Student Profile: Grace Ann Arnold '18
Carter, 4th North
Getting outside as much as possible—hiking, running, and pickup soccer, dance parties galore, spending beloved time with my awesome hall, and hanging out with sweet friends.
Favorite place on campus
If you’ve spent any time on Covenant’s campus, you probably know this is a hard question, because the entire campus shows the beauty and majesty of God’s creation. However, I have to say that my favorite place on campus is a twist on the classic answer of “the overlook.” There is a specific juniper tree at the overlook that I love to sit under and escape from the busyness of school or work and everything that seems to be demanding my attention, and just slow down and soak up the (hopefully) beautiful day and rest in the peace of my Father there. I can sit there and read for class or just relax, all while having a great view of Chattanooga.
Why did you choose Covenant?
I chose Covenant because I love the fine line that Covenant balances between a high academic standard in conjunction with a deep commitment to the faith. I love the vibrancy of student life and the passion to serve Christ and love others that so evidently displayed across campus.
Did you visit Covenant as a high school student? If so, how did that visit impact your decision to attend Covenant?
I felt the Lord calling me to Covenant since my freshman year of high school and loved any excuse I had to come up to the mountain—whether it was to visit friends or to come for Campus Preview Weekend or just because! I remember visiting chapel for the first time as a sophomore in high school. There was student-led worship and Pastor Joe Novenson spoke, and I had a certainty that this is where I wanted to go to college. Each time I visited the campus, I loved the classes I attended and the friendliness and energy of the campus that I did not experience on other college campuses.
How is Covenant unique?
The community of Covenant is what makes it most unique. I feel like so many colleges say that, but it’s so true, because it’s the people that you live with, work with, and study with that make your college experience full. At Covenant you are not a number nor defined by a label of some kind. You are loved and embraced as a fellow brother or sister in Christ and encouraged and challenged in your walk with Him daily. That is what makes Covenant such a special and unique place.
Describe Covenant in three words
Relational, faithful, and intentional.
What has been one of your favorite experiences at Covenant so far?
One of my favorite experiences at Covenant so far is the combination of the several snow days we had this semester. When it snows, everyone on campus is excited and probably outside all bundled up running around and screaming. I love seeing the excitement and joy as some of us are from Florida or other countries where we have never seen snow before. Some of us from the South rarely see snow, and some of us from the North or West miss the snow we are used to back home. Either way, we all took pictures of our beautiful mountain home and spent hours outside together, having campus-wide snowball fights, building snowmen and igloos, sledding, and going on hikes on the trails. Those days were full of much needed rest and a lot of fun and laughter!
What is your favorite class so far?
Teaching in a Pluralistic Society (TIPS) with Dr. Haddad
What made that class your favorite?
TIPS has been a great opportunity for me to reflect on my own cultural beliefs and to discuss racial, cultural, and identity issues in the world through a biblical lens, and particularly how it relates to education. TIPS has provided me with a Micah 6:8 model of loving mercy, living justly, and walking humbly in community with others made in the image of God from different races, cultures, disabilities, or socio-economic backgrounds than myself. It is such an important, applicable study for any person, and I think every Covenant student should take TIPS.
What makes hall life at Covenant unique?
Hall life at Covenant is unique because it is absolutely critical to the campus. Whenever you meet a new student at Covenant, one of the first questions everyone asks is “what hall are you on?” I think that this shows the importance of hall life, because a hall at Covenant is far more than somewhere that you sleep. Hall life is vibrant and multi-dimensional. It becomes a place to think of as home and what you identify with, where you can be open and vulnerable to form deep friendships, encourage one another in Christ, enjoy hall traditions, seek advice and support, and simply relax and have fun. Each hall on campus develops a unique reputation and identity, which is why answering what hall you are on can give some insight to who you are or what you like to do. It’s generalized of course, but it is usually pretty accurate!
What are some things you enjoy about your major?
I love being an elementary education major and having the close-knit community of elementary education majors. Covenant’s education department excels at providing opportunities for students to be in the classrooms throughout the entire degree program, even as early on as first semester of your freshman year in Intro to Teaching. I have really enjoyed spending time down at a school in Chattanooga this semester to give me hands-on experience to relate to what I am learning in my coursework.
What person at Covenant has had the greatest impact on you, and why?
My friendship with Kevin Hughes ’16, has been one of the most encouraging relationships I have encountered at Covenant and in life in general. On paper, Kevin and I don’t have much in common. We come from drastically different backgrounds, cultures, and races, and it often surprises people that we are so close, but Christ has given us unity in Him. Kevin has given me a clearer picture of what it means to love how Christ loves us unconditionally. He exemplifies what it means to have joy in the Lord, no matter what the circumstance, as he continually points me towards God and helps me seek Him first in all things. Through our relationship I have learned to more fully appreciate the beauty of the diversity of the Kingdom of God and the power of the unity found in Christ.
How is Covenant preparing you for life after graduation?
Covenant is preparing me for life after graduation by growing me as a whole person- academically, spiritually, and relationally. At Covenant, I’m not just learning about the “what,” but also the how and the why behind it all—living, working, and serving as a daughter of the King. I feel confident that Covenant’s education and Covenant’s community is preparing me for the easy times and the hard times that may come my way.
How is Covenant equipping you for active membership in the church?
Covenant is equipping me for active membership in the church by teaching me how to make Jesus my everything and my delight, and showing me my utter dependency on Christ alone and need for encouragement through the body of Christ. Covenant has taught me that to truly belong somewhere, you have to serve there; so to truly belong to the church, I need to serve the church and love the church as Christ did.