The Covenant College Summer Institute offers one-week residential programs for motivated high school students to earn college credit. These courses are hosted on Covenant College’s campus and taught by Covenant College professors. Admission is competitive, and rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors are encouraged to apply. The Summer Institute will be held July 20-24, 2020

In addition to earning college credit, participating in the Summer Institute will give you a taste of a Covenant College education. Mornings will be filled with rigorous and engaging academic instruction by Covenant faculty. Afternoons will build on the morning’s instruction with studying, group work, or research in the library with the support of current Covenant College students serving as teaching assistants.

After dinner in the Great Hall, you will have opportunities to experience different aspects of residence life at Covenant through a variety of planned activities.

The entire Summer Institute experience - from the classroom to the residence hall - is grounded in Scriptural principles, reminding and challenging students to live out the reality of Christ’s preeminence in all things.

Students have the option of studying one of the courses listed below, each taught by Covenant professors. Each class will be made up of no more than ten students.

The Art of Place | Prof. Jeff Morton

The subject of place is not a neutral one. Whether we recognize it or not, we all come from somewhere and are presently in a place. In this experiential class we will explore the subject in an art studio context informed by social and critical theory, and theological and Christian thinking about place.

While walking the campus of Covenant College, making maps and notational drawing, and through the act of photography and journaling, we will ask the simple question: where do we belong?

The Language of Nature: How Do Plants & Animals Communicate? | Dr. Heath Garris

Have you ever walked in the forest and thought it was unbearably quiet, but with some stillness you noticed a chorus of bird and insect songs? To us these sounds are foreign. (Some are convinced they are beautiful, others not so much.) To the creatures that produce them, they represent a necessary component of daily life. In fact, much of what we see and hear in nature is masterfully effective communication; we just aren’t the intended recipients.

This course is a survey of plant and animal communication, with an emphasis on field-based methods and foundations in scientific inquiry. Students will gain experience in interpreting and identifying communication from plants, birds, bats, and insects and form a basis for understanding the multi-modality of communication in nature.

The Nature of Language: Who talks funny? | Dr. Nola Hecker

No two people speak in exactly the same way. There are differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, word meaning, grammar rules, and more. In fact, not only do different people speak differently, but even individual people change the way they speak in different contexts. This course focuses on the social aspects of language variation and analyzes how we use language to help express our identities and interpret the identities of others. Throughout the course, we will pay special attention to the ways that language intersects with a variety of social categories like gender, ethnicity, age, socio-economic status, and religion.

Knowing Our Own Minds | Dr. Carole Yue

Our conscious and unconscious beliefs about how our minds work drive many of our behaviors. For example, our ideas about memory influence how we study, interpret eyewitness testimony, and even how we argue. However, many of our beliefs are inaccurate and can cause us to make bad decisions or miscommunicate without even realizing it.

This course will consider some of our basic beliefs about how our minds work and how we can use psychological science to improve our understanding of ourselves and the people around us.

Application Process

Admission to the Summer Institute is competitive, and rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in high school with a weighted GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible.

There are four steps to apply for admission:

1. Submit a completed application.

2. Submit a 200-250 word essay to explain why you are interested in participating in Covenant College’s Summer Institute. Please describe how your interest in the subject matter of your preferred course has been shaped by your family, church, and/or broader community.

3. Submit a current high school transcript.

4. Pay a $15 application fee. Make checks payable to Covenant College with the student’s name and “Summer Institute” in the memo line.

Applicants may submit application materials by email to, by fax to 706-820-0893, or by mail to Covenant College Summer Institute, 14049 Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain, Georgia 30750. Please complete all four steps of the application process by April 8, 2020.