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Follow Jesus with Me

Fake News!?

Enduring Alongside

In Praise of Boredom


Contents Departments 4 10 12 25 26 31

Covenant News In Focus Campus Collage Faculty View Alumni News President’s Postscript

Features 14 Follow Jesus with Me: Discipleship at Covenant The 2017 PCA Women’s Love Gift is reigniting a passion for discipleship among the women of Covenant College.

16 Fake News!? How should Christians thoughtfully engage the discussion of “fake news”? What news can we trust? Professor Bill Davis ’82 offers a way forward.

22 Enduring Alongside A rare autoimmune syndrome brought alumni Peter Wilkerson ’13 and Matt Annessi ’08 together.
















T H E M AG A Z I N E O F CO V E N A N T CO L L E G E The College of the Presbyterian Church in America Published by the Office of Marketing & Communications Editor Grace Mullaney Humbles ’13 Designer Tad Evearitt ’98 Copy Editor Grady Dickinson ’13 Contributing Writers Bill Davis ’82, J. Derek Halvorson ’93, Grace Mullaney Humbles ’13, and Grant Lowe Contributing Photographers Joe Dodd ’12, Tad Evearitt ’98, Davy Granberry ’20, Morgan Granberry ’19, Heather Harper ’16, Katie Mullaney, Reed Schick ’19, Alexa Sheets ’17, Carl Simakoff ’19, and Cressie Tambling ’17 Contact the editor at: Editor, View Covenant College 14049 Scenic Highway Lookout Mountain, GA 30750 706.419.1185 Letters to the editor are welcome. Send alumni news & photos to: Office of Alumni Engagement Covenant College 14049 Scenic Highway Lookout Mountain, GA 30750 706.419.1168 Covenant College reserves the right to editorial review of all submissions. ©2017 Covenant College Covenant College complies with federal and state requirements for nondiscrimination on the basis of age, race, color, gender, disability, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its policies and programs. Opinions expressed are those of the contributors or the editor, and do not necessarily represent the official position of the College. View’s purpose is to: • Encourage alumni, parents, and friends to keep Christ preeminent in all areas of their lives • Give alumni, parents, and friends—our most important ambassadors—stories and information about the College, its students, alumni, faculty, and staff • Provide alumni with an ongoing connection to the Covenant community • Give God’s people news about Covenant that will encourage them to praise, thank, and petition our Heavenly Father.

East Lake Expression Engine Continues to Grow In the spring of 2015, View magazine published an article about the East Lake Expression Engine, a year-round El-Sistema-inspired music education program in the East Lake neighborhood of Chattanooga, TN. Since that time, Expression Engine has continued to grow and develop and has seen a rapid increase in the involvement of Covenant alumni and students who are eager to pour into East Lake’s youngest residents. More than 25 Covenant students have been involved at Expression Engine since the program began. Fellow founders Libby O’Neil ’08 and Evelyn Petcher ’10 continue to serve Expression Engine in leadership roles—Libby as the interim executive director of the program and Evelyn as the artistic director. In addition to pursuing a music degree at Covenant, student Nabil Ince ’18 serves as the assistant program director for Expression Engine.

The program now operates under the guidance of a board, which includes a number of Covenant College alumni. David Henry ’09, Zay Smallman ’11, and James Ward ’72 all provide guidance and assistance to the program through their service as board members. Expression Engine has caught the eye of others in the music industry. Pianist Dion Cunningham, who is a graduate of the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University, is a frequent visitor at the Expression Engine, sharing both his musical abilities and dedication to Christ. The students at Expression Engine performed at the 2016 Mountain Affair talent show at Covenant College to a crowd of excited and enthusiastic Covenant students. Today, they’re working on an album of original songs that they, the students, helped compose. To watch a video of Expression Engine students performing at Covenant and to learn more about Expression Engine, you can visit

Percussionist Kofi Mawuko leads the East Lake Expression Engine bucket band. Covenant student Nabil Ince ’18 plays alongside the band.

CovenantNews Dr. Alexander Jun Lectures at Covenant College Dr. Alexander Jun, professor of higher education at Azusa Pacific University and executive director and senior research scholar with Race and Justice in Higher Education, delivered two evening lectures at Covenant College in January 2017.


in America (PCA) study committee on racial reconciliation and was invited to campus by the College’s strategic planning committee on increasing and supporting ethnic diversity. He is the author of From Here to University: Access, Mobility, and Resilience among Urban Latino Youth. “In light of the work being done by the

Jun received his BA in political science and psychology from the University of Southern California, his MS in higher education counseling from California State University, Los Angeles, and his PhD in education administration and policy from the University of Southern California. Jun

PCA in regard to racial reconciliation, it is

is a member of the Presbyterian Church

lectures at



more important than ever that Covenant College considers ethnic diversity on our campus,” says Dr. Amy Bagby, chair of the strategic planning committee on increasing and supporting ethnic diversity. You can listen to and download Jun’s

Michael Cromartie ’76 Receives CCCU Mark O. Hatfield Leadership Award The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) awarded Covenant College alumnus Michael Cromartie ’76 the Mark O. Hatfield Leadership Award on January 25, 2017, during the 2017 CCCU Presidents Conference in Washington, DC. The CCCU is a higher education association of 178 Christian institutions from around the world. According to the CCCU, “The Mark O. Hatfield Leadership Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated uncommon leadership that reflects the

values of Christian higher education.” The award was named in honor of Senator Hatfield and is considered the highest accolade awarded by the CCCU. Past recipients include John M. Perkins, Charles Colson, Billy Graham, and Arthur Holmes. Cromartie is vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC. He directs the Center’s Evangelicals in Civic Life and Faith Angle Forum programs. In 2004, President George W. Bush appointed Cromartie to a six-year term on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. Cromartie has published numerous articles and book reviews and has edited several books, including A Public Faith: Evangelicals & Civic Engagement. He and his wife, Jennifer ’77, live near Washington, DC. Cromartie was named Covenant’s Alumnus of the Year in 1988. Jennifer was named Volunteer of the Year in 2011.

Dr. Daniel K. Williams Presents Academic Lecture Series Dr. Daniel K. Williams lectured at Covenant’s Academic Lecture Series in March 2017. Dr. Williams is associate professor of history at the University of West Georgia. After receiving a BA in history and classics from Case Western University, Williams went on to earn his MA and PhD in history from Brown University. He is the author of God’s Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right, published by Oxford University Press. He was a visiting fellow in the James Madison Program at Princeton University in 2011. You can listen to and download Williams’ lectures at AcademicLectures17.

Bob Harbert ’78 Awarded the Rudy & Collyn Schmidt Service Award The College awarded the Rudy & Collyn Schmidt Service Award to Bob Harbert ’78 in November 2016. The award recognizes one Covenant staff member each year who exemplifies Christ-like service at the College. All employees are encouraged to submit nominations and the employee receiving the highest number of nominations is presented with the award. Bob was selected by his colleagues for his cultivation of Christ-like character by looking for ways to serve rather than to be served. Bob Harbert has served the College with excellence for decades. He served as Covenant’s controller for many years in the accounting office. Bob stepped into the role of assistant controller following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, continuing to faithfully serve the College through the battle. The first two recipients of the Rudy & Collyn Schmidt Award were Amy Buck ’11 and Pauline Snyder.


