place left me speechless, and I was not the only one. There was not a sound to be heard among the people gazing up and around; occasionally there was a gasp of awe, but for the most part nobody said anything. What could have been said that would not have diminished the moment?

As I was caught up in all of this, I sat down to think. This marvelous work of art and craftsmanship was having the effect on me that Gothic design was intended to have on the beholder. I wondered for a time: “Is this a good thing? Surely, God has granted so many gifts and skills to men. And over a period of centuries, they used them here to build a house of worship.” Then I studied the windows more closely. The late Gothic period windows in the other portions of the church were full of images and icons, likenesses of historical and Biblical figures at an almost alarming scale. A worshipper would come into the church and be practically assaulted with that which is not Biblically lawful in worship. Instead of having his/her attention oriented towards God, it is oriented around them on all sides to the men from the past staring down at them. A sign by a display of candles implores visitors “To light a candle is to say a prayer.” But it’s not! I then wondered, how did an attendee here know if what they were really worshipping was actually the True and Living God?! I left York Minster awed by artistic and historical splendor, but theologically confused.

I think it is important to be awed by things occasionally. These experiences remind us how small we are in the grand scheme of events, and how infinitesimal our trivial problems are. However, it is important to exercise caution about what we are awed about. As Christians, we need to be sure that whatever it is, it is reminding us of how small we are compared to how big God is. He is the One who truly deserves our awe and worship. When the Object of our worship is correct, a small country church is just as effective as a soaring Cathedral. The small-but-stately, post-Reformation Lyne Kirk in the Scottish Borders area can be just as awe-inspiring as York Minster itself. It is the awareness of our condition before a Mighty God that should fill us with humility and gratitude.

Psalm 107:8 “Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man.”

Lauren Della Piazza

Benefits to Studying Abroad: Short Term and Long Term

I have been blessed this year to be able to participate in two of Geneva’s study abroad programs, the Rome program and Semester in Scotland.  If you would have asked me this time last year, I would have had no idea that I would spend more of my year in Europe then back home in Virginia. It has been so amazing to get the chance to expand my view of the world by being in foreign countries, and I still have another two months here in Scotland!  Recently I have been reflecting on the two programs, how they are different and the benefits that each of them offers.  For context the Rome program was in Rome and Florence and goes for three weeks.  Semester in Scotland is over a whole semester taking place in Airdrie with trips to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London.

Studying Abroad Short Term – The Rome Program

1.  Any major can do it.
Since it happens outside of the traditional semester any major can participate.  It does not affect graduation dates and fitting in all of your required classes.  The Rome program can also count as credit for Humanities 203 and 303.  One class and the trip to Italy can count for both classes!  I really enjoyed that our trip to Rome was with such a wide variety of different majors, I was able to make friends with people who I would not have crossed paths with otherwise.


2.  Fast paced.
There is not much downtime because you are seeing so much everyday.  This can be good and bad.  It is good because everything is already planned out, you do not have to worry about whether or not you will see something.  The fast pace can also be overwhelming, but it is definitely worth it! There is no better feeling then climbing into bed after having walked 8-12 miles of Roman roads.  There were definitely times when I almost dozed off on the train, but looking back that tiredness really was not that big of a deal.  Looking back I remember what we saw not how tired I was at the time.

3. Short means you are only gone for three weeks.
This is perfect for people who are not as comfortable with being gone for four months.  It is just the right amount of time to see everything while not having to completely move there.  In three weeks you also develop a close bond with your travel companions while not driving each other too crazy.  By the end of the three weeks I was feeling ready to go home, but I also did not want to have to say goodbye to everyone.  I was thankful to go home, finally have a home cooked meal, and be with my family.  Three weeks is just the right amount of time for a short term study abroad.


4. It is not as expensive as a whole semester.
It is cheaper to travel for three weeks instead of a whole semester, and you are getting a lot of travel in during those three weeks. Food and extra shopping can add up though, so you have to be careful.  But money spent on gelato will never be money spent in vain, eat as much gelato as you possible can, it is amazing.

5. Minimal class work while you travel.
Most of the class work is done during the semester, so once you are actual in Italy it is just presenting the work that you have already completed and keeping a travel journal.  This leaves all of your free time for exploring without having to worry about school work.  I did not even mind the small amount of presenting I did in Italy, it was really neat to get to present in front of the artwork I had spent all semester studying.  It also makes everything more personal when it is students presenting on things that they have grown to love through their research.

