Explore our Student Life Offerings

Meet the Student Life Team

Mike Higgins

Dean of Students

Mike (MDiv '96, DMin '12) came to Covenant Seminary in 1992 as a student. He earned his MDiv in 1996 and served as a PCA pastor in Tennessee and Georgia before returning to the Seminary as Dean of Students in 2011. He is also a retired army chaplain (colonel) who was assigned to the Pentagon. In 2012, Mike earned his DMin from Covenant. He has been married to Renee for 33 years, has two daughters, Mary and Michelle, and two grandchildren, Moses and Mattie. He enjoys exercising, military history, and preaching.

Suzanne Bates

Associate Dean of Students

Suzanne Bates (MAC ’99) joined our Student Life team in July 2013 as associate dean of students, with a special focus on our female students. She works closely with fellow Associate Dean Mark McElmurry, whose focus is on our male students. Suzanne also serves the Seminary as adjunct professor of practical theology (counseling) and has been a full-time staff counselor at New City Fellowship in St. Louis for 11 years.

Mark Mcelmurry

Associate Dean of Students

After nearly 15 years of campus ministry, Mark (MAC '09) came to Covenant to pursue a MA in Counseling. In 2004, the Lord showed him the greatest kindness possible when the wheels fell off of his self-made life and ministry. God brought him to a place of greater understanding of the lies he'd been believing and, consequently, a place of greater freedom. This has led him to his current role of shepherding Covenant students and their families. His life passion is to help Christian leaders and their families stay in the battle for a lifetime. Mark and his wife, Tracey, have been married more than 20 years, and together they have three teenagers, Abby, Josiah, and Bridges. Mark enjoys fishing, building furniture, running, baseball, and anything he can do to get outside with his family.

Tomoko Steinbach

Office Manager & International Student Nurture Coordinator

Tomoko came to St. Louis from Japan to earn her MAC ('05) from Covenant Seminary. During her study at Covenant, she was enriched by students who came from different parts of the world. She has been working at Student Life for seven years and enjoys working with the International Student and Covenant communities. Tomoko is married to Ryan, who is currently pursuing an MDIV degree at Covenant.

Jessica Kenyon

Family Nurture Coordinator

Jessica Kenyon moved from Bentonville, Arkansas, to St. Louis in 2013 with her husband, Tyler, and their two boys, Joel (3) and Luke (1), so that Tyler could begin his MDiv at Covenant. With a background in children's ministry, Jessica has always loved working with children and their families. She is excited to continue that journey here at Covenant. In their spare time, Jessica and Tyler enjoy spending time with their boys and other family members, building community with new friends, cheering on the Cardinals and Razorbacks, reading, and exploring St. Louis.

Craig Harris

Chapel Coordinator

Craig (MDiv ‘18) moved from Washington state with his wife, Jennifer and 4 young children to attend Covenant in the summer of 2015. Prior to that Craig served for 10 years as a pastor of worship and discipleship in a few different churches in Washington. One of the richest experiences of his seminary life so far has been getting to know the stories of his classmates and experiencing the joy that comes from deep friendships. He and his family enjoy music, hiking, camping, fishing exploring new places, and gardening.

Renee Higgins

Student Life Volunteer Receptionist

Renee is a North St. Louis native who attended Harris-Stowe Teacher’s College and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Primary Education. Renee is married to Mike, our Dean of Students, and has over 30 years of experience as a pastor's and Army chaplain’s wife. As Student Life Receptionist, she helps provide direction for students coming into the office. She also keeps a lot of candy handy to keep their morale high as they deal with the rigors of seminary life.