Covenant College Speech & Debate Society Coach Stephen McKerihan ’16

Speech & Debate Practice Every Wednesday and Thursday night, you’ll find the members of Covenant’s Speech & Debate Society practicing their craft. Wednesdays are also a time for students to practice speeches—including both speaking with limited preparation, where students are given seven minutes to prepare and deliver a speech, and practicing previously prepared scripts. Every Thursday, the Society runs a debate round. As soon as the students arrive, they receive a topic about a current event. An example of a topic might be, “The United States Federal Government should substantially restrict drilling in the arctic.” Teams of two are divided into a “Government” team and an “Opposition” team—the Government supports the resolution and the Opposition opposes the resolution. Teams have 15 minutes to prepare to debate. During their preparation time, students can use online resources to learn about the topic, if they aren’t already familiar with it, and prepare a structured presentation in defense of their side of the resolution. The debate round itself is 40 minutes long and is carefully structured to allow time for both sides to construct and refute arguments. At the end of practice, coaches provide the students with constructive critiques on their arguments and communication patterns, and provide guidance for how to improve.

The Competition After spending weeks preparing, students have opportunities to debate other schools from around the country at speech and debate tournaments. At a debate tournament, students will compete in four or five preliminary rounds, with their record determining if they advance to the next round of competition. In addition to their records, students are judged on speaking points in each debate round. The Society has competed in tournaments against Purdue University, the University of Denver, Grove City College, Brooklyn College, and many other colleges and universities from around the country.

The Outcome Members of the Covenant College Speech & Debate Society don’t receive special scholarships, course credit, or much recognition for the hours of work they put into researching and engaging in thoughtful cultural debate. But that may be the secret to their success as a team—they work hard because they love and enjoy thinking through difficult issues and learning how to communicate about those issues with grace and care, even in the midst of disagreements.





and Kaitlyn Mullens, executive director of For the Nations Outreach. This event was planned and organized by


Christiana Fitzpatrick, director of global education, and Anna Rannou, economics

Students who participate in the Covenant chorale

85,293 Books in the Covenant library stacks


Number of students & alumni who attended a Calling & Career event in autumn 2016


60,000 Seed capital awarded since 2011


Student leaders on campus


Number of times students used eReserves in 2016


Students on the autumn dean’s list

and community development internship coordinator.

Dr. Rebecca DeYoung Presents the WIC Lecture Series In February 2017, Dr. Rebecca DeYoung presented the WIC Lecture Series at Covenant. Her time on campus included public lectures in chapel as well as a one-credit course on the seven deadly sins titled, “Glittering Vices: Discipleship & Disordered Loves.” DeYoung is a professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where she has served since 1998. She earned her BA from Calvin College and her MA and PhD from the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of several books, including Vainglory: The Forgotten Vice; Aquinas’s Ethics: Metaphysical Foundations, Moral Theory, and Theological Context; and Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies.

Athletic programs that participated in mission work in summer 2016


Views on Covenant’s YouTube channel in 2016

In the summer of 2016, Covenant College athletic programs participated in missions work. Seven members of the men’s basketball program, along with former head coach Kyle Taylor, traveled to Puerto Rico with Athletes in Action. Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Peter Wilkerson ’13 traveled with a few members of the team to Poland through Josiah Venture. The women’s soccer program traveled with Score International to Costa Rica along with Head Coach Mark Duble ’92 and Assistant Coaches Anne Charlotte Hooper ’16 and Gene Ezell. The women’s basketball program partnered with Sports Ambassadors for

The WIC Lecture Series is made possible through a generous gift from Women in the Church (PCA).

a week-long trip to Guatemala. Twelve

You can listen to DeYoung’s public lectures at

and Assistant Coach Kiaira Cooper ’14.

Covenant Hosts Panel on Migration Ministry in Practice Covenant College welcomed a group of experts in the field of migration ministry to Covenant’s campus February 21-22 for a


Athletic Programs Participate in Mission Work

series of small group discussions and a main

members of the team participated in the week along with Head Coach Sarah Harris “Ultimately, the purpose of the trip was to continue to seek to serve God through the gifts and opportunities He has given us and expand our perspective of this goal beyond our local context while also encouraging and serving the church in Guatemala,” says Harris.

panel event on migration ministry in practice.

$10k Awarded at the 2016 Seed Project Pitch Event

Pat Hatch, the director of refugee and

Matt Monti ’16 took home first place at the

migration ministry for the Presbyterian Church in America’s Mission to North America, was the keynote speaker for the main panel discussion. Other panelists included Kay Burklin, refugee liaison for Mission to the World; Brian Bollinger, executive director of Friends of Refugees;

2016 Seed Project pitch event, earning $5,000 in seed capital for his business, Two Brothers Dairy. Matt is developing a sustainable farm on Lookout Mountain, using innovative farming strategies for dairy, beef, pork, and poultry production.

Top 10 of 2016




1 A Faith Shaped through Study by Beatrice Brackin ’16 2 Studying Abroad at Oxford by John Christian Kuehnert ’17 3 Theatre: Sense and Sensibility by Caroline McLeod ’17 4 Growing through Community in the Art Department by Heather Harper ’16 5 What Sociology Majors Do by Dr. Matt Vos ’90 6 Studying French at Covenant by Drew Nelson ’16 7 Making a Difference in the Lives of Youth by Nate Mackey ’18 8 What Philosophy Majors Do by Dr. Bill Davis ’82 9 What Physics Majors Do by Dr. Phillip Broussard 10 Arabic and International Studies by Lindsey Kramer ’15

1 That Looks Dangerous by Dr. Elissa Weichbrodt ’04 2 A Dangerous Holiness–Practical Atheism, R.I.P. by Dr. Hans Madueme 3 Chapel Testimony by Bob Harbert ’78 4 Gender Dysphoria by Dr. Mark Yarhouse 5 Jesus Outside the Lines by Rev. Scott Sauls 6 Friendship: A Calling In, Out, and To by Hannah Bloomquist 7 The Sexual Cacophony by Dr. William Struthers 8 Genesis 23: The Death of Sarah Revealing God’s Faithfulness by Rev. Grant Lowe 9 Idols & Identity: We Are What We Love by Dr. Brad Voyles 10 Senior Testimonies by Beatrice Brackin ’16 & Hunter Rasmussen ’16

1 Covenant College Mountain Views 2 Merry Christmas from Covenant College 3 One Week in One Minute 4 Move-In Day 2016 5 Carter Hall Restoration 6 Chapel: That Looks Dangerous by Dr. Elissa Weichbrodt ’04 7 ’80s Skate Night 8 Convocation 2016 9 Chapel: A Dangerous Holiness–Practical Atheism, R.I.P. by Dr. Hans Madueme 10 Explore the North End of Carter Hall

CO.STARTERS program, which equips

the building. Stepping into the final phase

new entrepreneurs with the tools they need

of the project, the Covenant community

to succeed. The CO.STARTERS curriculum

eagerly anticipates the completion of the

was developed by Covenant alumni Enoch

project in the autumn of 2017.

Elwell ’12 and Rebekah Forman Marr ’04.

