Political scientist Jesse Covington joins Westmont’s faculty this fall as an assistant professor after completing his doctorate at the University of Notre Dame.
Covington, a Southern California native, holds master’s degrees from Notre Dame and Westminster Theological Seminary. He has taught at Wheaton College in Illinois for the past two years. At Westmont, he will focus on political theory and constitutional law.
“I hope to offer students a sense of the importance of ideas in politics and how exciting political thinking can be,” he says. “I look forward to sharing my own love of the political world and to communicating the need for Christians to carefully and intentionally explore how their faith interacts with politics.”
Covington is no stranger to Westmont: an aunt and two cousins graduated from the college. He says Westmont has set itself apart by being an academically rigorous and distinctly evangelical liberal arts college.
“I want to use the great texts of the Western and non-Western traditions to get students to think thoroughly and deliberately about politics in relation to their faith,” he says.
His current research agenda focuses on religious liberty in the political theory of John Locke. He also takes particular interest in the Supreme Court.
“This is a very interesting time for the Supreme Court,” he says. “Upholding the federal ban on partial-birth abortions really reflects the changing timbre of the Supreme Court and is telling of Justice Kennedy’s new position as the swing vote.”
Covington won the McCullough Fellowship in 2001-2004, the Philip Moore Dissertation Year Fellowship in 2004-05, the Graduate Student Union Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award in 2004, and the Outstanding Student Teacher Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004, all while at Notre Dame.
He expects several of his writings to be published later this year. Covington has several entries that will be published in Encyclopedia of the First Amendment by CQ Press and a co-authored chapter, “John Locke: Towards a Politics of Liberty,” that will be published in Freedom and the Human Person by Catholic University of America Press.
Covington and his wife, Holly, have a 4-year old girl, a 2-year old son and expect their third child in September.