Student Profile: Avery Patz '22
Where do you call home?
Why did you choose Covenant?
I was immediately wowed by the campus, but the students and professors were what sold me. I wanted a vibrant community that is committed to becoming more like Christ and having a good time doing it, and I saw that here. Throw in professors who care personally about you and a 15-minute drive to downtown Chattanooga and Covenant was a complete win.
What aspect of Covenant do you like the best?
I love hall life here! I’ve stayed on one hall (Harambe!, woot woot) for three years so far and have loved doing life with these ladies. Late night shenanigans, dance parties, prayer and praise, and outdoor study sessions are frequent, and these girls are the absolute best company for it!
Which professor(s) has most impacted your thinking, and how?
Dr. Fikkert and Mr. C changed my life in Theory of Community Development. They patiently guided me to a deeper understanding of how the Fall affects every part of life, challenging me along the way to ask the Lord how He has called me to work towards justice and shalom. It’s my favorite class I’ve taken to date, and their professional work has transformed the way I think about myself and the materially poor.
What do you most enjoy about your major?
Community development wasn’t on my radar until orientation week, but I am so grateful for the program. My favorite classes and professors are involved in the major; not only am I having a good time learning (and even doing homework, can you imagine?), but it’s also practical knowledge that I can apply both now and in whatever career the Lord calls me to.
What do you hope to pursue after graduation?
I want to do something with U.S. economic development, but I’m not exactly sure what that looks like for me.
How is Covenant preparing you for success in your calling?
Covenant is equipping me with the critical thinking skills I need to generally succeed in and make sense of life. The classes I’m taking are directly relevant to my career options and are truly engaging. Covenant’s curriculum is rigorous and the expectations are high, but I feel well-prepared to enter the workforce.
How is Covenant equipping you for active membership in the church?
Academically, doctrine classes have been super helpful; we are encouraged to wrestle with tough questions about our personal and denominational theology, and we’re supported by incredibly wise professors as we do so. Covenant places great emphasis on involvement with the local church while recognizing she isn’t perfect. There is immense grace here and space to lament the way individuals and groups have been wronged by the church while still acknowledging that she is Christ’s bride with a purpose for God’s glory and our good.
In what ways does Covenant foster spiritual growth?
Residence life is a huge part of spiritual growth--our RA’s are equipped and supported by RDs and res life staff to be spiritual leaders on the hall, and to identify others to come alongside them in discipling people on the hall. Chapel (though sometimes a little tedious) is generally engaging and challenging; I especially enjoy hearing from off-campus speakers, all of whom are beyond qualified to teach and encourage us in our faith. My professors have also been a great source of spiritual wisdom from me; I’ve taken hard questions to them and prayed with them and experienced their humility as they seek to answer my questions.
Name one or two people in the Covenant community that have most impacted you and explain how they’ve shaped you.
Oh my goodness, my RA for the past two years, Maddie Taylor, has so deeply impacted me relationally and spiritually. She daily gives me a better picture of what it looks like to love selflessly and as whole people. She effortlessly sets people at ease and ensures everyone feels welcomed and wanted. And also she’s just a hoot and a half and a joy to be around.
What’s your favorite way to spend free time on and/or off campus?
I love pulling out a picnic blanket or hammock and finding a shady spot on campus to read or hang out with my friends. Downtown Chattanooga is absolutely beautiful and worth exploring, and the hang gliding spot just ten minutes away is a breathtaking spot to watch the sunset!