In 2015, generous donors pledged to

Ultimately, Matt Monti’s pitch took home the first place seed money.

match $5 million to help raise the final $10 million necessary to complete the

“This year’s Seed Project featured some

restoration without incurring any long-

of our strongest business plans seen to

term debt. At this time, the College is more

Morgan Grace Sharpe ’15 and Maggie

date,” says Dr. John Plating, director of

than halfway to its goal of matching that

Duncan ’17 tied for second place and were

the Center for Calling & Career. “One

generous $5 million gift.

each awarded $2,500 in seed capital for their

of our judges, a long-time Chattanooga

You can stay up to date on the Carter

businesses. Morgan’s business venture is

businessman, remarked at what a key role

Hall progress and give to the restoration at

called Creekside Flower Farm and Maggie’s

Covenant has played in the shaping the

business is Miss Maggie’s Gymnastics.

city’s ‘start-up jungle,’ and it’s great to see

Managed by the Center for Calling & Career, the Seed Project initiative encourages students to develop entrepreneurial ideas among their peers. Beginning in 2016 with nine submitted plans, the competition pool was narrowed down to five finalists. All participants were encouraged to work through the

these new companies now become a part of the city’s vibrant start-up ecosystem.”

Carter Hall Restoration Nears Completion

Rev. James White Delivers Imago Dei Lectures Covenant welcomed Rev. James White as the lecturer for the 2017 Imago Dei Conference. The conference is designed

As students and employees begin to enjoy

to provide a space for thoughtful dialogue

spring weather on the North Porch of Carter

and interaction with biblical personhood

Hall, work continues on the South end of

and includes topics like identity,




CovenantNews community, marriage, family, and what it means to be created in God’s image. White is the senior pastor of Christ Our King Community Church in North Carolina. In addition to his work as pastor, he is the senior vice president of leadership development for the YMCA of the Triangle Area. He is a member of the National Training and Leadership Development Advisory Board for the YMCA of the USA. Rev. White is a contributing author for

After teaching history at Trinity Christian College (Ill.) for more than a decade, Voskuil joined the faculty at Covenant College in 1972. Upon his arrival, he was tasked with developing a curriculum that was responsible historically. At the time, Voskuil and Dr. Kenneth Austin comprised the entire history department at Covenant. Voskuil was a member of the Conference on Faith and History, the Tennessee Political

in Chattanooga, TN, Voskuil faithfully served the church and the surrounding community alongside his wife, Audrey, in ways too numerous to count. In more recent years, they together launched a ministry at SEPC to homeless families in cooperation with an organization called Family Promise. They also reached out quietly and personally to many of their struggling Chattanooga neighbors, and, by their example, inspired countless others to do the same.

several different publications including,

“Lou Voskuil had a profound impact

American Outlook, Planting Seeds of Hope,

on Covenant College—on his colleagues

How to Reach African Youth, and The

and students alike,” says President Derek Halvorson. “He was a model for many

African American Devotional Bible.

of the gentlemanly Christian scholar, a

You can listen to and download White’s

man who brought deep biblical insight

Imago Dei lectures at

to his work as a historian and careful


dedication to his craft as a teacher. Despite his gentle and unassuming nature—

Louis “Lou” Voskuil, 1934-2016

which contributed to him earning the

Dr. Lou Voskuil, beloved retired professor

moniker ‘Sweet Lou’—his impact is still

of history at Covenant College, died on

felt across the campus: in curricular

December 24, 2016.

initiatives he helped to shape, in a culture of teaching excellence he helped to form,

Voskuil served in education for a total

and in numerous faculty who have taken

of 41 years, taught history, and led the faculty of Covenant College. He received the first-ever and rarely-bestowed John W. Sanderson Award for Christian Scholarship during his time at Covenant. Voskuil earned his BA degree from Calvin College and an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary. He completed a master’s degree at Loyola University in Chicago, where he also earned his PhD in European history.

Science Association, and the International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education. He retired in 2001 after serving the College for 29 faithful years, teaching and mentoring hundreds of students. Upon his retirement, Voskuil pointed to the hiring of Drs. Morton and Green as his greatest accomplishments.

inspiration from his life and work.

As a dedicated, long-time member of St. Elmo Presbyterian Church (SEPC)

to bear on his discipline and on the

“Many of us who were his students would attest to the manner in which he exemplified for us the best sort of intellectually-engaged Christian life. He loved Jesus Christ, he loved the Church, he loved his family, he served the poor, and he brought rich, biblically-grounded thinking problems our world faces. We are a much


“Walk toward boredom. Walk toward difficulty. Walk toward embarrassment.” Prof. Sarah Huffines READ Covenant

“Forgiveness is…to extend a drink to someone who has spit in your face, to extend a hand to someone who has crushed it. It is a mark of who we are as children of God.” Chaplain Grant Lowe

The Forgiven Must Forgive

“My prayer is that we would be people who live out of what Jesus has done for us—in joy, gladness, peace, and hope.” Rev. Roy Hubbard I Never Knew You (Matthew 7:21-23)

Under the direction of Claire Slavovsky ’03 Covenant students brought William Shakespeare’s Hamlet to life.

poorer community without him.”

community and among the local business

community during the autumn semester.

Voskuil is survived by Audrey, his wife

community. In so doing, the Brock Forum

Beginning in September, the theatre

of more than 60 years, and their four children: Timothy Lou, Lynn Marie, Susan

on Leadership serves to honor Covenant College’s fourth president, Dr. Frank Brock,

department presented Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano. An absurdist story,

Jean, and Lisa.

and his legacy of faithful and effective

Mr. Henry Kaestner Lectures at the Brock Forum on Leadership

During his time at Covenant, Kaestner

hearing and listening, and the chaos of

spoke to local businessmen and women


Covenant College welcomed Mr. Henry

from the Chattanooga area as well as

The autumn season concluded with

Kaestner of Sovereign’s Capital as the

connected with students, faculty, and

the production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

speaker for the 2017 Brock Forum on

staff at the College. You can listen to

Alumnus John Reeder ’16 composed and

Leadership, which included a public

Kaestner’s public lecture at

led the musical accompaniment for the

lecture in the Covenant College chapel on



servant leadership.

between speaking and talking,

February 1, 2017. The Brock Forum on Leadership exists

the play explores the differences

Autumn Theatre Season in Review

“Experiencing stories together is an important part of community—it creates

to encourage best practices in business

The Covenant College Department of

cohesion,” says Slavovsky. “Not just the

leadership through presentations and

Theatre brought two high-quality theatre

community of the cast and crew, but also

dialogue within the Covenant College

productions to life for the Covenant

the College and even the city.”

“What if I pushed all my resources away from me and gave it to somebody else, trusting that the Lord is going to take care of me?”

“What you think God is going to do in the eschatological future is already shaping your life and your choices now.”

“Jesus isn’t reasonable. He often makes unreasonable demands and sets unreasonable expectations for people.”

Rev. Chris Granberry

Dr. Suzanne McDonald

Dr. Jeff Dryden

Loving Our “First Neighbors” Well

Christ’s Resurrection & The Christian Hope

Dangerous Idea: Jesus is Reasonable

American Military History

Intelligence Success: The Evolution of Navy & Marine Intelligence Operations in China, 1931-1941

Chinese History

US Diplomatic History

American Environmental History

By Pedro Anthony Loureiro, colleague of Dr. Morton’s at the University of Southern California

Journal Articles

Dr. Morton’s modern cataloging system for important journal articles.

World War I History


This drawing of Smaug was presented to “Uncle Paul” by Charlie Green, age 9. Charlie is the son of Dr. Morton’s history colleague, Dr. Jay Green.


“I just liked the beetle.” -Dr. Morton

Chairs from Sanderson Hall

Japanese History

These chairs were part of the original furniture in Sanderson Hall and moved with Dr. Morton to his new office space in Brock Hall.

