Student Profile: Maggie Luke '20
Charlotte, North Carolina
If you visited Covenant College, what first stood out to you about the community?
When I came to Covenant, I noticed that people seemed to genuinely care about each other. This stood out to me because sometimes, community is truly a struggle. It’s a fight to put others before yourself, but that’s what it means for Christ to be preeminent. When I think of community, I think of my favorite Bible verses, Philippians 4:4-6, which talk about offering prayers to God with thanksgiving and how the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. I used to cling to this verse in the sole name of emotional peace, until Dr. Kapic brought it up in class and talked about how this peace is primarily a promise for Christian community. We aren’t perfect, but there are a lot of people at Covenant striving for gentleness, thanksgiving, and peace in relationships.
Why did you choose Covenant College?
There were a lot of factors that went into my decision to choose Covenant. I loved the community, both the Education and English programs, and the people I met while previewing. Something I really appreciate now is that most of my professors know my name, and I feel comfortable going and getting help from them when I don’t understand something. I chose Covenant because I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.
What aspect of Covenant College do you like best?
I love that Covenant has no room for an Academics + Jesus idea. By this, I mean that I have not had a single professor provide a tidy “Christian integration” during a lesson and then teach as if the real world has no room for Christ. Rather, God and his Word permeate our thinking about ideas, our treatment of material, and the (sometimes diverse) conclusions we draw. I have seen professors dive right into difficult questions, some that are directly hostile to our faith, and shy away from easy answers. Because we believe that God is Truth, we believe that using a Christian lens provides the clearest look when pursuing understanding of different ideas. Covenant’s motto is “In All Things Christ Preeminent.” I love that. I have witnessed different faculty, students, and staff all striving to make Christ preeminent in different areas of life at Covenant. No place is perfect, but something I love about Covenant is that that desire to put Christ first is real, and people put real effort in to demonstrate that.
What has been your favorite Covenant College event and why?
One of my favorite events has probably been Mountain Affair, the annual talent show put on by Covenant students. People are so talented, and it’s so fun to watch. The line starts for Mountain Affair early in the morning, and the show doesn’t start till nighttime. It’s a really fun time of community for everyone, and I love to hear and see performances from our fellow students.
How does residence life add to/support your academic goals at Covenant College?
Living on a hall with girls of different ages and majors has been awesome because whenever I have a question, I have several people I can go ask. Residence life has been really cool in that I’ve been able to make friends with upperclassmen who have been through certain classes and even life situations before and know how to help me and encourage me where to go.
Which professors have most impacted the way you think and why?
I have learned so much from so many of my professors, but two that have had a large impact on the way I think have been Dr. Tate and Dr. Kapic. As an English professor, Dr. Tate has taught me that in reading literature and poetry there doesn’t have to be one clear cut “meaning.” In our Critical Theory class we looked at Shakespeare’s The Tempest from a variety of perspectives, and I learned about and appreciated different things about the play by looking at it in different ways. Art is like a jewel. You can look at it from different angles, and see different things about the gem, even though its essence is still there. It’s still a ruby or diamond, but so much more beautiful when looked at from different perspectives. It’s been humbling to realize just how limited my own perspective is, and freeing to realize that there’s more than one way to look at something in a valid manner. Dr. Kapic’s Doctrine II class has impacted the way I look at myself and others. He says he wants us to really read our Bibles, and he has this way of turning things upside down so that you can see how crazy some of this stuff really is. Crazy in a good way, crazy in a way that makes me want to know more about this incredible love that God has for us.
What do you most enjoy about your major?
The English major at Covenant is awesome. Each member of the faculty is incredibly knowledgeable and wise, and really cares about the students. I have always loved to read and write, and the classes offered have grown me as a writer and reader in so many areas. I’ve been challenged (like in American Novel where we read Moby Dick), and I’ve had the privilege to take classes on poetry, learning to better write it and read it. It’s so hard for me to pick something that I most enjoy. I’ve loved it. But there’s something about the English major that just has you constantly thinking about things; chapel talks tie into something you’re reading, core classes enhance your understanding of literature. English lets you get inside the heads of so many different people: your classmates, your professors, an author from sixty years ago. You learn from others, and are given this space to contribute.
How is Covenant equipping you for post-graduation life in your area of study?
I want to be a high school English teacher, so I’m majoring in English and minoring in education. After I graduate, I’ll enroll in Covenant’s MAT program, where I’ll graduate after a year with my Masters of Arts in Teaching. This degree program will help me have much more content awareness in English and teaching expertise than if I tried to fit it all in with a Masters in teaching and a minor in English. I’m so thankful that I’m able to be an English major, because I love the content. My love for English is the reason I want to teach it, so I’m really glad I’m able to study it more extensively.
Can you give an example of how the core classes affected your other classes?
This semester, I had a poetry class with Dr. Tate and Doctrine II with Dr. Kapic. They were my two favorite classes. Dr. Kapic presented us with so many beautiful images of Jesus’s love for us, and then I could go into my poetry class and think about things from Doctrine and process them as poetry. Both of these classes were so important to me as I grow in my faith, and I’m so thankful that Covenant has us take classes like Doctrine.
My Cultural Heritage of the West class with Dr. Barham introduced me to a number of important texts from history, like The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity, and some of the writings of Cicero. Next semester, I’m going to be in a “Narrative and the Christian Imagination” class with Dr. Barham, and these texts will be used as we talk about stories and how they shape us. I will have some familiarity and appreciation for these texts beforehand, which will be really helpful for me.
How is Covenant equipping you for active membership in the church?
Covenant is equipping me for active membership in the church by giving me a role here in community. I’m learning how care to about others, not just myself, and how beautiful it is when God’s people work together in harmony.
How have your relationships at Covenant shaped your expectations for the other communities God will call you to in life?
I am thankful for my friends at Covenant who are honest with me. This means that their compliments are real and their criticisms are true. I hope that in other places I go, I will have friends who aren’t afraid to be honest with me because they love me.
What’s your favorite way to spend your free-time on or off campus?
I love getting coffee and/or breakfast food with friends. There are so many cool places around Chattanooga to get coffee, and I keep finding new ones. I love filling up my car with people, or just one person, and driving down this beautiful mountain to drink coffee and fellowship with friends.