Student Profile: Calvin Cummings '15
Oak Ridge, TN
Residence Hall and Floor (for 2012-2013)
Co-Editor of the Arts section of the Bagpipe
Favorite place on campus
The Chapel Lawn/Crater and the Catacombs have been unexpected places of fellowship and welcoming for me during my freshman and sophomore years.
Honors received at Covenant
Maclellan & Leadership Scholar
Why did you choose Covenant?
I became a Christian in early November of my junior year of high school. I was taking calculus at the time, and I remember that God left me speechless after each of those lectures during the first few weeks after my conversion. Unexpectedly, through mathematical laws, theorems, and processes, God gave me a glimpse of His sovereignty, divinity, and creativity.
I was then introduced to Covenant through a friend in my senior year and I visited several times during that academic year. Each visit I learned more about Covenant’s ethos, and the Lord made me feel its weight. The school’s theology and academic perspective were both things I had desired since those lectures on derivatives and integrals. Through discovering these realities about the school, personal experiences with faculty and students, and the Maclellan Scholarship, I felt certain that the Lord was leading me to Covenant. My experience has been what has convinced me of this though.
How is Covenant unique?
Diverse and Christ-centered hall life, a Biblical worldview that is adhered to as well as espoused, and Chapel.
What has been your favorite experience at Covenant?
Every moment God has broken my expectations for what community or friendship or good work look like. Every dark night where Christ has met me in the morning, every day that truth has prevailed over my self-importance – would these experiences have happened to me at another school? I don’t know, but I do know that they have characterized my time here. I wouldn’t change that for anything. Covenant hasn’t been what I expected, but thanks to God’s provision, it has been what I’ve needed. What a crucible this mountain has been.
What is your favorite class, and why?
I tend to enjoy and cherish the experiences that have challenged me to self-reflection or have caused me to face certain realities of my fallen state. My education and community development classes have done that. These classes have left me free of guilt for racial or socio-economic disparity, yet understanding my personal responsibility as not only a recipient of incredible privilege, but as an image-bearer of God to bring his shalom through the gospel message of reconciliation. I’ve been thoroughly humbled through these classes; I have been made to recognize my need of Christ to do these things well. I’m a fool being used for his glory only made able by his grace. There’s something about the recognition of my daily need to recommit myself to the preeminence of and dependence on Christ in all things that brings humility of the most calming sort.
What person at Covenant has had the greatest impact on you, and why?
In all likelihood, neither of them will know this, but I would say Dr. Drexler and Peter McCrory ’12. They’ve made an impression on me not through continued and consistent mentoring relationships or through sweeping and grand gestures of love towards me, but through their quiet faith, and commitment to the story and job God has given each of them. The small encouragements and my experiences with these two men over time have been deposited slowly in the bank of my memory for the Lord to bring to mind at any moment. Hearing Dr. Drexler’s story of his time at Covenant while pulling weeds from the walkway around a pool in Bielsko Biala, Poland is one of these experiences. Whenever Peter would encourage me to do my homework on time, or be more mindful of others in whatever topic we were discussing, are others. These similar qualities I have found in many other students on campus. I pray we will never have a shortage of such folk.
What’s your favorite part of the day at Covenant?
This doesn’t happen every day, but that moment when the fog begins to lift, and the sun creeps up from behind the chapel, and our campus is filled again with light and warmth and everyone comes out of their rooms and sits in hammocks at the crater and plays soccer on the Chapel Lawn. There’s a gospel message in there somewhere, I just know it.
What are your post-graduation plans?
I hope this isn’t a disappointing answer, but I honestly have no clue. I know the options, but I don’t know what I should choose. I guess that’s what we have to do every day though, right?
How is Covenant equipping you for the future?
I’m learning what it means to love people and places for what they are instead of what I wish them to be. I’m learning to cede to God’s wisdom, even when it seems unwise to me (1 Corinthians 1:25). I was an orientation team leader this past year and I found out the new students get to read Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together. I got jealous and began reading it myself. I believe this statement succinctly states what I’ve learned about community during my time at Covenant: “The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his work become the one and only thing that is vital between us. We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly, and for all eternity.”
I hold this wisdom in the highest regard, for no matter what job I have or what church I go to, no matter the country I live in or the government that rules over me, no matter how long I live or how short, I will be called to love people authentically, because Christ first loved me purely.