Old Faculty Manuals

Duck Diplomacy: U.S. — Canadian Migratory Waterfowl Management, 1900-1961 This leather-bound copy of Dr. Morton’s dissertation was presented to him as a gift from his colleague, Dr. Pedro Loureiro. (How many ducks can you find in this picture?)

Hand-Carved Duck

This hand-carved duck was a gift to Dr. Morton from Dr. Cliff Foreman, professor of English.

US Diplomatic History with Australia & New Zealand


US Constitutional History

Duck Lamp

This duck lamp was given to Dr. Morton by Althea Follett, wife of fellow history professor, Dr. Richard Follett.

North American Indian History

Brock Hall 217: Dr. Paul Morton’s Office

Administrative Materials

Duck Bookends

These bookends were a gift from Dr. Morton’s wife, Becky.

Dr. Paul Morton, professor of history, has served on Covenant’s faculty since 1994. He is the chair of the history department and the dean of academic programs at Covenant College. Pictured here in his office, Dr. Morton is busy grading final papers and exams at the close of the autumn 2016 semester.


























CampusCollage 1-2

Carter Christmas

Carter Hall residents transform their halls into Christmas-

15-17 Day of Prayer

The Covenant community sets aside a day for prayer and

themed stories.


Seed Project

Students compete to win seed capital for their businesses.

5 Donuts with Mindy Belz The Covenant community hears from Mindy Belz, editor of World magazine and author of They Say We Are Infidels.


6-8 Mistletoe Mingle The last day of autumn classes is celebrated with a Christmas themed dance. This year, Mistletoe Mingle is a “silent dance,” where students listen to music through wireless headphones.

9-11 Celebrate Christmas at Covenant The Christmas season concludes with a concert and madrigal dessert reception.

worship. Students begin their Day of Prayer with worship as they watch the sunrise at the nearby Rock City overlook.

18 Germination Generator

Students and alumni participate in an ideation workshop

to develop their entrepreneurship skills.

19-21 ’80s Skate Night

Students don their best ’80s attire and enjoy a night of skating, dancing, and fun.


John Hamm Performing Arts Series

World-renowned hammered dulcimer players Dan Landrum and Stephen Humphries perform at Covenant in February.

24-25 Culture Fest The Covenant community enjoys a celebration of diversity.

12-13 Exam Cram 26-27 Theatre: Mr. Pim Passes By Covenant students enjoy a well-deserved exam cram break in the A.A. Milne’s work brought to life on the Covenant College Great Hall. stage.

14 Café Literati

Students share their musical and literary gifts with the

Covenant community.


See more at

Follow Jesus with Me:

Discipleship at Covenant

Tindol Pate ’19 Hometown: Tuscaloosa, Alabama Major: Economics & Philosophy Leadership Position: Resident Assistant


t i n d ol is t h e ol de s t of si x c h i l dr e n and is a pastor’s kid. After

Today, Tindol is following her parents’ example as a resident assistant on her hall.

moving around for a number of years as her father completed seminary and followed his call as a pastor, Tindol settled with her family in Tuscaloosa, AL.

“I am really inspired by the concept of a person’s complexity,” says Tindol. “Each person has so much influencing them— they’re a convergence of their passions, their struggles, and their past experiences. In a discipleship relationship, you get a glimpse into all of those things and they get a glimpse into your complexity. Discipleship is knowing and being known, is coming alongside and bearing one another’s burdens.”

When looking back at her high school years, Tindol sees her relationships with her mom and dad as powerful discipling relationships. As someone who was homeschooled, she had the unique opportunity to live and study alongside her parents every day. This parental discipleship took many forms—from the example of her mom tackling the mundane elements of each day with faithfulness and an eye toward repentance to intentional conversations with her dad.



After graduation, Tindol would like to move to New York City and work in data analysis at a place like the World Bank or the Federal Reserve. Eventually, she would like to pursue graduate programs in economics.

of Covenant students are women

The Chapel Associate for Discipleship The role of chapel associate for discipleship will include ministering to the young women on Covenant’s campus. The chapel associate for discipleship will equip young women of Covenant College—women like Tindol and Pooja—to embrace their callings as Christian women in their communities, homes, workplaces, and churches.

Chaplain Grant Lowe on the Chapel Associate Position “My hope is that, as a result of this person’s work, the fabric of discipleship on campus will have more clarity and visible structure—not necessarily in terms of programs, but in terms of vision. Students will

Every year, women in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) sponsor a love gift to a committee or agency in the PCA. This year’s Women’s Love Gift will support a new position in the Covenant College chapel department: a chapel associate for discipleship who will be uniquely positioned to disciple the young women of Covenant. Read on to hear from Chaplain Grant Lowe as he describes his vision for this new position and to hear from two of the young women who will directly benefit from this year’s Love Gift.

Pooja Pall ’17 Hometown: Nairobi, Kenya Major: International Studies Leadership Position: Discipleship Coordinator

see and know how discipleship is taking place at Covenant and will experience it for themselves.”

…on Discipleship “Discipleship is, in short, saying, ‘Follow Jesus with me.’ It’s a relationship with an intentional, spiritual focus.”

…on Embracing Scripture over Culture “A lot of false narratives of our own culture have permeated the church. I want us at the College to nurture a thoughtful, continuing discussion on what it means to be a godly, Christian woman—what does it mean to be a Christian woman in your family, in your vocation, as a scholar, and in the church?”

To learn more about the new chapel position and about the Women’s Love Gift, visit

po oja gr e w u p i n na i robi , k e n ya , and is the first person from her immediate family to study in the United States. Prior to coming to Covenant, Pooja attended a private high school where she was a religious minority—most of her classmates were Hindu or Muslim. Pooja’s parents and her involvement in New City Fellowship of Nairobi provided opportunities for Christian fellowship and discipleship during her childhood and teenage years. Throughout her childhood, Pooja remembers her parents hosting Covenant College alumni in her home and she heard of Covenant through New City Fellowship. But it wasn’t until alumnus Randy Nabors ’72 came to her home and talked with her

more about the College that she decided to apply. With Randy’s assistance, Pooja applied to Covenant and has flourished at the College ever since. Pooja sees college as a pivotal time for discipleship in the lives of young women. It’s a time of life that can be confusing and full of transitions as people and relationships grow, change, and develop. “It’s so important to have someone to guide and walk with you spiritually,” says Pooja. “Especially for someone like me, who is a minority, having someone to disciple me is so valuable.” After graduating, Pooja hopes to work with the human rights organization International Justice Mission.



fake news!? fake news from Fox News fake news from CNN fake news from The Drudge Report fake news from NPR by Dr. Bill Davis ’82, Professor of Philosophy

Francis Schaeffer warned in the mid-1970s that the news media can be used by the elite to manipulate public opinion. Today, forty years later, traditional news outlets are in a struggle with online alternatives for attention and trust. The presidential election of 2016 exposed the importance and the intensity of this struggle. The phrase “fake news” is now used on all sides to cast doubt on the trustworthiness of rival news sources. What are Christians to think about this ugly fight? What should we do in response? Francis Schaeffer did not foresee the way the internet would multiply news sources to challenge the news shaped by an elite, humanist worldview. Yet his call for Christians to exercise discernment in watching the news remains sound.

