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Student Life

Living in Community at Covenant Seminary

Counseling Services
Counseling Department, Buswell Library
Anyone in St. Louis, with priority given to Covenant students

Confidential, free counseling is available for anyone in St. Louis throughout the year (interns are available June through May, and a client stays with the same intern during the academic year). This service is provided by MAC students who are in the internship portion of their degree program and are supervised by members of the counseling faculty and other counseling professionals. Free counseling is available for individuals, couples and adolescents 5 and older. All counseling takes place in the Counseling Department on the second floor of Buswell Library. If you are interested in this service, please call the Counseling Department at 314.392-4208.

Mark McElmurry, associate dean of students, is also available to meet with students and spouses of students throughout their time in Seminary to provide personal counseling or to discuss options and provide referrals for local counseling services. Some scholarships for counseling services outside of the free counseling provided by Covenant Seminary students in the MAC program are available. To apply for a scholarship, please fill out this Student Counseling Funding Application and submit it to Mark McElmurry.

Explore our Student Life Offerings

Family Nurture Program
Special Events for Men & Women



meet the student life team

Mike Higgins - Dean of Students
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 an army chaplain 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.

Mark McElmurry - Associate Dean of Students
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.

Suzanne Bates - Associate Dean of Students
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.

Tomoko Steinbach - Office Manager & International Student Nurture Coordinator
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.

Renee Higgins - Student Life Volunteer Receptionist
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 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.

Jessica Kenyon - Family Nurture Coordinator
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.