Founded in 1955, Covenant College is a Christian liberal arts college in Lookout Mountain, GA, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America. However, Covenant started on the other side of the continent, in Pasadena, CA, moving to Missouri after a split in the Presbyterian church, and finally settling in Georgia (leaving its seminary behind in St. Louis, MO). There, it oversaw the merger between denominations of the Presbyterian Church that led to the formation of the PCA, and Covenant remains committed to Reformed Presbyterian doctrine as the official College of the Presbyterian Church in America. Covenant is ranked in the top ten regional colleges in the South by U.S. News & World Report, and is a top Washington Monthly national liberal arts college.
Academic ProgramsAs a small liberal arts college, Covenant prioritizes student support and academic excellence, with a 13:1 student:faculty ratio giving students access to their professors for direct communication, mentorship, and spiritual guidance. Covenant is a proudly Christian college, with the motto “In All Things Christ Preeminent,” and biblical faith is directly written into the core of all of Covenant’s curriculum, from business to theology. All students at Covenant go through the Core Curriculum, a traditional liberal arts general education curriculum devoted to a well-rounded, adaptable education in the humanities and sciences. “The Christian Mind” is a required course in the Core Curriculum, teaching the integration of faith and learning that is central to Covenant’s education. With an 86% freshman retention rate – far higher than average – Covenant must be doing something right.
Covenant is primarily an undergraduate institution, with five degree types in dozens of majors. With its Christian heritage, Biblical & Theological Studies is important, but so is business, music, education, and interdisciplinary studies, which allows students to develop a major that fits their unique interests and career goals. Education is also the discipline of Covenant’s two master’s degrees, the Master of Education and the MA in Teaching. The Chalmers Center is an influential interdisciplinary research initiative dedicated to programs on poverty, health, and economic development in the US and abroad.
Student LifeWith a student body of just over 1000, Covenant College is small enough for students to feel at home with one another, and with faculty. The student body is slightly more female than male, and more than three-quarters of students come from out of state, many of them Presbyterian Church members drawn to the church’s foremost liberal arts college. Covenant’s dedication to cultural and international diversity is evident from 16% international students, as well as minority students and the children of Presbyterian missionaries, and Covenant’s mission includes a commitment to developing their students into truly global Christians.
More than 30 student organizations and clubs help students fill the time outside of class with community, entertainment, recreation, and service, from Archery to Zumba with time out for stand-up comedy, outdoor adventure (with Lookout Mountain providing a perfect location), and intramural sports. Faith is central to student life at Covenant, and students and faculty participate in chapel services three times a week, along with special events, conferences, and academic lectures on biblical and cultural subjects. The Scots NCAA Division III athletic teams compete in the South Atlantic Conference, where Covenant’s teams have scored numerous conference titles since 2010.