In a fallen world in which physical pain and suffering are everyday realities for many, the healing professions provide an avenue of faithful service in the name of the Healer and Redeemer of all things. Covenant provides those called to medicine with essential groundwork for the heart and mind.
Covenant's curriculum as a whole is designed to challenge students to develop a biblically grounded framework for thought and action so that they might faithfully understand and pursue God's callings in every aspect of life. Demanding courses in a student's major discipline are thus combined with an extensive set of core requirements that provide breadth beyond the chosen major and a rich context for studies in the major. Students who take full advantage of a Covenant education will emerge from their studies energized and equipped to pursue fruitful and faithful callings before God. They will be equipped with the boldness that comes from the realization of a firmly grounded biblical faith and with a humility that is fitting for fallen creatures redeemed by grace to work out redemption in a fallen world. They will be energized by an enlarged vision of the reach of Christ's rule into all aspects of life and by a confidence rooted in the power and promises of God to work in and through individual believers as He accomplishes His purposes in the world in Christ.
Medical schools are seeking students who are much more than narrowly trained technicians. They are looking for service-minded individuals of integrity, who are well developed as whole persons and well informed about the world at large. They want to recruit students who are able to think critically and systematically, who have human relational skills and are well prepared in the foundational aspects of the biological and physical sciences. Covenant's emphases on theological and spiritual development, on the liberal arts, and on challenging coursework make Covenant an ideal environment for pre-medical education.
Although a science major is not a pre-medical requirement, most pre-medical students major in a scientific discipline. Covenant offers rigorous majors in each of the disciplines in which medical schools specify course prerequisites in the sciences. The faculty members in the sciences have extensive research and teaching experience in their disciplines. They are theologically committed to the principle that scientific study is not to be seen as an impediment to the faith or as a substitute for faith or as an area of human activity isolated from faith. Science is never a neutral enterprise and they believe that the science one does reflects in various ways the underlying worldview commitments of the scientist and his or her cultural context. For Christians, scientific study should emerge naturally from our commitment to the Creator/Redeemer Lord and our faith in Him should be integral to our work in the sciences.
Students interested in the pre-med program at Covenant have the freedom to major in any field in which they are interested, while taking courses that fulfill medical school prerequisites. These courses include:
- General Biology I & II
- General Chemistry I & II
- Organic Chemistry I & II
- Physics I & II
- General Psychology
- Principles of Sociology
From shadowing to internships, self-directed practica are encouraged and facilitated by students and their faculty advisors. Experience in the medical field is an essential part of a student’s decision to continue in a career in medicine.
Recent Senior Capstone Projects
- “Effects of Match Sibling versus Match Unrelated Donation in the treatment of pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia”
- “Analysis of Etiologies and Neurological Irregularities Identified in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder”
- “A Novel Anti-Cancer Therapeutic: Targeted Alpha Therapy and the Contribution of Actinium-225”
- “Pediatric Solid Tumors and the Genetic Engineering of Chimeric Antigen T-Cell Receptors”
- “Preliminary Research of Novel Compounds as Possible Radiation Enhancers in p53 Mutated Head and Neck Cancer Cells”
Alumni have furthered their careers in medicine through graduate work around the country. Some of the schools to which our alumni have been accepted include:
- University of Illinois at Chicago
- Stanford University College of Medicine
- James Madison University
- Vanderbilt University College of Medicine
- University of South Alabama College of Medicine
- Mercer University School of Medicine
- Loma Linda University School of Medicine
- Wake Forest University School of Medicine
- Georgia Health Sciences University
- California College of Podiatric Medicine
- Georgetown University College of Medicine
- New York Chiropractic College
- Washington University
Current Biology Department Molecular and Cellular Biology Research
The completion of the Human Genome Project more than 17 years ago initiated genomics as a discipline in its own right. The automation and infrastructure developed for the HGP has been improved and expanded so that thousands of genomes have been sequenced and the information made publically available. Bioinformatic technology has progressed in step and powerful tools for genomic analysis are publically available. One interesting feature of the burgeoning field of genomics is the discovery of ”orphan” or “taxonomically restricted” genes, that is genes that appear to be unique to a species or closely related taxonomic group. The consistent observation that 5-15% of genes in each genome are not easily assigned to known gene families has been a bit of an unexpected finding, given evolutionary expectations of the genetics of common ancestry and the presumed rarity of de novo gene origination. The origination and function of these apparent taxonomically restricted genes has generated much interest. The 1 Gb genome of the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea was recently sequenced and assembled and early reports indicate that there may be up to 750-1000 taxonomically restricted genes in this genome. Students and faculty in Covenant’s pre-med department are using a feeding-based RNA interference gene knockdown strategy followed by straightforward developmental, regenerational and behavioral studies to investigate possible functions of taxonomically restricted genes in Schmidtea mediterranea.