Why All the Construction Noise in McCartney?

Andrew Domencic / Staff Writer  

Renovations are taking place in the McCartney Library to make room for a robust collection of research, articles and papers written by the late Dr. John H. Gerstner, a renowned theologian who greatly impacted evangelical and Presbyterian churches and organizations throughout the nation. 

The collection, donated to Geneva College by the Gerstner family, includes papers written by Gerstner, over 80 articles, research on Jonathan Edwards as well as video and audio recordings and manuscripts discussing issues of Presbyterianism and Evangelism from the 1960s-1980s.  

Geneva College received a grant from PNC Financial Services to remodel space for the collection, and alumni have also been generous in supporting the project.  

Due to renovations, many students have noticed the ongoing construction taking place in the library. While any type of construction may at first seem to be a nuisance, the benefits are significant. “To be able to have a collection like this that resonates so much with our history with the Reformed Presbyterian Church is a pretty big deal,” said Kelly Sanzari, director of alumni relations at Geneva College. “Of all the places the collection could have gone, they chose Geneva College.”  

The collection will be officially dedicated on commencement weekend in May 2019, and the benefits of the Gerstner collection will greatly impact those within the Bible and ministry departments. “The Bible department will benefit tremendously from the Gerstner collection in that it will provide us with opportunities to engage in scholarly work,” said Dr. Scott Shidemantle, professor of Biblical studies. “The collection being housed here will bring scholars from other institutions to Geneva to engage in scholarly work, which will provide wonderful opportunities for scholarly dialogue.” 

It is not only the Bible department which will benefit from the collection. Because of the strong faith-based nature of Geneva’s core curriculum, students taking core classes will find the resources available in the Gerstner collection helpful for research. “The entire collection will be in the library, and all students, no matter what courses they are in, can access it and utilize it,” Sanzari said.