NNESRE, Mission & History

About:  Northern New England School of Religious Education

About  >  NNESRE, Mission & History


The New England School of Religious Education (NNESRE) is incorporated, as a not-for-profit organization. Its primary activity is to provide a weeklong experience of living and learning — currently every summer at Geneva Point Center. Through various courses, activities and worship, we explore a theme that encourages us to bring new ideas back to our home, church and community.

Additional details at the FAQ and Home pages.



The Northern New England School of Religious Education (NNESRE) is an inclusive, intergenerational community welcoming all people. NNESRE conducts an annual session offering courses and activities that provide opportunities for spiritual development, socio-political awareness, artistic expression, personal growth and renewal.


A Brief History

Nellie Towne Hendrick founded our organization in 1915 to provide an annual “interdenominational conference for adults, families, and young people" held at Dartmouth College. From Dartmouth College, in 1918, the conference moved to the University of New Hampshire. NNESRE (The Northern New England School of Religious Education) was incorporated in the state of New Hampshire in 1918. It temporarily relocated to Phillips Andover Academy during WWII for the 28th session with 400 registrants. This temporary move may have been due to dormitories being requisitioned for boot camp. One conference during these years was not held. Finally in the 1950s, NNESRE settled at Geneva Point Center on Lake Winnipesaukee!

NNESRE endured two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, the Cold War, 9/11, seventeen U.S. Presidents, and much more in the last century — always a trailblazer and community engaged in connecting, uniting and creating “a better world.” The Hanover Gazette, in a 1918 article, described NNESRE as achieving, "...true balance between serious thought and wholesome fun" — a tradition that has survived to the present. In 2016 we celebrated our 100th annual conference.