Studying Abroad Long Term – Semester in Scotland

1.  Living in a foreign country.
When you live somewhere for an extended period of time it begins to feel like home.  You are surrounded by the culture, living as they live in that country.  This gives you a better understanding of how people in other countries live.  Your view of the world will be changed!  I have spent a lot of time reflecting on how Scotland and the United States are different; I have realized that they are not as different as I had once thought they were.  Now that I have been outside of the United States I am able to actually reflect upon how we are not as important as we think that we are.  I have also realized what a young country we are; last week we spent the whole week on the history of England & Scotland, and it was not until day four that we got to 1607, which is when the settlers got to Jamestown, Virginia.  It really put into perspective how much we have to learn from other places.


2.  Being part of the community.
When you spend several months with people you get involved in the activities that are going on, or at least you should!  Community helps combat lonlieness and homesickness while you are away from home.  And who does not want to make friends who are from other countries?  You are able to share and learn from each other.  I have loved becoming part of the community here in Airdrie, I feel like I have been here for so much longer than just two months.  This feels like another home. Through worshipping together I have seen how the body of Christ is universal and brings everyone together.

3.  Downtime to reflect.
A semester gives you the opportunity to take time everyday to reflect on everything that you are seeing and rest before the next adventure.  Often going at a fast pace it can make it difficult to take everything in and you do not fully appreciate your travels until you are back home.  While being in Scotland I have really appreciated having time to rest and reflect on everything that I am experiencing.  While I was in Italy the focus was on taking everything in which did not leave much time to reflect on what I was experiencing; it was only after being home for a few weeks that I realized how much I had been able to see and experience.

4.  Learning on site.
Studying in the country you are learning about means you are able to go from class to the actual places.  All of it is still fresh in your mind, helping to reaffirm what you have learned.  Here we are learning a lot about the history of Scotland and the Covenanters; I am not naturally inclined to absorb historical information well.  However now that I have stood in the places where the battles took place, where Covenanters were imprisoned and martyred I have a much better understanding of what it would have been like for the people back then, and the history sticks with me.  Learning on site makes the history come alive, and it gives you a firm context of where things took place.

5.  A whole semester in another country.
When you are in a foreign country for four months, you are living in a foreign country for four months!  You have the chance to travel and explore! With the wonderful transportation systems that Europe has it is so simple to catch a train, bus, or flight to another city or county.  Personally I have loved how simple public transport is here in Scotland! Back home the bus system is awful, it can take 1.5 hours to get somewhere that would only take 15 minutes to drive to by car.  But here in Scotland we can jump on the train and be in the middle of Glasgow in 20 minutes! We have visited Glasgow, Edinburgh, and we are going  to visit York this next weekend.  It has also helped me gain confidence in traveling, making plans, and using a map!

No matter what type of studying abroad you are thinking of doing, whether long or short term, I would definitely encourage anyone to go and do it if they are able.  See the world, make friends, get school credit, gain life experiences, and increase maturity and self-confidence! I know that for myself I have grown so much in the past few months of traveling to Europe, and I am still here in Scotland for another two months. I cannot wait to experience more of God’s amazing world!  If anyone at Geneva, or another school, wants to talk about either of these programs I would love to share my experiences with you.

Lizzy Tewksbury

Humanities Week


The past week of our Humanities modular course and dealing with a five hour time difference when seeking to talk to those back home has been exhausting.  However, despite sleep-deprivation, the Humanities class with Dr Tim Donachie was enjoyable in its intense quality.  We learned history, philosophy, and the general thinking of mankind.  We sifted famous writers of philosophy through the Christian worldview.  We read the poetry of John Donne and Robert Burns.  We read works of John Milton and Adam Smith, finding where they were right and wrong, accurate and inaccurate.

We read, we discussed, and we learned.  Though history is not my favourite or best subject, it was presented in a way that could be grasped and understood.  Though philosophy can sometimes be dangerous to delve into, we discussed it all on common Christian grounds.  And though this past week was mentally exhausting, the benefits of learning are far better than sitting around doing virtually nothing.

