Student Profile: Jack Roylston '16
Residence Hall and Floor
Carter, Second South
Favorite place on campus
My favorite place on campus is either: my hall, Second South in Carter Hall, or the Great Hall. Covenant offers one of the most unique on-campus living experiences that any academic institution can provide. The hall that you live on is where you meet your best friends, enjoy the heartiest laughter, have your deepest conversations, form your best memories, and worship God with those men or women who you have the privilege to do life with while at Covenant. God has used the men of Second South in the most dramatic ways to draw me closer to himself in worship. The Great Hall is special because it is the one place where all students are gathered and can enjoy company together in community while enjoying the gracious gift of food around the table together. Whether you’re studying, eating, conversing with peers and professors, or seeing a flash mob, the Great Hall never ceases to be a superb illustration of the special community that Covenant offers.
Honors received at Covenant
Why did you choose Covenant?
Coming out of high school, I was interested in attending a Christian college where I would be challenged to love and follow Jesus more deeply through the community that the institution had to offer, while also studying theology in an academically rigorous environment. I visited Covenant for the first time in the fall of my senior year of high school, and was warmly welcomed by the students and professors that I met. After meeting students and professors, attending classes, experiencing the deep community, and worshiping in chapel, I was sold on attending Covenant College.
How is Covenant unique?
Covenant offers a unique blend of scholastic excellence and rigor with the pursuit of Christ’s preeminence in all things that is unlike any other university experience. Covenant offers its students a place where they can wrestle with difficult academics while being surrounded by a Christ-centered community that is fully committed to the glory of Jesus in the world.
What has been your favorite experience at Covenant?
My favorite experience at Covenant has been serving as a discipleship coordinator and orientation team leader my sophomore year. I was stretched in so many ways by serving in these positions. God taught me what it means to rest in his grace and his peace and to cling with all I’ve got to the good news of the gospel. My interactions with my peers through serving the men on Second South and my orientation team showed me God’s great love for his people and his continual faithfulness to us. How blessed I was to be ministered to by these students! I am so thankful for all of them, for their love, friendship, and grace. Serving in these capacities are two things that have left indelible memories on my time at Covenant.
What is your favorite class so far?
That is a very hard question. I will have to go with Doctrine 1 with Dr. Kapic.
What made that class your favorite?
Serving as an introduction to Reformed theology, this class challenged my preconceived distinction between life and theology. Dr. Kapic graciously and passionately showed his students that life and theology are intimately related, and that to do good theology is to live a life fully devoted to Christ and his Kingdom. I would also like to mention that Cultural Heritage of the West 1 with Dr. Davis comes in a very close second place. Both of these professors changed the way I think about the gospel and the world, and how a Christian thoughtfully lives a life worthy of the former in the midst of the latter.
What are some things you enjoy about your major(s)?
A wonderful aspect about majoring in two disciplines is seeing how each affects the way you think about and approach the other. My study of philosophy has greatly impacted the way I think, read, and write about theology, and studying theology has taught me how to appreciate the many nuances involved when reading various philosophers. The two complement each other well, and both have called me to live out the gospel in all areas of my life. I am very grateful to all of the faculty members in the biblical & theological studies and philosophy departments for their continual encouragement, grace, wisdom, and passion for their respective disciplines, their students, and ultimately for Jesus. All of these men have played huge roles in the lives of many students and how they study academics.
What person at Covenant has had the greatest impact on you, and why?
The students, faculty, and staff here are absolutely incredible. They love Jesus, love people, and love living out their callings at Covenant and in the Church. I am deeply indebted to the countless peers of mine who have loved me and encouraged me in the gospel, to the many professors who have taught me to tenaciously pursue my calling while seeking the Kingdom and Christ’s righteousness, and to the dozens of staff members who have shown me what it means to love through service. But the one person that has had the greatest impact on me has been Covenant’s RUF campus minister, Ron Brown. Ron loves students so well, and he deeply desires that they know Jesus and his love, and that they are equipped to serve in his Church and in the world. Ron has been so much more than a teacher and mentor, though he has been those things to the utmost. Ron has proven to be a dear friend that has already, after two years, left an indelible mark on my life by his love for Christ and his grace and encouragement to me. He is truly inspiring.
What’s your favorite part of the day at Covenant?
My favorite part of the day at Covenant is in the evening when the halls are populated again with students after long days of classes, studying, intramurals, and meetings, and the students on the halls have time to relax with each other and to have conversation. These are the times that relationships are built and made to last, where prayers are lifted up, and students can rest from heavy work during the day. This is the time that I most am most thankful for Covenant, its professors, academics, students, and mission, for I feel that this is the time that Covenant sets itself apart as a place where an academically-driven, Jesus-focused community lives and thrives.
What are your post-graduation plans?
Lord willing, once I graduate from Covenant, I will move on to pursue a Master of Divinity in a Reformed seminary, and then chase my calling to preach the gospel, plant churches, and train leaders as a missionary in another country. For now though, I am learning how to trust Jesus and pick up my cross daily and follow him while being a college student.
How is Covenant equipping you for the future?
Covenant has taught me how to approach the world as a Christian, meaning how to look at this fallen world through the redeeming lens of the gospel and how to seek to be a faithful steward of the gifts that God has given to me and to live out my calling to bring glory to his Kingdom. That is the crucial thing that has now shaped the way I live my life, to know that God, in his gracious providence, calls his people to various different callings to ultimately pursue the highest and greatest calling: to know God, to believe in his Son, and to receive his Holy Spirit, and to one day enter his glorious rest after faithfully following and loving him as his ambassador in this life. Covenant is teaching me what it means to worship wherever I am in life, and that is a gift of the Holy Spirit given to me through the people of this institution.