At Covenant, students in every discipline dedicate a portion of their senior year to integrating their faith and scholarship in a senior project or thesis focused on an area, idea, or venture they are passionate about. Every year, we highlight senior integration projects (SIPs) that have been recommended by faculty and that provide a cross section of the work being done
across the disciplines.
Earth & Heaven
Charcoal and colored thread on tapestry
Carrie Mixon ’16 | Art
In what places have you stood, run, or knelt that caused you to grieve over the brokenness of our earth, yet swell with anticipation for something more? This question concerns me deeply. All people are located people, physically dependent on and linked to places—that is why displacement is so shattering. We want to be wholly connected, both physically and spiritually; we want a place to know, a place to call our own. This is a deep longing and God intends it to be present in our lives. He makes this clear in history and Scripture by His acts of creation and incarnation, and by His promise of the coming Kingdom.
“Earth & Heaven” is a project that practices the hope we have. Together with many family and friends, I collected images of important places that encourage me as I long for God’s Kingdom to come. Using charcoal and colored thread, I drew and embroidered two tapestry panels with images and words. I invited visitors to walk between and around them—to experience both the front and tangled back of the panels—and join me in longing and expectation for the day when heaven will come to earth and all things—spiritual, physical, and relational—will be restored.
New Expectations: Stories in Life in Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler
Jonathan Moore ’16 | English
My interest in post-structuralist literary theory began during my sophomore year in Dr. William Tate’s mind-exploding class, “Modern Literary Criticism” (since renamed “Critical Theory”). Two years later, I discovered Italo Calvino’s novel If on a winter’s night a traveler while doing a library research exercise for SIP Research class. I decided to write on this postmodern novel as my SIP.
Ultimately, I explored the theme of reading in the novel, and argued that Calvino’s playful interaction with the theme indicates both a love for reading and a reorientation of it within a post-structuralist framework. Reading, for Calvino, is about “middleness,” an anthropological category that describes the human condition of yearning for a story that explains the world, yet never finding such a metanarrative.
The tricky thing about interacting with this novel as a Christian is that I believe in a metanarrative, unlike Calvino, who despairs of one. However, as a Christian I also believe in the good news of “middleness,” that we are unable to escape our contextualized and encultured position, but are actually in the happy state of creaturely dependence on a benevolent Creator. If Covenant has taught me nothing else, it is that life is both/and, and thus I am able to appreciate Calvino’s insistence on subjectivity—how hard it is to make sense of life—while yet hoping in the metanarrative revealed in Christ.
A Christian View of Fandom
Katie Tingle ’16 | Sport Administration
Sports have a way of creeping into everyday life and holding influence in areas that often go unnoticed. How an individual responds to these influences may determine many other aspects of their livelihood. Athletics can be a vivid example and demonstration of God’s attributes and gifts, or they can model other attributes that are characteristic of the fallen world that surrounds them. Whether someone is competing as an athlete or participating as a fan, these glimpses of God’s character or worldly influence are observable. My hope is to raise awareness and offer biblical support for Christians to return to as they participate in athletics.
In my SIP, I researched and reported on only three of the many issues of conflict for the Christian fan in the modern sports arena: violence, idolatry, and gambling. Each of these topics is prominent in the world of sport today and have been either mishandled or ignored by both Christian and secular fans alike. I have learned that while athletics can portray the beautiful image of God, they are subject to a fallen world and therefore require Christians to exert extra effort to be the hands and feet of Christ.
The Southern Lady Goes to College: Wesleyan Female College and the Fight for Women’s Education in the Antebellum South
Megan Walter ’16 | History
In 1836, Wesleyan Female College became the first chartered women’s college in the United States. Contrary to what one might expect, the pride of founding a pioneering institution for women belongs to the citizens of Macon, Georgia, a town on the southern frontier. There are many factors that seem to make Macon an unlikely place for founding an institution like Wesleyan, but one that stands out in particular is the deeply ingrained ideal of the Southern Lady.
To examine the seeming tension between Wesleyan’s goal of offering women a rigorous education and the reigning ideal of the Southern Lady, I drove to Macon and spent hours sorting through boxes full of documents from Wesleyan in the mid-1800s. What I found after examining the vision and values of Wesleyan’s founders, the first decade of Wesleyan’s curriculum and codes of conduct, community response to the college, and commencement addresses, was an effort to redefine the Southern Lady in terms of evangelical Christian values. Wesleyan’s leaders and advocates proposed education as a necessary means to cultivate the mind and heart of a lady for her intellectual enjoyment and essential domestic duties.
Throughout the process of research, analysis, and writing, I was challenged to resist simplistic conclusions and the tendency to make the historical figures fit into boxes of my own creation. In the end, I hope to have extended a critical but charitable interpretation of my “neighbors” of the past.