Greeting from the Halvorsons
Greetings from the top of Lookout Mountain!
This is the first time I’ve had opportunity to address you, the parents, via this newsletter, and I’d like to begin by expressing what a delight it is for Wendy and me to pick up the baton that Niel and Kathleen Nielson so ably carried during their ten-year tenure at Covenant College. It’s remarkable to see how God has blessed Covenant through their faithful leadership. (It’s also a little bit daunting to look at the long list of accomplishments and realize that this is the legacy we have to live up to!) We are honored to take up the responsibility of leadership at Covenant, and also excited about the work that God has placed in front of us. Covenant is truly a unique place. We are thrilled to be a part of this community.
We’re also thrilled to be locking arms with you, the parents, in the critical work of preparing our sons and daughters for lives of faithful and fruitful service in their work, in their family lives, in their churches, and in their communities. Recently we had a couple hundred prospective students, along with their parents, on campus for our annual Scholarship Weekend. I was privileged to address that group (along with the rest of our campus community) in chapel on the subject, “The End of Education.” The argument I made was, in the simplest sense, an argument against reductionism in how we think about higher education. Too often in our society we reduce education's aim to a single objective that ought to be regarded instead as a
constituent part of a much larger, all-encompassing aim. For example, the purpose of education is often reduced to job preparation, or to the acquisition of knowledge for knowledge's sake, or to citizenship. While these are all noble and worthy proximate ends, they are not the ultimate end of education for us as Christians.
The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12 that our fitting and logical response to the marvelous work of salvation that God has wrought on our behalf in Jesus Christ is to give our whole selves as a living sacrifice. We do this by not being conformed to the patterns of this world, but by being transformed (literally, metamorphed) by the renewal of our minds, so that by testing we can discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Paul's point is straightforward: given what Christ has done for us, it is only sensible for us to give our whole selves to him, and we undertake that self-sacrifice first by pursuing the renewing of our minds (so that we can give our mind and heart and body to Him).
This biblical understanding of the end of education stands at odds with the world's prevailing vision for the aims of higher education. It's a joy for us to partner with you in providing to students an education that does not only give them job training and knowledge and citizenship skills--though it does provide those things as proximate ends. Rather, a Covenant education is designed to equip and incline students to offer their whole selves as living sacrifices to their Savior, by approaching every aspect of their life--work, family, church, community--in a biblically informed fashion. We're convinced that driving toward this end will naturally produce the secondary outcomes that are so often (improperly) made ultimate ends, even as it serves to conform our students to the image of their Creator and Savior.
Know that we count it a blessing to pursue this important work with you and are grateful for the many sacrifices you have made, and are making, for the sake of providing your children with an education that would, through their lives, bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ.
We hope to see many of you on campus in a couple weeks for Parents Weekend!
Yours in Christ,
Wendy & Derek Halvorson
Tax Notification Forms Available
The 1098-T tax-notification forms are now available on Banner. If your daughter or son has shared their Banner login information with you or if you have a parent's proxy, you can login and access the forms. The menu item is titled “Tax Notifications” and is on the "Student Records" menu. In January, we mailed paper copies of these forms to your son's or daughter’s permanent address as last updated in the College's records office. Please feel free to contact us at 706.419.1102 if we can be of assistance.
The Accounting Office
Praise and Prayer Requests
Praise for a fruitful Scholarship Weekend, despite icy weather conditions, as we welcomed over 200 high-school seniors to campus, and prayer for them as they make their college decisions
Preparations for upcoming Break on Impact mission trips during spring break
Safety for parents traveling to campus for Parents Weekend, and for the event to be a blessing to families
Encouragement for students as the January-to-spring-break stretch can sometimes be long and difficult for students
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