In an age of isolation, the church needs leaders who are practiced in fostering gospel community and connection
Continued care for our St. Louis campus where leaders are shaped in the context of community with professors and mentors
COMPLETING FUNDING TOWARD PILLAR 4 WILL ALLOW US TO:
- Provide endowed funding for continuing campus operations
- Commence updating and repairing campus structures, such as roads and roofs
- Ensure that students can enjoy Covenant’s campus for generations to come
PILLAR 4: The Goal
The benefit of a campus community
Theology is best understood when studied and practiced in community. Church leaders who experience for themselves the deep community of God’s people are best able to model, lead, and develop that same community life in future ministry contexts. This type of community needs a birthplace, a campus, in which it can grow as people live, learn, worship, and work together. For 60 years, we have been blessed with a campus that has fostered this value of community within our graduates and their ministries, and we now look to steward this strategic resource for the next generation of pastors, counselors, and ministry leaders.
check out our admissions video TO SEE COVENANT’S CAMPUS community IN ACTION!
A Brief History of our Campus community
In 1956 Covenant Theological Seminary was founded a few miles from the great river that divides the United States into the East and West, at just about the place where the North becomes the South and the South becomes the North. For the little school that over the next sixty years would draw students from all fifty states and many foreign countries, this strategic location near the nation’s population center was providential in creating a lasting community and training ground for Christian leaders...
1956 AND ON
When Covenant College first moved to Creve Coeur, the area was thought to be “way out in the country” by St. Louis residents. The school’s new campus, originally a private residence, comprised twenty-one acres of hilly, wooded land, with a solidly built house of concrete and steel, a log cabin, and a few small buildings and sheds.
At this time, the campus was home to both Covenant College and the newly established Covenant Theological Seminary, creating a dynamic atmosphere of collegiate energy and academic rigor.
A house for the president was soon built on the grounds, while faculty homes, which originally provided offices and classrooms for the Seminary, were put up along Conway Road. The main building, formerly the property's farmhouse, was named Edwards Hall for the generous family of key early supporters of the Seminary.
When it began, Covenant was the theological seminary for the Bible Presbyterian Church, one part of the small movement in the 1930s to preserve historic Reformed Christianity in American Presbyterianism. The roots of the Bible Presbyterian Church reached back to the first American Presbytery of 1706, and the seminary in St. Louis stood in the tradition of the first theological schools of the American Presbyterian church—the Log College at Neshaminy, Pennsylvania, and the college and seminary at Princeton. It was an audacious decision (or an act of great faith) for nine thousand Bible Presbyterians to attempt to create and support a college and a seminary.
A large two-story house on the grounds of nearby St. John’s Mercy Hospital was donated and moved down Conway Road to be remodeled and expanded as the administration building for the College and Seminary.
In this early version of the campus, it wasn’t too long before both institutions had grown too large to share one property. Thus, Covenant College relocated to Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
A separate board of trustees was established for both institutions. Now, Covenant Seminary began standing on its own.
In 1962, the Bible Presbyterian Church (Columbus Synod) changed its name to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). In 1965, the EPC united with the smaller Reformed Presbyterian Church to become the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod.
Separately, a constitutional assembly occurred in December 1973 to form what was first known as the National Presbyterian Church but changed its name in 1974 to Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
In 1982, a “joining and receiving” brought together the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod and the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). This unusual and historic church union was supported by the Covenant faculty. The PCA did not have a college and seminary of its own until 1982, when Covenant College and Covenant Seminary became part of the enlarged denomination. Covenant Seminary remains the National Seminary of the PCA, being the only seminary whose board of trustees are responsible to that denomination.
After a year-long construction effort, J. Oliver Buswell Jr. Library is dedicated.
Robert G. Rayburn Chapel, named for the Seminary’s first president, is dedicated (pictured above as it currently stands).
After three years of continued construction, forty-eight student apartments were built on campus, greatly enhancing Covenant’s commitment to maintaining a sense of community life—a feature of the Seminary that goes back to its earliest days.
Renovations and expansion of Buswell Library are completed, and the building is rededicated.
A more park-like atmosphere for the campus is realized, when campus roads were relocated to create a pleasant and beautiful pedestrian center.
By its fiftieth year, Covenant Seminary had built on its twenty-one acres in nearly every direction. Classrooms, office space, and offsite student apartments had more than doubled in the previous decade to serve a student body that had almost tripled during the same time. The sense of community at Covenant’s campus was as strong as ever.
The construction of Founder’s Hall was completed, a three-story facility with numerous faculty and administrative offices, classrooms, and a preaching chapel.
The Edwards Hall Community Center was expanded and remodeled to provide a central location for fellowship, study, and recreation to the entire Seminary community.
The campus of Covenant Theological Seminary stands as a reminder of the Lord’s abundant provision to our school and denomination. The ongoing stewardship and proper care for this gift of space and facilities is a priority for us within Pillar 4 of the Hope for the Future campaign.