Mountaintop Thoughts

The Covenant College Philosophy Club is now offering a new way for students to participate in academically rigorous dialogue through the peer-reviewed undergraduate philosophy journal, Mountaintop Thoughts, now available online.

The journal will publish articles that have been given in presentations to the Covenant College Philosophy Club, that have been emailed to the editors, or special pieces written by Covenant College alumni and faculty.

Any undergraduate students who have taken a philosophy course will be eligible to submit an article. Mountaintop Thoughts will create a place for academic philosophical discussion among students by including a comment section where students can address the topics that interest them, ask important questions, or provide helpful critique.

The journal’s editors, James Baird, a senior at Covenant College; Michael Brown, president of the Covenant’s philosophy club, and Brian Van Dyke, vice president of the philosophy club, manage the website and act as the primary peer reviewers.  They will carefully evaluate the quality of the submitted articles. In addition, they are also working with a board of advisors consisting of but not limited to Dr. Bill Davis and Dr. John Wingard, professors at Covenant College, and Hans Halvorson, professor at Princeton University.

“I had been looking at what it takes to get an article published in an academic journal, and it made me think that Covenant could really benefit from having a philosophy journal,” said Baird. “The purpose really is to do two things. It will allow students to have an outlet at Covenant where they can learn how to prepare papers for publication. But at the same time, it will be a great way for students to address and discuss really interesting topics.”

Baird and his fellow editors believe that the journal will encourage academic dialogue between students who are interested in philosophy. Baird commented, “We want people to have clear, polished essays for undergraduates to discuss. It will give some good experience preparing academic papers that other people can read, but at the same time it isn't secluded.”  

The editors invited a select group of Covenant’s alumni who majored, minored, or concentrated in philosophy to submit one of their papers to be published as Mountaintop Thoughts’ first series of articles. They hope that these first essays will “launch the journal by setting a Christian ethos of philosophical rigor and ingenuity, and will create an initial context for discussion between students.”

One of these select alumni, Benjamin Kinnebrew, who graduated in May 2014, commented, “Mountaintop Thoughts will help students take their work seriously and practice philosophy outside of the requirements in the classroom.”

Although all three current editors will graduate in 2015, Baird hopes the journal will continue after they leave. He explains, “We all want to contribute to Covenant and its philosophers, and we want that to continue after we leave. We are currently trying to collect a group of younger students as associate editors who can take over the journal when we leave.”