Franciscan University attracts students of all kinds, and it’s worth taking a closer look at some of the faces and names that walk campus.
Franciscan’s graduate program holds students of all ages, interests and backgrounds, yet they’re not as well-known as the typical undergraduate.
Second-year graduate student Reba Good, 36, came to Franciscan in fall 2019.
The oldest of three children, Good was born in New Jersey but calls Kansas City her home. Good was raised Presbyterian but said she has always felt a call to the Catholic Church.
“I’ve been feeling a call to the Catholic Church ever since I was younger,” said Good. “I wasn’t really allowed to pursue that because on my mom’s side they were very much against Catholicism. … But I always felt this draw to it, so when I started my undergrad at the University of Kansas, I started going to Mass.”
Good laughed as she said the rebellious thing she did in college was go to Catholic Mass.
Good joined the Air Force ROTC program and was commissioned into the Air Force but was forced to wait for nine months because of a backed-up pipeline. In that time, she participated in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and finally entered the Catholic Church.
“When I look back it’s very interesting to see how my Air Force life and my life in the Church intermingled,” said Good.
Good has been all over the world with the Air Force and travelled to places like Germany, Korea and Africa. She was also at the Pentagon before being medically retired.
“I wanted to do 20 years in the Air Force,” said Good, “but God was just pulling me out.”
As Good was going through the medical board process of evaluating whether she should stay in the Air Force, she took 40 days to discern what God wanted for her next.
“I didn’t know exactly where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do,” said Good. “It just took decluttering, and that was in the winter of 2018. … Throughout that, I just had this little inkling, what about theology graduate school?”
At this time, Good had two master’s degrees through the Air Force. One was human services counseling with an executive leadership cognate form Liberty University, and the other a communications degree from George Mason University.
While looking at different Catholic theology schools, Good had the chance to hear Scott Hahn, who holds a doctorate in biblical theology, speak. She took it as a sign to check out Franciscan University of Steubenville.
“I talked to the admission counselor here and I had all the questions written down,” said Good. “We talked for an hour and a half, and after that I was so joyful, I literally started skipping around my apartment. … Everything clicked and just gave me a huge sense of peace and relief.”
Good said it’s been quite a journey after serving in the Air Force for 13 years.
“All the work I did there prepared me for what I want to do now,” said Good. “And I know it will in the future, and I don’t know how –– but you know, God’s master plan. He’s got it all lined up.”
Good said her interest in the study of theology came from her Presbyterian upbringing, which focused on the Bible in every aspect.
“I’ve always felt called to help bring the faith to others, and so I did that through volunteering as a volunteer catechist,” said Good. “I’ve done kindergarten, second grade communion, confirmation and RCIA; wherever I was needed at the military chapel.”
Good said the graduate student community on campus is a good one, as students plan activities together and attend graduate and non-traditional men’s and women’s groups.
“You know, I’m in a totally different spot then where I wanted to be when I was a senior in college. I had one path, one direction, one goal,” said Good. “But even then, I still discerned that was where God wanted me to go, and I just let him lead me to a whole bunch of different places.”
“Be open minded and know that you’re not going to end up where you started, because God takes you step by step.”