Mary McCurdy

Museums and Foundations

This past week we were learning more about Paul, and how we need to tell others of Christ, and also, that we need to first know how we may defend what we believe to a now very resistant and argumentative generation. We also wondered why Paul, newly converted, was allowed, after three days, to go and preach the Gospel right away. The answer was that he already had the foundation of our faith from all of the Old Testament that he had to memorize when he was young. Three days was all it took for a man, used to thinking, to straighten out his knowledge of what he had thought was right to what he now realized was right, that the Messiah had come and all the ramifications of that. Our culture, today, is not as steeped in a firm foundation, and most people do not even know the true basis of Christianity and its effect on how we live. This was very obvious this past Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Lauren, Lizzy, Mary, and I all went in to Glasgow together and on our own; we decided to go to a museum that we thought would be informative and edifying as it was called St. Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life and Art. We were so disappointed by this place that we were actually appalled at how bad it really was, both in accuracy and misrepresentation. The organization of the displays were not well done either, and honestly we all left feeling quite discouraged. This was supposed to, at least, give a fair representation of the different religions, (though we had assumed it would be on Christianity only, bad move on our part) and instead we found a place that was inaccurate. The whole place first led people through a display of several different artifacts that were supposed to be representations of the cultures, and in some cases, pictures of those important to the religion, but on a whole, it was very unsatisfactory, then it went on until coming to a room that was filled with six different displays of six different religions; Christianity, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and two others (I can’t remember their names).


The entire museum, while as a whole was disappointing, was quite a reminder of who we are as Christians, and what we need to be doing as people working to be like Christ and follow his example in how to live.  It showed such a wrong description of what we represent that it made me personally realize that this was something we needed to do more, tell others about the One in whom we believe, what we believe about Him, and why we believe it.

However, all through the week we have been learning how to be people who know their purpose and drive after it with all earnestness, and that is very important. We don’t want to be individuals who, having just come to know our Savior, rush out and try to tell others about him just to be asked questions they do not know the answer to and thus start to break down their newfound faith because they did not stop to learn all that they need to know to defend it properly. We need to first learn how to defend it and what we fully believe. That is what we are doing as we learn over here, and when we go back home, we will continue to learn how to do that in the various jobs that we are learning at Geneva. I praise God so often that I was born into the family I am in, and that I am allowed by God’s Holy Spirit and Son, to be his daughter! And so we are reminded that our God reigns over all, and his mercy endures forever!

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.” Psalms 150:6 NASB

Louisa Masemore

Regarding Pilgrimages

20160919_122123We all embark on journeys. Some do it for business purposes; some for leisure. Others set out for more strictly academic reasons. Then there those who venture out for religious purposes. These are the pilgrims, the itinerantly pious, who go on a journey not only of self- discovery, but with higher goals in mind. It is on this subject that I would like to dwell for a time. This past week, the other students and I spent the first two days on our Reformation Tour. Traveling to so many important locations associated with the Covenanters and the Scottish Presbyterians got me thinking about pilgrimages and perhaps how the concept is in need of some rehabilitation and revival.

The classical definition of a pilgrim is simply this: one who journeys for religious reasons, (sometimes to a religious or sacred place). My concern right now is simply with pilgrimages and Christianity. The term “pilgrimage” has picked up some historical baggage over the centuries, particularly in the years leading up to the Reformation. The Roman Catholic Church attached spiritual weight to the completion of pilgrimages and went to great lengths to protect Christian travelers and holy sites. It can be said that the Crusades were waged to protect pilgrimage sites in the Middle East. Most Protestants have heard the story of Martin Luther and his disillusioning pilgrimage to Rome. The corruption, error and excess that characterized medieval Catholicism have dripped down to taint the concept of pilgrimages for modern Protestants. (Geoffrey Chaucer’s motley band of sordid characters comes readily to mind). Now most consider them to be an antiquated vestige of that system of works righteousness that we broke away from so long ago.

I would like to argue that pilgrimages are actually consistent with our reality as Christians. God’s People throughout history have been making journeys for faith reasons. We might be able to say that the first “pilgrim” in the Bible was Abraham. God spoke to him, told him to leave his home and travel to a land that God would show him (Genesis 12:1). In the times of Jesus, the Jewish people were journeying to Jerusalem to make sacrifices for Passover every year. They came from all over the regions of Israel and the Diaspora. They sang Psalms of Ascent to remember the importance of “going up” to God’s house. In a more abstract sense, we are all “pilgrims” on a spiritual journey of the Christian life. John Bunyan explores that in great detail in his masterful allegory Pilgrim’s Progress.

