As I reflect on my academic life in public school, I cannot recall one teacher who left an impression on me for the better. Sure, there were those who favored my work ethic or those who taught with more purpose than others, but honestly none have inspired me to seek after good and lasting truths. Because of this reality, I sought hard after finding a school that employed faculty members who cared about the education of their students.
When I discovered Covenant, I saw that faculty members here not only care about my educational path, but would also care about my spiritual life. Encounter after encounter with Covenant professors has reminded me that God has gifted every professor on campus with spiritual gifts, talents, and personality traits that make them more than just teachers at the front of the classroom, but mentors and spiritual leaders that deserve respect. The diversity in their stories and the diversity in their views overflow into their work, making each class different but valuable learning experiences.
Nonetheless, over the course of 50+ credit hours of faculty/student interaction, I still find myself witnessing students who don’t seem to recognize how great a faculty we have here at this institution. When I hear of the critiques given to certain professors, I am struck with a different type of awe. The almost dehumanizing and utterly disrespectful reviews of a professor or class are beyond unnecessary. We must remember that these men and women, who have sacrificially given up the excess money and prestige they could have found at a more resourceful public or more renowned private university, have come by the tug of God‘s calling and their love for Covenant. If I were to give shout-outs to every professor who has inspired, influenced, and helped me apply myself here, it would fill the pages of this newspaper.
However, I would like to acknowledge Mr. Ethan Pettit. He is in my opinion one of the most noteworthy, fascinating, thought-provoking men I have ever met. I am so grateful to have had the privilege to learn from him these past two semesters. Sophomore Ivy Ritchie described her experience with Mr. Pettit to me. “He asks the hard questions and teaches us to ask hard questions that push us to wrestle with ambiguity in our material,” Ritchie said. “He is a servant of God foremost…he knows himself and his struggles and he allows it to enter the classroom…There‘s a rhythm in his speech and his prayers are poetic. It’s beautiful!” Personally, I have realized how much his hard questions have helped mold my worldview. I also understand why I simply have to keep my eyes open, listen and try to comprehend the poetry in his prayers. I can say with full confidence that Mr. Pettit is one faculty member who has left an impression on me for the better.
So, as we are receiving emails to critique our time in classes from this semester, I beg that each of you remember why you’ve come to Covenant, remember that we are not only being taught by scholars but we are being discipled by men and women of God, and remember to give opinions in light of the way Christ taught us to love. Appreciate your professors! Learn from them; don’t cross them publicly. Finally, critique them well with only their edification in mind (1 Thessalonians 5:11-13).