“The community that you build in a seminary setting has wide-reaching effects. It cultivates love for God that shapes effective leaders for Christ’s church.”

These words of Dr. Bryan Chapell, president of Covenant Theological Seminary, underscore the importance of a deep and vibrant community life to the spiritual and ministerial development of future pastors and their families. Strengthening that life has been the underlying principle of the 2011 Women In the Church Love Gift campaign, “Shaping a Community of Grace.”

To date, the campaign has raised nearly $32,000 to support much-needed renovations and upgrades to two of Covenant Seminary’s key community spaces: Rayburn Chapel and Edwards Community Center.

As John Ranheim, senior director of development for the seminary, notes, “The WIC campaign has been a wonderful catalyst for us — seed money, if you will — that has enabled us to raise more than $1 million from other gifts and pledges that will also go toward these important renovations. These in turn will help us further enhance the community life that is such a distinctive part of the Covenant Seminary experience.”

“This campaign is about more than just the physical upgrades to two campus spaces,” says seminary President Dr. Bryan Chapell. “It’s about building even stronger bonds between the students, faculty, and staff as we seek to live, learn, and grow together in Christ. Students who experience the living out of the gospel in such an environment will make better pastors and leaders, and be better able to minister that same gospel to people in their churches and communities.”

Current students Josh and Kim Hammans agree: “Our time at Covenant Seminary has been life changing. We are being reshaped into people who are more honest, more godly, and more willing to walk through pain and suffering with others. We are so thankful for this school and for all the donations that make it possible for us to be here and to be growing in this way.”

The Love Gift was presented to the seminary at WIC’s 2012 Women’s Leadership Conference in Atlanta last month.

For more information about Covenant Seminary visit covenantseminary.edu.