In a way, my main reason for participating in the Semester in Scotland program was for spiritual reasons. About six months ago I decided to join the Reformed Presbyterian Church. I wanted this semester to be a sort of pilgrimage, a journey of discovery, growing closer to God and learning about the lives of like-minded Christians from centuries past. The first two days of the Reformation Tour were a powerful taste of that. We visited St. Andrews and stood where Patrick Hamilton, the first Covenanter martyr, was burned at the stake. We (hesitantly) climbed into the pulpit of John Knox. On the second day in Edinburgh we payed our respects at Greyfriars churchyard where so many Covenanter leaders were buried and where they signed the National Covenant in 1638.  Another gated portion of the cemetery was the location where many Covenanters were cruelly imprisoned. In the city center, we planted our feet where there was once planted a gallows for the execution of so many of them. All of this was really enlightening for me and changed my perspectives. I had never heard of these persecuted Presbyterians a year ago, but now I could confidently call them my brothers and sisters in Christ. Where my view of the Church had previously been quite narrow, I now see how it encompasses so many people all around the world. We have not even completed half of our Reformation Tour excursions and I have already seen and learned things about God’s faithfulness and His people that I will never forget. In a way, these outings were a kind of pilgrimage, a journey of spiritual significance.


Pilgrimages serve as formative experiences in many ways. They can promote times of introspection on our own walks with God, prompt reflection on what He has done in the past, as well as orient our minds to godly perspectives. I think modern Christians could do well to see them as such. They should NOT be used as a means to earn one’s salvation, but as potentially life-changing physical reflections of a spiritual reality. We are all pilgrims, sojourners, on this harrowing pilgrimage that we call the Christian walk.

Psalm 122:1 “I was glad when they said to me ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’”

Lauren Della Piazza


Welcome to the Family

lizzy2We have now been here for almost a month.  Many things come to mind as I reflect back on what has happened over the past few weeks.  We have begun learning about theology, serving in the church, Paul’s life, the Covenanters and how they died for their faith.  Still there is so much more to learn and everyday God is opening my eyes to new truths.  But what I wanted to focus on is the community of believers here, and how much of an impact it has had on me so far.

When the plane landed in Glasgow in the wee hours of the morning it began to set in that I was actually here, and I began to worry.  Would I be able to make it in a different county for four months?  Would I think of this place as home and not just as a long trip?  Would I be able to make friends and feel connected?

These fears were quickly silenced.  From the first day here we were shown love and hospitality.  Our first day we were rather dazed and sleepy.  We were invited over to have tea at Beth’s flat along with Stephen, Brenda, and the other girls who had already arrived.  It was such a blessing to be welcomed into someone’s home and be fed real food after having traveled for roughly twenty hours.  Even though we were tired the company was wonderful, and we felt as though we were eating with friends who we had know for much longer then a few hours.

Our first Sunday at church we were welcomed by so many wonderful people, who were so excited to meet us.  They greeted us with smiles, hugs, and some had even already learned our names!  As we sat in on the morning prayer meeting we were prayed for by name in such a way that it moved several of us to tears because of how much we could tell that these people cared about us, even though they had only just meet us.

Every Sunday we have lunch with a different family, this is such a huge blessing since we are in charge of our own food otherwise.  Our first week we were not sure how it would be to eat with people we did not know.  It turned out to be one of the most encouraging afternoons.  We sat around and talked for a long time, sharing stories about our lives, what it is like growing up in different countries, and we were able to ask our questions about cultural differences.  It felt like being with family.  When we left and went home I felt so encouraged and joyful.

Since that first week the relationships have only grown and gotten deeper.  We are now involved in Kids Club, and getting to know the kids in the church has been so wonderful.  They are always wanting to show us what they can do, and they make me so happy to see how everyone here watches our for all the young people.  We have also started to get to know the youth and young adults.  This past Friday some of the CY (Covenanter Youth) went out to Nando’s and enjoyed yummy food and fellowship.  There were many stories shared and much laughter.  While it is a close knit community they have been so willing to include us in the activities, never once have I felt out of the loop.  Someone is always willing to explain what they are talking about, or what different words mean.

Looking back it is hard to believe that we have only been here for a month.  It feels like we have been here so much longer.  This feel like home, I have family here. I realized that this is my family, through Christ we are all united as brothers and sisters.  That feeling is very evident here in the church in Airdrie.  The best way I can think to describe it is that it feels like a family reunion; some people know each other better then others, some are more closely related, there are people of all ages, but we all share the same roots.  It is a glimpse of what Heaven will look like one day when we all come together to worship and praise our great Heavenly Father!


