CLASSES WILL REMAIN ONLINE FOR THE SEMESTER
Chapel, Commencement, and Library to Also Be Virtual
(Minneapolis, MN) – – – March 18, 2020 – – – Bethlehem College & Seminary announced today that all class sessions in the U.S. will be conducted online through the balance of the spring 2020 semester. “We are continuing to respond to a fast-changing set of circumstances related to the COVID-19 outbreak and are following guidance from federal, state, and local public health officials,” said President Tim Tomlinson. “We are trusting God to afford us both protection and ability to fulfill our gospel and educational missions as best we can, by means we are confident he will supply,” he added. The school has previously announced a two-week shift to online instruction after spring break, an approach that will now continue for the balance of the school year.
The school further announced that 2020 Commencement ceremonies at the main campus in Minneapolis will also be conducted online. “While it is not yet clear how long social distancing restrictions will remain in force, the uncertainty makes planning for an in-person gathering impracticable,” Tomlinson said. “We are committed to commemorating the conferring of degrees in as appropriate a manner as we are able. Indeed, for these graduates it may be the most memorable commencement any of us have experienced, just by virtue of the challenges confronting the whole world at this time,” he added. Details will soon follow.
When classes resume the week of March 23, the weekly chapel at Noon on Wednesdays will also continue virtually in the form of an abbreviated video message distributed weekly at that same hour, featuring words of hope and encouragement from members of the Bethlehem College & Seminary faculty.
The library on the main campus will maintain stated hours through Friday, March 20, 2020, but then to convert to a closed service center model in which staff will be on hand to handle requests and provide guidance in using online resources off-site, but the library building itself will be closed to patrons for what is presently assumed to be the balance of the semester. Details will be distributed to students and faculty by the librarian.
President Tomlinson calls the entire school community to earnest prayer. “May we all go before God with personal conviction of our own sin and gospel hope for the unsaved, pleading with our sovereign king that he will pour out his mercy upon our land, leading many to his glory and sparing the most physically vulnerable among us,” he stated. “We pray in expectation of his good-working in all things and in the hope that we will soon be restored to our normal patterns of educational practice and community,” Tomlinson concluded.
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