“Christians should resist the temptation to shrug their shoulders and wait for the fascination with ‘fake news’ to fade. The internet is not going away. For the foreseeable future, it will offer a riot of information that must be handled with care and discernment.” i n t h e fi na l episode of h is v i deo ser i es,

quality of the news that people were using to inform their voting

How Should We Then Live?, Schaeffer shows two news reports

choices even before the results were in. As pundits and others tried

about an encounter between police and a group of protestors.

to explain the surprising outcome, the role of “fake news” became

One report shows peaceful protestors being roughed up by angry

a major issue. Not only was fake news widely thought to be a

police officers. The other report shows restrained police officers

significant contributor to Mr. Trump’s victory, but everyone became

being attacked and injured by violent protestors. After the second

eager to charge their opponents with being guilty of producing fake

report, the encounter is shown from farther away, revealing that

news. The phrase “fake news” is now used for so many purposes it

the two reports were filmed of the very same event. Different camera

is tempting to think it has become meaningless. Christians should

placements and voice-over narratives had been used to paint two

resist the temptation to shrug their shoulders and wait for the

very different pictures. Schaeffer uses the competing reports to

fascination with “fake news” to fade. The internet is not going away.

make two crucial points. First, we easily mistake seeing on a screen

For the foreseeable future, it will offer a riot of information that

as seeing in person. Second, when we see an event on a screen,

must be handled with care and discernment. Schaeffer’s warnings

we see only an edited image or symbol of the event. The editor’s

will still apply, and it is likely that the challenges will only get more

expectations or agenda shapes what appears on the screen.


The first time I watched this segment of Schaeffer’s series I was

“Fake” and Other Kinds of News

a freshman at Covenant College. It was the fall of 1978, and the

The problem of fake news would be tiny if the only alternative to

experience was electrifying. I was already a philosophy major, and

fake news was straight reporting of the basic facts. Even when it

Schaeffer’s analysis showed that critical thinking was important.

contains minor errors, a news story is “real” if it only makes claims

Chapter 12 of Schaeffer’s book—“Manipulation and the New

corroborated by independent sources, makes the author’s biases

Elite”—changed the way I handled news sources: I could not simply

clear, and keeps interpretive commentary to a minimum. Honest

accept them passively. Thirty-eight years later in early October of

mistakes do not undermine reader confidence in a news source, and

2016, I returned to Schaeffer’s warnings about the news media as

this is especially true when the mistakes are acknowledged as soon

the basis for a talk at Covenant’s L’Abri Lectures, “Would Francis

as they are discovered. Even though most people now accept that

Schaeffer Listen to NPR or Watch Fox News?” My answer was

purely objective reporting is impossible, it is reasonable to think

neither (as a sole source of information about the world) and both

that sincere, researched, commentary-light reporting should count

(as part of an even broader familiarity with a wide range of news

as “real news.”

outlets in order to understand the spirit of the age). A recording of the lecture is available at

Fake news, on the other hand, falls short in sincerity, care, or interpretive license. Many definitions of “fake news” have been

A lot happened to the public conversation about the news media

offered in the weeks since the US elections. Almost all of them

in the weeks between my talk on October 1, 2016 and February 1,

agree that the exploitation of the audience’s trust in the real news

2017 (the writing of this article). The presidential election quickly

outlets is an essential part of the definition. Until very recently, the

went from an expected landslide win for the Democrats to a close

phrase “fake news” was used most often as a friendly description of

Republican victory on election day. Many were concerned about the

shows like The Daily Show or “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night



Live! Satire about current events made to look and sound like a

today are satisfied to keep up with what is happening by watching

mainstream news broadcast was called “fake,” but these programs

the fake news on Comedy Central or through their Facebook feed.

were not trying to trick anyone into believing the stories were true.

Compared to the sources that diligently keep reporting separate

Satirical fake news can be mean, but it is mostly playful. Mimicking the look and feel of a traditional news source is not new. “Tabloid” newspapers like The National Enquirer have been around for decades, selling outrageous, entertaining fictions. No one believes their stories for long, and they do not pose a threat to

from other kinds of stories, satire and quick-take social media posts seem like meager alternatives. But it is hard to argue that the traditional sources deserve the confidence they once worked hard to protect. If all news sources are mostly “spin,” then a preference for comedy or tweets makes some sense.

the credibility of the “real” newspapers. It costs money to produce

Getting news only from Comedy Central, Twitter, and Facebook

and then to acquire this kind of fake news, and most people know

is an expression of despair. It amounts to giving up and accepting

they are buying fiction. The recent rise of inexpensive digital tools

news-like entertainment as the best we can do. Over time, this kind

for making news that looks like serious non-fiction has changed the

of resignation degrades our ability to tell the difference between

playing field. Maybe even more importantly, ideological agitators,

funny half-truths and malicious falsehoods. Critical discernment is

governments, and corporations have learned to use the conventional

a skill that should protect us from being exploited. When we give up

news formats and sources to advance their agendas. Until very

exercising the muscles that we need to separate careful reporting

recently, serious news outlets worked to distinguish careful

from persuasive lies, others will find it easier to take advantage

reporting of the facts from editorial opinions. Advertisements were

of us. The need for sharp powers of discernment is only going to

“Getting news only from Comedy Central, Twitter, and Facebook is an expression of despair. It amounts to giving up and accepting news-like entertainment as the best we can do.” also clearly marked. Satire was rare. The trustworthiness of the

grow as information technology gets more sophisticated. Schaeffer

serious reporting was maintained by jealously keeping editorial

warned that the media technology of the 1970s could lead us to

opinion, advertising, and satire out of the news stories.

mistake seeing on a screen with seeing with our own eyes. If that

Today, trust in the traditional news outlets has been undermined.

was a danger just using camera angles and voice-over narratives,

In part, the traditional outlets squandered their readers’ trust. They exploited reader (or viewer) confidence that front page (or top of the broadcast) stories would be ideologically balanced, putting the editors’ opinions in those spaces labeled as “Analysis” (not “Opinion”) or not labeled at all. The traditional outlets allowed government or business interests to produce news-looking stories and presented them in places where careful reporting was expected, often making the disclosure of the authors’ agenda hard to find. By blurring the distinctions between reporting, editorial opinion, special interest promotion, and advertising, the traditional news sources contributed to the erosion of public trust. The availability of other sources of news (both real and fake) accelerated this erosion. People my age (56) find it hard to believe that many people



the threat will be even greater when digital sampling can produce entirely fabricated video footage of a political leader making a vulgar gesture or announcing that the country is under attack. We cannot be content with resignation, entertainment, and withdrawal.

First Steps in Thinking about Fake News Even though the internet and many news outlets have muddied the water, not all news is spin. The place to begin in making a plan for following current events faithfully is with the gospel. The good news is the sober truth. We know the gospel is true because God’s Word is perfectly reliable. People who do not know Christ may be tempted to call the gospel “fake news” because it is outside mainstream opinion but presented as fact. But we know that God’s Word is true; and our goal in making sense of news stories is to hold everything

up to the light of Scripture. When the Bible speaks, we conform our news reading to it. For example, when the “news” says that a sonogram does not show a “baby” in a mother’s womb, we reject the story as incorrect. The second thing to do is admit that we all have a problem. Even those who have been honing their critical discernment skills for years must acknowledge that information technology makes it possible for ideologues and advertisers to invent tricks faster than we can flag them. We cannot leave the hard work to filters, watchdogs, or even ourselves working in isolation. We need to become more savvy news consumers; we need to be more diligent and patient; and we need to listen to each other more often and more carefully. Every Covenant student is shown how to evaluate news sources in the core class, Global Trends. The course aims to raise awareness and develop basic skills of discernment, but it cannot be the end of a student’s growth. The news landscape is changing too fast. Christians are not the only ones