Wind, Rain, Pigeons, and Deliverance

If you have ever been to Scotland for any reason, you know that it is almost always windy, and on a lot of days, it seems to be rather rainy. This is not true of all of the days, for even at this moment, it is a nice sunny day with patchy clouds. The temperature remains a bit on the cooler side, at least coming from a summer in the United States, but it is bearable, and, if you are prepared with the proper clothing, it can be lived in. It was on one such dreary day this week that I caught myself marveling at God’s providence. Louisa (my flat mate) and I had gone to cross a street, thought the car with its turning signal flashing had seen us, and very narrowly missed getting hit. Startled by the honk of the horn directly behind us, we rushed to the safety of the sidewalk and breathed out prayers of thanks.

Later on, I considered the events of the day and found myself pondering God’s deliverance in that situation. Though it was an act of misjudgment on our part, God still decided to smile upon us and deliver us from death. If it had been our time to go, I am sure that in the moment we would have been fine with it, as we would have no real choice in the matter. But God thought it best to deliver us in that moment, to keep us safe, and to give us the speed we needed to get out of the way of danger as quickly as possible.

Earlier this day, we had seen a flock of pigeons walking along the wet walkways, getting rained on, and bobbing their little heads with each step. I found it laughable at the time, but with later thinking, it brought to mind the verse in which it is said that God takes care of the sparrows and how much more will he take care of us? God takes care of sparrows, hawks, and even the lowly pigeons. If he takes care of even the lowliest creatures, how much more will he take care of those who are created in his image? Even when we are being somewhat idiotic in our attempts to quickly cross a street in the Scottish wind and rain, God still takes care of us, and if it is his will, brings us to safety on the other side.

Mary McCurdy

Scotland and Paul

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. Ephesians 1:1-4 NASB

Hello All, this has been a week, or two, of looking at the apostle Paul, and I have grown to absolutely love the way he starts his letters, but I kind of feel it would that it would be stealing his words. I am not claiming any of the apostleship that he was rewarded by Christ, don’t worry!! We have had a fantastic first week of classes and an incredible weekend with the church, at a Young Adults Weekend (YAW) conference in Northern Ireland (which was gorgeous, by the way). We started with classes, and found that the genre of the books is heavy, which is very good. It also quickly waded into the life of Paul, and the influences and culture that helped make him effective, other than the Holy Spirit, of course, and that continued during the weekend. The theme of messages was  evangelism, and we read out of the book of Acts in chapters 16 and 17. It was mentioned that the name of the book of acts really isn’t the best, because it isn’t just about what the apostles did, but rather where they went to continue furthering what God told them to do in the great commission, to first go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and then to the ends of the earth. They listened and that is what Acts is, the account of how the early church did as God instructed down to the order of where to go when to tell.

One of the themes that I have been seeing is how God is showing us as students that we need to be bold, and yet still be gentle. On Wednesday, we went to visit Stirling Castle and the Battle of Bannockburn battlefield; we learned about how the people fought boldly for their freedom, now of course this was not for freedom of religion in these cases, but their country. Still you should see the point. On out first Sunday, the sermons were about how Elijah the prophet needed to be bold and yet humble as he served our Savior. And then we get to Paul, as we learned this weekend, and how even after he was beaten, and thrown into jail, and then asked to leave the city after the night of the earthquake and the conversion of Lydia and her family, the Guard at the jail and his family. and a few others, he continued on into many different cities and did the same thing.  Sometimes he was hurt again, other times the new Christians found out what was happening and sent him on his way with blessings and thanks. What an example of boldness! Still, when God said something, he was “still” enough to hear what God said. He knew when it was time to be bold, and he knew how to go about that. It was something that made me stop and wonder if I am bold enough, and also if I am “still” enough to hear what God tells me to do in my life. That is something that I have found I myself need to work on – constant  communication with God.

Outside of what I have learned so far this semester though, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know people in the church, and can’t wait for more of that. We have had so much fun reading our books and seeing places. This time will be something I will never forget – we saw some awesome things that God has made, like this view from the “hill” we climbed on Saturday.


We also had a lot of fun finding our way around the bus and train system. That was a completely new experience for me, but very fun nonetheless!! Other things that were really fun? Meeting fellow Christians on the way over the Irish Sea on the ferry.

