Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content

Our History

For more than 50 years, Covenant has pursued its mission to explore and express the preeminence of Jesus Christ in all things.

Early Growth

Founded in 1955 in Pasadena, California, Covenant College needed to expand into new facilities after just one year. Several professors helped Covenant move to St. Louis, Missouri, into a building donated by Catholic sisters. Over the next eight years, the institution increased in size and outgrew its facilities.

A Castle in the Clouds

The Lookout Mountain Hotel, built in 1928 with the South’s largest ballroom and 200 guest rooms, came up for sale when Covenant once again needed more space. The once-posh “Castle in the Clouds” seemed an ideal location for the College, and Covenant purchased and moved into the hotel in 1964. Since then, the College has significantly developed the campus and cultivated important ties with the Chattanooga community.

An Enduring Symbol

Serving as a symbol of Covenant’s history and purpose, the purple-flowered thistle was borrowed from Scotland’s national emblem. According to Scottish legend, the thistle played a vital role in victory at the Battle of Largs in 1262. Apparently, a barefoot invader unwittingly stepped on a thistle, howling in pain and notifying Scottish defenders of the attack from King Harco’s men. The Scots won the battle and credited the thistle.

Presidential Timeline

Six presidents have led Covenant in pursuing its mission since the College's founding in 1955.

  • Dr. Robert Rayburn (1955-1965)
  • Dr. Marion Barnes (1965-1978)
  • Dr. Martin Essenburg (1978-1987)
  • Dr. Frank Brock (1987-2002)
  • Dr. Niel Nielson (2002-2012)
  • Dr. Derek Halvorson (2012-present)

 

Graduate School of Education

Undergraduate Departments, Majors, Minors, Certificates, Concentrations, and Programs

Academic Certificates

  • Arts Administration
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability
  • Journalism and Society
  • Medical Ethics Consultation
  • Neuroscience
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Art

  • Art, 2-D Concentration 
  • Art, 3-D Concentration 
  • Art, Art History Concentration 
  • Art, Graphic Design Concentration 
  • Art, Photography Concentration 
  • Art minor
  • Art History minor

Biblical & Theological Studies

  • Biblical & Theological Studies 
  • Biblical & Theological Studies, Missions Concentration 
  • Biblical & Theological Studies minor
  • Biblical Languages minor
  • History of Christianity minor
  • Missions minor
  • Youth Ministry minor

Biology

  • Biology, Biomedical Concentration 
  • Biology, Environmental Concentration 
  • Biology, General 
  • Biology, Health Professions Concentration 
  • Biology minor

Business

  • Business 
  • Business, Accounting Concentration 
  • Business, Finance Concentration 
  • Business, Marketing Concentration 
  • Sport Management 
  • Business minor
  • Sport Management minor

Chemistry

  • Chemistry, Biochemistry Concentration 
  • Chemistry, General 
  • Biochemistry minor
  • Chemistry minor

Computer Science

  • Computer Science 
  • Computer Science minor

Economics & Community Development

  • Community Development 
  • Economics 
  • Community Development minor
  • Economics minor

Education

  • Education Studies 
  • Elementary Education (P-5) 
  • Secondary Education Certifications through MAT program 
  • Education minor

Engineering 3:2 Program

  • Natural Science, Pre-Engineering Studies Concentration

English

  • English 
  • English, Writing Concentration 
  • English minor
  • Linguistics minor
  • Writing minor

Health, Wellness and Coaching

  • Coaching minor

History & Politics

  • History 
  • History, Art History Concentration 
  • Political Science 
  • History minor
  • Political Science minor

Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Interdisciplinary Studies with Concentrations 

International Studies

  • International Studies 

Mathematics

  • Mathematics 
  • Mathematics minor

Music

  • Music, Church Music Concentration 
  • Music, Creative Studies Concentration 
  • Music, General Music Concentration 
  • Music, Instrumental Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Music Education (Pre-MAT) Concentration 
  • Music, Organ Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Piano Pedagogy Concentration 
  • Music, Piano Performance Concentration 
  • Music, Theory/Composition Concentration 
  • Music, Vocal Performance Concentration 
  • Music minor

Philosophy

  • Philosophy 
  • Philosophy minor

Physics

  • Physics 
  • Physics minor

Pre-Professional Programs

  • Pre-Law Studies 
  • Pre-Medical Studies 
  • Pre-Nursing Studies 
  • Pre-Physical Therapy Studies 

Psychology

  • Psychology 
  • Psychology minor

Sociology

  • Sociology 
  • Sociology, Family Studies & Social Work Concentration 
  • Sociology minor

Theatre

  • Theatre 
  • Theatre minor

World Languages

  • French 
  • Spanish 
  • French minor
  • Spanish minor