Student Profile: Caleb McNaughton '20
If you visited Covenant College, what first stood out to you about the community?
The first thing that stood out to me about Covenant’s community was the students’ willingness to include and accept others.
Why did you choose Covenant College?
I chose Covenant College because it was a place I felt welcomed, appreciated, and challenged. I knew after the first visit that this was going to be a place where I would wrestle with my faith, grow closer to the Lord, and learn more about my relationship with Jesus Christ.
What aspect of Covenant College do you like best?
Intentionality has been this biggest blessing for me at Covenant College. I have made friends with students, faculty, and church members who have poured into me and shown me the love of Christ. They are constantly checking in and asking personal questions that touch the heart.
What has been your favorite Covenant College event and why?
My favorite Covenant College event has been Mistletoe Mingle. The silent disco offers a personal and thriving experience where you are in your own world but also enjoying the presence of others.
How does residence life add to/support your academic goals at Covenant College?
The residence life at Covenant College is very unique. Hall life is important and intentional, and, depending on the hall, each one has a different vibe. I would go so far as to say there is a hall for everyone—you just have to find it. Living in this special environment, my academics have been supported and nurtured in relation to community, conversation, and knowledge. I often find myself around brothers having hard conversations about all kinds of topics.
Which professors have most impacted the way you think and why?
The professors who have most impacted the way I think are Dr. Eames, Dr. Tate, and Dr. Morton. During my freshman year I took cross-cultural psychology with Dr. Eames and learned a lot about how I viewed the world around me. I learned to broaden my horizon and accept other cultures for what they are. Dr. Tate has always struck me as this relational, enthusiastic, and loving man of God, which is evident in the way he pours into his students. I enjoyed his ability to approach students after class in conversation and pour into them. This made me feel that he was not there to teach and leave, but to share the love of Christ. Dr. Morton impacted me in a fun and creative way. He showed me how to express myself in life using whatever tools are available. This goes outside of art class and into the outdoors and family. His ease of mind helped me to learn how to be relaxed in the midst of chaos and finish whatever thought or process I was in the middle of.
What do you most enjoy about your major?
The thing I most enjoy about my major is the hands-on experience and my relationship with the professors. Dr. Crossman gets down to business when needed, but at the same time cares about where your heart is. He often checks in with me and asks how things are going.
How is Covenant equipping you for post-graduation life in your area of study?
Covenant College is equipping me by giving me the tools I need to communicate well with different programs. I have not dived completely in to my major courses yet, but I can say that, the more I communicate with Dr. Crossman, the more prepared I feel. If I ever have any questions concerning the future years of college and beyond, he knows where to guide me. He makes me work for what I think is best while being there to encourage and ask questions about those ideas. Through all of this, I have learned that trusting God in this process has been huge. I can not get to the final destination in a flash. It is a process.
Can you give an example of how the core classes affected your other classes?
Art with Dr. Morton taught me how to implement and see God’s creativity in my other classes. Chow II with Dr. Tate helped me to pull out ancient authors’ ideas and concepts that they used to persuade members of their day. When reading new materials, I can use those methods and concepts to see God in an underlying fashion.
How is Covenant equipping you for active membership in the church?
It is important to first realize that we are all under one God. Even though there are many denominations in the Bible Belt, it has been relieving to see that at Covenant we share the same goal through it all: to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, and souls. Through this process, I have learned that the Lord settles our differences. It is healthy and relationally important to have those conversations in the right context. Covenant College is equipping me for active membership in the church by helping me identify my areas of strength and weakness. I see areas where I can be more humble and open to listen, instead of just trying to get my opinion out. I think that as I continue this journey, I will see more of God’s beauty in different areas of the church.
How have your relationships at Covenant shaped your expectations for the other communities God will call you to in life?
I think it all depends on the community I am putting myself into. I believe that it is very important to have relationships that challenge, question, encourage, and empathize with you. These friends can make you experience your full range of emotions, which is essential in the walk with Christ. My relationships here at Covenant have not been perfect, but I can say they have been healthy and have pointed me closer to Jesus Christ. I have experienced a full range of emotions, and I am sure to discover more in my coming years.
What’s your favorite way to spend your free-time on or off campus?
My favorite way to spend my free time off-campus is being outdoors. Whether that includes rock climbing (considering we are in some of the best terrain for sport climbing in the world), caving (which includes around 2,000 cave systems in the Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee area), mountain biking, hunting, or hiking (with some of the best hiking trails only a few hours a way or less).