A WORD FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:
You’ve probably seen a few emails over the past few weeks and months about the adjustments we’ve made in light of COVID-19. I wanted to take some time to share a bit more about our plans for the Fall semester.
First of all, we are committed to providing you with a high-quality education. We take the mission of ACTS Seminaries – to educate, form and equip you for service to God in the church and in the world – seriously. As we move more of our education online, our goal is to provide the same quality of education, whether you study in the classroom or remotely. We will be hosting some virtual town halls to provide more detail about what this education will look like for the Fall semester. I would encourage you to join me at these town halls with any questions or concerns you might have.
I also want to take a moment to acknowledge that this time may be something of a shift for those of you who have been attending ACTS and now must adjust to a rather different reality. I know that this shift may be difficult, as it may not fit your expectations or previous experience as a student at ACTS. But we are here to support you as you make these adjustments. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your professors, enrolment advisors or myself. We are all here to support you academically and personally.
As we think about how to make these adjustments, I would encourage you to ask God how you might embrace this time of challenge as one of opportunity. How can this new, more-digital era enable you to be more creative? How will this time and experience better prepare you for future challenges in life and ministry?
I firmly believe that God is still actively working in the church and the world, despite COVID-19. And since we are God’s workers, called to participate in God’s work on earth, we must continue to work as well, to find new ways to do what God has called us to do.
Now for a bit about the upcoming semester.
Health and safety must remain a top priority: While many of our students are healthy and low-risk, we all must take responsibility to keep the virus from spreading. We understand the seriousness of this responsibility and are following the recommendations of the BC Provincial Health Office as we resume our activities.
With this in mind, we have made the decision to offer all classes this fall through multi-access remote-learning formats. What does that mean? It means your courses will be offered in a variety of different formats—some via live-stream at a set time and day each week; others with prerecorded lectures you can access on your own schedule. There may be some courses we can offer face-to-face on campus, but even those will include a remote-learning option for those of you who cannot attend in person for whatever reason. Our faculty have been working hard to modify their courses to fit this remote-learning format. Rest assured you will not experience three-hour Zoom lectures as a part of your courses this Fall.
While the format of class may change, the importance of ACTS as a community of learning remains. I’ve come to realize that as we are physically apart, these ongoing connections become even more important. Whether interacting through online discussion groups or in live-stream classes, our faculty will seek to create those crucial connections with you and your fellow students.
I will continue to update you via email, social media, and virtual events as the details of the Fall semester become more clear. There are still many unknowns ahead of us. But the challenge of patience is nothing new in the life of believers through history. From the Israelites wandering through the wilderness, to Paul in prison, to the many persecuted saints even in our own time, we must learn to trust even—or especially—in times of uncertainty. As I said earlier, God is still working in the church and the world. We must do the same, praying together that God’s will would be accomplished here on this earth, at this time, as it is in heaven. Grace and peace to you all as you continue to love and serve the Lord. I look forward to “seeing” you, whether virtually or in person, as you resume your studies this Fall.