On Nov. 5, Covenant Theological Seminary inaugurated a new website, the product of a year-long effort to redesign the site as a focal point for student activity.

“Our brand is trusted and well-respected, but we haven’t done a very good job of expanding it to new audiences and new contexts,” says Allison Dowlen, director of communications for Covenant. “Coming to a site which is just a lot of text doesn’t give prospective students much of a chance to really get to know us.”

Knowing that the website is the first point of contact for 75 percent of prospective students, Dowlen and her team have spent the past year redesigning the site to make it more accessible, intuitive, and engaging.

The ultimate goal is to give prospective students a taste of what they’ll really experience at Covenant — “community, friendship, and [the opportunity to] wrestle with academic content in the context of trusted relationships.”

This begins by making it easy to apply. On the website, a banner announces that “$50 + 5 minutes” will begin the application process. From there, large, appealing photos with simple headings direct visitors to meet the faculty or listen to a free lecture or even learn about happenings in and around St. Louis.

The new site brings all of Covenant’s free resources — lectures, sermons, guest interviews, and videos — together on one site. With Covenant being the first of its peer seminaries to offer free online courses, the new site will make those resources easy to find for prospective students and friends in the U.S. and around the world. Dowlen qualifies that the seminary is not trying to take the place of groups like Third Millennium Ministries: “We’re not trying to become anything other than Covenant, but since so much good content is coming out of our school, we want to offer it to others.”

Other interesting sections of the site include a landing page for The Thistle (a webzine for alumni and friends); a portal to discover churches, houses, shops, and activities in St. Louis; and a photo album of current faculty.

Overall, Dowlen explains, “we’re redefining how people interact with higher education.”

Visit CTS at www.covenantseminary.edu.