And so now I bid you a most gracious farewell, filled with the joy of God, our Father, who should live in our hearts and minds constantly. I pray peace and joy live in our hearts until our time on earth ends. Catch ya next time!! -Louisa


Meet the New Autumn 2016 Students!


Autumn Semester 2016 Students

LizzyLizzy Tewksbury
I was born, raised and have lived in Williamsburg, Virginia for my whole life.  I am a member of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in America in Wiliamsburg, and while I am at Geneva I attend College Hill RPC.  I am going into my junior (third) year, and I am studying Psychology.  For the past four summers I have been working as a camp counselor at a small Christian sleep away camp.


LaurenLauren Della Piazza
I am from Berwick, Pennsylvania.  I am a junior (third year) at Geneva this fall, and I study history.  I am in the process of joining College Hill Reformed Presbyterian Church in Beaver Falls and am very much looking forward to meeting my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ!


MaryMary McCurdy
I live in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I attend Trinity Presbyterian Church in America, and have been attending it my whole life.  I am a writing major, and going into my sophomore (second) year.  This is my first time traveling outside the country, and it has always been a dream of mine to get to visit Scotland.


LouisaLouisa Masemore
I am from Pennsylvania and grew up on a farm about an hour from Philadelphia. I currently go to a nondenominational church called Lighthouse Community Church.  I am in my second year at Geneva, and I am majoring in communication. I also love reading.


Autumn Semester Schedule

23rd & 25th August 2016

17th & 20th December 2016

Daily Schedule
Class starts at 9.15 am with worship
Mornings – They have assigned reading on their subjects
Afternoons – Seminars led by Teachers
Wednesday Afternoons – Cultural Trips

Rev. Andrew Quigley will teach –  Church Ministry
Dr. Tim Donachie will teach – Humanities in England and Scotland
Rev. Kenneth Stewart will teach – Systematic Theology
Mr. Stephen McCollum will teach – Life and Work of Paul
Mr. Jimmy Fisher will teach –  Scottish Christian History: 1st and 2nd Scottish Reformations
Miss Beth Bogue will teach – Women’s Ministry to Women

Final Reflections – Nicki

NickiI cannot believe that the semester has come to an end, and that I am technically now a senior in college.  Where has the time gone?  That is such a cliché saying, but as I lay out on this warm, sunny, absolutely beautiful day (I am starting to have hope in Scotland’s weather) thinking back on the semester, I am recognizing that I couldn’t think of a better way to have spent these past four months.

In a mere four months Scotland has become like a second home.  I have met some of the most incredible people and built friendships that will last for eternity.  I have gotten to live in a different culture, and although it is pretty similar to America, there are definite differences.  I just love all the various accents.  I love the fashion; people here are so classy.  I have tried a lot of new foods, haggis being the big stand-out, and I am currently trying to figure out how much tea and Irn Bru (Scotland’s famous soda) I can fit into my suitcase to bring home.

We have also gotten to travel to a lot of incredible places!   We have been all over Scotland, including Skye, Perthshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Glencoe.  We went to London, Oxford, Venice, Rome, Dublin, and many amazing places in Northern Ireland.  Rachel and I have gotten to read a plethora of wonderful books, including Westminster Confession of Faith, Foundations of the Christian Faith, and MacBeth.

Some of my favorite memories have been helping at Kids Club, hanging out with CY, leaflet distribution with the Go Team, going to people’s homes for Sunday lunches, church services, METs, traveling, and really just being with the people that I have grown to love.

This semester I really learned in a new way what it means for a Christian to live a life that is different from the rest of the world.  It means fleeing evil and running as fast as you can towards Jesus.  Sometimes I think God shows us such grace by shifting our perspective.  I recognized in a fuller capacity the privilege it is to be a Christian. That is what this semester was all about: sprinting towards Godliness.

Since Rachel and I are leaving tomorrow to go back to America, I am filled with so many emotions.  While I am thrilled to see my family and friends back home, it is going to be very hard to leave the family that I have acquired here.  I just want to say a quick ‘thank you’ to everyone who has made Scotland feel like home.  Everyone at Airdrie RP church has been so loving and hospitable, and I truly love you all so very much.  Being in Scotland has changed my life, and the only way I am able to leave is by telling myself that I will be back, Lord willing.  Anyhow, it’s a guaranteed “See ya later” and never a “Goodbye” for fellow Christians.  You will all be in my prayers. God bless.

Nicki Losh