Screenshot from page 9 in “Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning.”

concerned about whether today’s viewers are equipped to separate trustworthy reporting from spin or exploitation. Researchers at Stanford University recently conducted an eighteen-month study of the ability of “digital natives” (college-aged and younger) to assess the quality of internet news items. The executive summary of the study is not long, and it is well worth

“We need to become more savvy news consumers; we need to be more diligent and patient; and we need to listen to each other more often and more carefully.”

reading. The conclusion of the study is that, “Overall, young people’s ability to reason

was an advertisement. The summary

mastery. My own answer would not have

about the information on the Internet can

explains the rubric that evaluators used

qualified as demonstrating “mastery”

be summed up in one word: bleak.” The

to assess responses, and on the whole the

on every question. The questions about

summary includes a detailed discussion

study seems to be carefully designed and

social media information were especially

of three of the questions it used to assess

implemented. It is worth taking a moment

challenging for me. So my first takeaway

media discernment, all of them referring to

and imagining what the right answers

from the study is that I have work to do.

the screen shot of’s homepage.

are supposed to be for each of the marked

Test takers were asked to consider

sections of the page. I answered these

each of the three marked sections of the page and explain whether or not each

questions and others before looking at the assessment rubrics and examples of

A second takeaway is the extent to which advertisers have embedded their appeals in the midst of more traditional reporting. The “Gotham Writers” box at the top of the



page is clearly an advertisement, and most

The most curious feature of this set of

Sponsored content is not serious news, but

young people pointed to the “Save $20”

questions in the study is the assumption

having an author is not enough to make

claim and the “little blue x” as reasons for

that an opinion piece is a “traditional news

a story news reporting. Reporting and

thinking it is an ad. That’s encouraging.

story.” The box marked in the middle of

editorial “analysis” are not the same thing,

Responses to the section marked at the

the page links to a piece by Eric Holthaus

but the Stanford testers treat them as the

bottom of the page are not. The Stanford

entitled, “Should California Stop Growing

same when it comes to The piece

researchers were rightly concerned that

Almonds? The nut has been vilified for

that names Holthaus as the author may

“more than 80% of students believed that

drinking up the state’s water supply. It

be filled with corroborated claims and

the native advertisement, identified by the words ‘sponsored content,’ was a real news story.” “Sponsored content” is an advertisement dressed up like a new story. An advertiser paid to have this newslike ad appear on’s homepage alongside other news items. It is alarming that so many of the young test takers couldn’t tell that it was an advertisement.

doesn’t deserve such a bad rap.” The report finds that “more than three-quarters of the students correctly identified the traditional advertisement and the news story [by Eric Holthaus].” The rubric for

valuable insight; but it is opinion/analysis and not news reporting. Conflating news reporting with editorial opinion is so widespread now that the

evaluating whether this is an advertisement

authors of the Stanford study should

credits a response with “mastery” if the

be treated with charity. In evaluating

response notes that the box does not

responses to questions about social media

include the words “Sponsored content,” it

claims later in the test they look for

has an author, and it has no little blue x.

answers that seek information about the

Habits for Faithful News Consumption Today Crafty attempts to pass off ideology or advertising as news reporting are only going to get more sophisticated, and even the most conscientious journalists will make mistakes and allow their biases to shape their stories. Finding a handful of reporters that are working to see events through the lens of Scripture is a good beginning for a faithful approach to the news, but it can’t be the whole of it. For example, I trust Mindy Belz’s reporting about the Middle East, both because I know of her faith in Christ and because she publishes corrections long before I discover her mistakes. She insists she is fallible and that I should seek out other accounts, so I follow her instructions and hold even her version somewhat loosely as I read more widely. I have come to trust other authors on other topics in a similar way, but I don’t accept their versions with unquestioning confidence.

Christian colleagues at Covenant with expertise in a wide range of fields. It is easy for me to find reliable sources to fill out the picture. What is much more difficult is taking the time and doing the work necessary to grow in my ability to read with discernment. The list of things to do is daunting:

Resisting the urge to depend on one good source isn’t all that hard for me. I have the time to seek out other accounts, and I have

› Become less lazy. I will usually take the time to investigate the background of a reporter who writes a story I don’t like. But

› Come to terms with my own prejudices. Some news stories are exciting precisely because they confirm what I already believe. If I haven’t identified my own prejudices, I will focus on stories that feel right. I will then wrongly believe that the news is objectively on my side. Covenant’s Cultural Heritage of the West courses push both professors and students to explore the history of their prejudices. These courses are a good start, but taking responsibility for my prejudices is a lifelong task.

“The risk of living in an echo chamber is enormous. Social media platforms are designed to limit the ‘world’ to voices like our own. It takes effort to get news from outside our comfortable bubbles, but love for our neighbors and a concern for God’s truth should push us past the discomfort.” author of tweets and Instagram posts. Their

and seeking to become more discerning.

withdrawal from the internet; it means

findings bring to light the need for more

The same technology that is multiplying

using it more carefully and listening more

attention to information literacy and give

the sources of misinformation and

helpful suggestions about how different

disinformation is also making it easier

internet platforms call for different skills

to investigate authors’ backgrounds, find

of attention and caution. People who think

out when frauds are exposed, and hear

they are immune to internet news tricks are

from believers in other places. Faithful

in more danger than those who are wary

information consumption does not mean

when I like the story, I don’t chase down the writer’s training and convictions. Claims that confirm my prejudices don’t move me to look for corroboration from independent sources. Questions occur to me, so my problem is not a lack of suspicion. My problem is often just laziness. › Become more patient, waiting for more information before deciding what to believe. Our culture thinks patient people are pathetic. Suspending judgment is thought to be a sign of weakness or stupidity. I need to tune out the message that I must decide now. If I cannot confirm the story through other reliable sources, I should wait before taking any action based on its truth. Also, it is simply prudent to wait for the dust to settle before passing a story as fact. A story that rests on bogus sources, is mere propaganda, or is simply a lie, is likely to be exposed eventually. › Say no to rumor-mongering. It is fun to be the first to pass along a juicy story. Retweeting or emailing links as news without determining the reliability of the source runs an unacceptable

than we speak. But we’ve known that since at least the writing of Proverbs. The online version of this article includes footnotes and further resources. You can access the online version of the article at

risk of broadcasting gossip. An editorial in the Jesuit magazine, America, puts it well: “Remember your Facebook account is not exempt from the Eighth Commandment, even when you are only bearing false witness by hitting the share button.” › Seek out stories from other perspectives, and in particular accounts from Christians who live in other contexts. The risk of living in an echo chamber is enormous. Social media platforms are designed to limit the “world” to voices like our own. It takes effort to get news from outside our comfortable bubbles, but love for our neighbors and a concern for God’s truth should push us past the discomfort. We need others to keep us from living in tiny worlds that are often as much our own fantasy as fact. What the world looks like to fellow believers in other circumstances should be especially interesting to us. They are reading the same infallible Bible we are reading and praying to the same Holy Spirit to open their eyes to the truth. Fighting fake news on our own is foolish when we have the body of Christ as a comfort and resource.

