Student Profile: Chris Carter '18

Chris Carter


Class Year


Kijabe, Kenya


Community Development


Residence Hall and Floor
Founders, Blackwatch


Favorite place on campus
My favorite place is definitely the top of the huge tree to the left of the Chapel as the sun is going down and hammocks or slacklines are littered beneath you enjoying the fleeting warmth! It’s a sweet moment. Aside from that the overlook by Probasco is a solid place during a sweeping sunrise having some quality time with the Lord or laughing with a friend. The views here are unreal! The Great Hall is a special place with a vibrant atmosphere where everyone can gather together to fellowship and catch up on the day. I have had some of the most intentional and uplifting heart-to-hearts with brothers by the huge windows overlooking the valley beneath us, it always reminds me what a blessing it is to live on top of a mountain! Founders Hall has been a solid experience for me as well. Covenant’s focus on community fosters an energetic atmosphere where you make some wild memories, meet your best friends and worship the Lord together with the most passion. God has used the men of Blackwatch to keep me accountable in the precepts of Christ, and invigorate me to live a more radical life for Him.


Why did you choose Covenant?
So many reasons! The Community Development major is an incredible program that I saw as giving me the tools and mindset I needed to return to East Africa in the future as a missionary, and Corbett and Fikkert are awesome. The location is prime for trail running, rock climbing, and caving, all of which I am passionate about. It was a dream for me to think of having a trail right behind campus to run on, that leads to one of the best climbing crags in Chattanooga! So many good adventures. The sense of community and God-focused accountability I got while visiting campus instantly alerted me to Covenant’s potential to shape men focused on the work of Christ in the world. I knew that coming here I would be challenged, encouraged and molded by my classes and peers to better become an image bearer of Christ in a world desperate for His saving promise.


Did you visit Covenant as a high school student? If so, how did that visit impact your decision to attend Covenant?
I did visit Covenant as a high school student, once during the furlough we took when I was in eighth grade to the U.S. and once during a whirlwind tour of colleges during my Junior year of high school. Both times I was greatly impacted by the encouraging atmosphere on Campus, and the tour got me extremely excited for the possibility of being immersed in the Community Development program! It had a huge impact on my decision to attend Covenant.


How is Covenant unique?
Covenant offers an interesting blend of challenging spiritual growth with academic rigor and the pursuit of excellence, all within the context of a supportive and nourishing community. It’s a place where I have been able to wrestle with tough academics, yet find myself surrounded by Christ-centered peer groups and faculty focused on pointing me to the cross.


Describe Covenant in three words.
Intentional, beautiful, relational.


What has been your favorite experience at Covenant?
One of my favorite experiences at Covenant is an event called Around Founders where each hall in Founders goes all out in decorating their hall into some wild theme and then you have a walk-through drama of all the halls. Some halls get ridiculously creative! I have also made countless memories with great friends exploring the rivers, cliffs, and trails abundant on Lookout Mountain. We’ve had some pretty crazy adventures!


What is your favorite class so far?
Theory of Community Development with Corbett and Fikkert. One of my favorite things about this class is the fact that Corbett and Fikkert sort of tag teamed over the semester to give us a more holistic view of what it means to step into a culture and community totally foreign to us, and help without hurting those we wish to serve. Growing up in Kenya, East Africa as a missionary kid, it has been incredible to analyze the way I saw ministry done there with the thoughtful methods of Community Development presented to me in our lectures. This class taught me so much about how to properly impact a foreign community by first understanding their background and worldview, and then the broken relationships that cause much of the problems we try to placate in development work.


What makes hall life at Covenant unique?
Probably the biggest thing that struck me about hall life at Covenant is how involved the Resident Assistants and Directors are in the spiritual growth of the students on their halls. They genuinely care that we are living lives honoring to the Lord, but also make sure we’re having a blast during our time here.


What are some things you enjoy about your major?
The Community Development program is preparing me for a life dedicated to the work of Christ in a setting that may otherwise be way out of my comfort zone. The classes are beautifully crafted to give you the confidence and knowledge needed to step into the third world, but also instill an understanding of the necessity of humility and an open heart when interacting with a new culture. Corbett and Fikkert, two of the key professors in the major, are extremely respected individuals in their field, yet meet you at such a personal level and concentrate on your personal growth. Never have I been in a position in my life where I wake up stoked to go to my classes, nor have I ever felt so loved and supported by professors who care so much about your dreams and plans for the future. Community Development is a very interactive major as well, that encourages you to put into practice the material you are learning throughout your time in college. The program requires its students to experience an internship over the summer in which you are immersed in another culture or people group, giving you the opportunity to translate classroom material to tangible experience before heading out on your own.


What person at Covenant has had the greatest impact on you, and why?
Dr. Corbett has definitely had the greatest impact on me during my time here at Covenant. His passion and love for Christ is extremely contagious, and his wisdom and faithfulness has taught me so much about what it means to glorify God. I am always learning from his professional knowledge on methods of Community Development, yet he makes it feel like we are going through it together and includes me and the class in our discussions and lectures, desiring to have our opinion as well.


How is Covenant preparing you for life after graduation?
Covenant is equipping me to enter the world with a mind towards missions wherever I end up in my occupation. It is empowering me to understand my own brokenness and step forth in humility, but armed with the power of Christ and share the redeeming hope that I have in Him. Covenant is showing me how to approach the world as a Christian, that is, viewing the brokenness of humanity through the redemptive lens of the gospel and understanding that God desires for me to be a faithful steward of the resources and gifts he has blessed me with. Through the wisdom of my professors and their persistence in pouring into my spiritual growth, and the powerful chapel sermons, I feel like Covenant has better taught me how to be an ambassador for Christ and carry his name shamelessly and without fear wherever I find myself in the world. Above all, however, is the way Covenant has given me a better understanding of what it means to worship wherever I am in life, in the good and the bad. Whether I can clearly see God’s hand or when it is masked by the pain of sin or brokenness, I have grown in my ability to stand firm in his promises and trust His faithfulness, for Christ is worthy of all our praise.


How is Covenant equipping you for active membership in the church?
Covenant is preparing me for active membership in the church by showing me the importance, through my Community Development classes, of working through and pointing back to the local church in whatever context we find ourselves in. Covenant has taught me that illustrating our actions either overseas or in one’s hometown by tying them back to Christ’s love will bring the type of positive development we are looking for. I have learned that the church is a powerful force in development, and has resources and knowledge that are incredibly valuable for bringing people into dignity in Christ.