ENDURING alongside by Grace Mullaney Humbles ’13

Peter Wilkerson ’13 was a healthy, active assistant basketball coach at Covenant College who was feeling under the weather. Days after being told he most likely had mono, Peter’s mobility started to erode. He called a friend to take him to the hospital, but fell to the ground while attempting to walk to her car. Peter was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, lost the ability to walk and eat, and found himself in the intensive care unit (ICU) at his local hospital. After leaving the ICU, he began a difficult journey toward recovery at Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation. It was at Siskin that Peter found an unexpected friend in fellow alumnus and physical therapist Matt Annessi ’08.

“Peter had lost something. He had no idea if he would ever get it back. And in the middle of a situation like that, the church needs to be asking, ‘How can we endure together as brothers and sisters in Christ?’”

guill a in-ba rr e is a r a r e au toimmu ne sy ndrome that affects 1-2 in every 100,000 people. When a person is suffering from Guillain-Barré, their immune system malfunctions and attacks the myelin sheath that covers their peripheral nerves. According to the Mayo Clinic, this malfunction stops the nerves from communicating with the rest of the body and disrupts the body’s ability to send sensory messages back to the brain. The brain subsequently cannot send motor messages to the patient’s muscles. A person suffering from the first phase of Guillain-Barré syndrome will experience a rapid-onset paralysis. Although the exact cause of the syndrome is unknown, most people become affected by Guillain-Barré just after fighting off a respiratory virus. While recovering from the flu or mono, people like Peter are hit with a mysterious illness that advances rapidly. Peter’s stay in the nearby ICU served to stop the syndrome from getting worse. Once the progress of Guillain-Barré is arrested, the body has an incredible ability to begin to rebuild the myelin sheath that covers and protects our peripheral nerves. This healing takes time and requires patients like Peter to re-learn how to walk, swallow, and breathe normally. Peter



was moved to Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation to begin physical therapy and his road to recovery.

A Friendship Begins Little did Peter know that he had a friend waiting for him at Siskin Hospital. A fellow Covenant alumnus told Matt Annessi ’08, a physical therapist at Siskin, about Peter’s case while Peter was still in the ICU. Matt knew there was a good chance Peter would be heading to Siskin at some point for physical therapy, so he kept his eye out for Peter’s name. “Whenever I see someone come into Siskin who has a relationship with Covenant I try to stop by their room and make a connection with them, even if I’m not personally assigned to their case,” says Matt. “I feel like if I can bring some sense of familiarity and comfort and peace into the process, that’s a worthwhile thing to do.” The day Peter arrived at Siskin, Matt came by to meet him. At that point, Peter’s vocal and facial muscles still weren’t working well, but Matt was able to greet him and Sam—Peter’s fiancé—and offered to pray for Peter and his family as they started their stay at Siskin. “I remember he came in and let us know he

Matt and Peter help Peter’s muscles re-learn how to walk.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome › Guillain-Barré syndrome was first codified by Georges Guillain, Jean Alexandre Barré, and André Strohl in 1916. › Guillain-Barré syndrome is not contagious and the research has not yet discovered what triggers the syndrome in some people and not others. › According to the National Institute of Health, Guillain-Barré is often preceded by a viral or bacterial infection. › The most common type of Guillain-Barré attacks the myelin sheath (protective covering) of the peripheral nerves—the motor and sensory nerves connected to the spinal cord.

Peter and Sam, knowing I wanted to hold them up in the middle of what they were

› The National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke estimates that 30 percent of people affected by Guillain-Barré will experience “residual weakness” three years after their initial recovery. A smaller number—around three percent—will experience some kind of relapse even many years after recovering.

going through. Enduring together with Peter and Sam affirms God’s faithfulness and reminds all of us that He is still on the throne.”

Entering Recovery For patients recovering from GuillainBarré, the main job of physical therapists is to prevent secondary complications of the syndrome including muscle atrophy had gone to Covenant too,” says Peter. “I remember he said, ‘I’m not your physical therapist, but I’m here for you and I’m here to pray for you.’”

and cardio and respiratory deconditioning.

Matt sees his vocation as an opportunity to enter into a moment of difficulty and suffering with people.

of patients.

“Part of what I see God has me at Siskin for is to be with people who have lost something,” says Matt. “Peter had lost something. He had no idea if he would ever get it back. And in the middle of a situation like that, the church needs to be asking, ‘How can we endure together as brothers and sisters in Christ?’ And in thinking about these things, I went in to meet

enter into a phase where they don’t get better

This prevention takes several forms— including providing patients with supportive wheelchairs and stretching out the muscles Before moving into the recovery phase of Guillain-Barré, Matt explains that patients but they also don’t get worse. The body then has a chance to transition into recovery. For patients like Peter, physical therapists will look for the ability to move their bodies against

The Covenant men’s basketball team visited Coach Wilkerson and celebrated their 2016 USA South tournament championship win. It was the first conference title on record for the Scots since 1964.

gravity. Until that point, the body needs to work to rebuild itself. If a therapist pushes a patient forward too early, they could trigger a relapse of the patient’s earlier symptoms.



like Parkinson’s or MS. Matt had never used the FES Cycle on a patient with Guillain-Barré. “There is nothing published about using the Cycle with patients with Guillain-Barré,” says Matt. “But I read a few unpublished case studies about the potential benefits it could have for a patient like Peter. I explained to Peter that exercising his muscles with the Cycle wouldn’t all of a sudden make him able to walk. The first time we used the Cycle, we cycled Peter for five minutes and at the end he was completely exhausted.” Peter and Matt used the FES Cycle five times. The last two times they cycled for fifteen minutes. Not long after, Peter started to walk with a walker, with some assistance. Two-to-three weeks later, he was able to walk with a walker on his own. “I still believe it’s one of the things that helped me recover quickly,” says Peter. “Once we started using the Cycle I turned a big corner. When I started walking on my own, my muscles had already been exercising and building up strength through those exercises.” Matt exercises Peter’s muscles with the Functional Electrical Stimulation Cycle, using electrical currents to move muscles that Peter did not have full neurological control over.

About 2-3 weeks into Peter’s stay at Siskin, his physical therapists began to think he was starting to enter the recovery phase, but his recovery was not progressing quickly.

“It was so encouraging to have Matt there— not just as a fellow Covenant alum, but as a Christian.”

“That whole time was really rough,” says Peter. “It was so encouraging to have Matt there—not just as a fellow Covenant alum, but as a Christian.”

The Functional Electrical Stimulation Cycle Matt spoke to Peter’s personal physical therapist about the possibility of using one of the hospital’s new pieces of equipment in Peter’s treatment. Four months earlier, the hospital had obtained a Functional Electrical Stimulation Cycle (FES Cycle) and, at the time, Matt was the only physical therapist in his department who was trained to use the machine. The FES Cycle stimulates muscles through electrical currents, exercising muscles that the patient may not have control over neurologically. There is some evidence that the FES Cycle stimulates muscles and can help patients maintain muscle mass. Therapists will often employ the FES Cycle in the rehabilitation of patients who have had a stroke, a brain injury, or who suffer from diseases



Matt explains that the literature only suggests that the FES Cycle may have helped Peter maintain his muscle mass, but he can understand that from Peter’s perspective, the Cycle acted as a jumpstart to his recovery. “I’m thankful for the part it played in the process,” says Matt.

Enduring Together in Christ As happy as he was to use the hospital’s new piece of equipment to aid in Peter’s recovery process, Matt is equally concerned with how he as a Christian and the church in general enters into difficult situations with people who are suffering. “I’ve been thinking a lot about how we as the body of Christ can endure together and be present together in the midst of suffering,” says Matt. “How do we endure together during times like these? I see this situation as an opportunity to form friendships and lament together. Perhaps it is one of the ways God holds us up in our faith and declares His truths.” Matt recognizes that not every person who suffers from a disease—or even from Guillain-Barré in particular—will experience healing and restoration in their lifetime. It’s in those moments and days and years of suffering, just as much as in celebratory times of healing, that we are called to walk with and alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ.


Seasons joe l a z z a ro wa s i n h is l at e si x t i e s

when I was called to Second Congregational Church in Peabody, Massachusetts, as a twenty-eight-year-old seminary graduate. He was every bit the Italian that his name indicated. He held my then two-year-old daughter every Sunday, perched comfortably on his large belly. When it was time to go home he would return her, and his cologne came with her. Joe and his wife, Peg, were a snapshot of the church: former Catholics, ready to serve behind the scenes, less than excited about change, and pretty sure that they would be at the church long after the new pastor had come and gone. Ministry in New England is complex. Churches have histories that unfold to you over cups of coffee and at kitchen tables. People have hurts, joys, needs that you see only with time. The church building was postcardesque, replete with white steeple, red carpet, oak pews, the hymn numbers from the previous Sunday affixed to the wall, a Hammond organ, and a woman who played it like it was the seventh inning stretch at Fenway Park. And they protected that sanctuary like it was the holy of holies. The family that gathered inside was full of broken people being slowly transformed by a loving God. I made a lot of mistakes. I hurt some people. I angered others. I cried with people. I prayed with people. I did a lot of funerals and was grateful that God allowed me to walk with families in death. Some people left the church. New people came. College students joined, and today they are the leadership in that church. Through it all, I preached as faithfully as I knew how. I was and am grateful. Despite my weaknesses, God used me there for a season. My plan was to grow old with the church; God’s plan was to take us to a PCA church plant in Pasadena, California, after ten years. Andrew Fike—a Texas native passionate for ministering to the homeless—was an MDiv student at Fuller Seminary. We met at the church I was called to pastor in Old Town Pasadena. We played softball, surfed, shot pool, ate breakfast burritos, talked long hours, prayed, and walked through good and bad together. We eventually ended up on staff at the church together. I married Andrew and his now wife, Katie, in a park frequented by the homeless. Pasadena is nestled in the San Gabriel Mountains on the northern cusp of Los Angeles County. Hollywood is next door. Ministry in California was different. Snapshot California. Snapshot New England. Little in common, except people made in the image of God, who need Jesus. There, too, were sins and joys and lives being transformed. I walked

by Rev. Grant Lowe, chaplain

with people. I prayed with people. There were weddings, but no funerals. And I preached God’s living, life-transforming Word. I was grateful God chose to use me for another season, a shorter, more intense, more painful, and in many ways more beautiful season. Like a Kansas thunderstorm that comes with awful power and beauty. Once again, my plan was to grow old in California. On paper it worked. But God had other plans. I write now from my office in the basement of Carter Hall on the campus of Covenant College. This is the middle of my fourth year serving as chaplain of the college of the Presbyterian Church in America. I am still a pastor and still a preacher. Only now I walk in the midst of a thousand college students, who are amazing and thoughtful and wise and mature and thoughtless and foolish and immature all at the same time, while they figure out what it means to follow Jesus. I have the greatest job in the world, as I get to point them to Him. I’m forty-six now, and I know myself a little bit better and I know Jesus a little bit better. I feel the weight of my words a little more acutely and my inadequacy a little more clearly. When I left our church in California, my wife and I prayed, “Lord, take us somewhere where you can use us.” In this new season, I know God can use me, and I’m starting to believe that He actually wants to. Joe Lazzaro died last year. Andrew and Katie Fike had a little girl, Adeline Mae. And my daughter Henri comes to Covenant College as a freshman next fall. So for a sinner saved by grace with nothing to boast in, I boast in this place to which I’m called and in the risen savior who gives me life and who called me here.
























In Praise of Boredom a r e y o u b o r e d ? Bored with life? Bored by those around you?

through Moses to the people of

Bored by your stuff? And just how bored are you?

Israel in Numbers 6:

In 2014, researchers from the University of Virginia and Harvard University published a study entitled, “Just Think: The Challenges of the Disengaged Mind.” Their conclusion included the following observation: In 11 studies, we found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think, that they enjoyed doing mundane external activities much more, and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts. While few of us can imagine self-administering electric shocks, it’s certainly the case that when the book we’re reading or the people around us start to bore us, or when we just don’t want to sit with our own thoughts, we find it remarkably easy to pull out a smartphone and lose ourselves in untold gigabytes of potentially more “interesting” information. In 1930, Bertrand Russell wrote that, “A generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation of little men, of men unduly divorced from the slow processes of nature, of men in whom every vital impulse slowly withers, as though they were cut flowers in a vase” (Conquest of Happiness). We are in danger of becoming a “generation of little men.” Everything around us in our modern, technological culture seems to scream, “whatever you do, don’t be bored!” And there are plenty of people who are willing to supply us with a non-stop flow of bits of entertainment to distract us from the terror of being bored. In her most recent book, Reclaiming Conversation, MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle tells the story of a conversation she had with twenty-five college students who told her that their greatest fear was boredom. Whenever a conversation looked like it might not be entertaining, or whenever they were alone, they immediately turned to their phones. In the words of one of the students, her phone was an “insurance policy” against boredom. The tragedy of our default to our distraction devices is that we are missing out on a precious opportunity. We are missing out on the opportunity to love the world and those around us by giving them our attention. Because it is literally a blessing to pay attention. Consider perhaps the most famous blessing of all, that was given

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Twice in this blessing, the

J. Derek Halvorson ’93, President

Lord turns His face to—He pays attention to, or gives His attention to—the people of Israel. The seemingly simple act of paying attention is a way for us to love the people and the world around us. Having worked behind the register at a grocery store when I was in high school, I often wonder what it’s like for the people who have that same job now. Frequently, customers are so consumed with the entertainment on their mobile devices that they don’t acknowledge the existence of the person checking out their groceries. As Christians who recognize the image of God in all men and women, we should be particularly vigilant against this tendency not to give attention to those around us. It’s important to acknowledge that getting over the habit of distracting ourselves whenever we start to feel bored will take practice. Given the ubiquity of technology in our lives, it’s something we have to train ourselves to do. Cal Newport, a theoretical computer scientist at Georgetown, points out in his book Deep Work that if we’ve trained our brain to respond to the slightest sign of boredom by seeking distraction, it will undoubtedly require re-training for us to be comfortable with boredom. That means that we have to very intentionally welcome and embrace those quiet moments when we’re not being entertained, when there’s nothing going on, when we’re “just wasting time.” We need to practice being with our own thoughts. Practice being with others. We need to be quiet, be still, be present, and see. In so doing, we bear witness to the love of the God who is never bored, but delights in us and in His good creation. This article is excerpted from a larger discussion on boredom delivered as a chapel lecture in the fall of 2016. You can watch President Halvorson’s chapel lecture, “Against, and in Praise of, Boredom,” at



Covenant College 14049 Scenic Highway Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Promotional posters are a window into life as a Covenant College student. An average night of evening activities might range from watching Hamlet on stage or participating in a dialogue on young-earth creationism to enjoying an ’80s-themed skate night and student-run improv. Art major Greg Van Dyke ’17 designed each of these posters.


View | Spring 2017  
View | Spring 2017  

View is Covenant College's print magazine for alumni, parents, and friends.