Bethany Theological Seminary plans to offer face-to-face teaching and learning during the 2021-22 academic year. Beginning with the August intensive courses, teaching faculty will be in the classroom, offering courses that blend in-person and video conferencing options. This change comes after more than a year without students and faculty in the classroom together, and it marks a return to Bethany’s customary approach to teaching and learning.
Students coming to campus will be expected to be vaccinated and be ready to show proof of a Covid vaccination prior to arriving on campus.
“Our students and faculty are looking forward to being in the classroom together,” says President Jeff Carter. “The entire Bethany community has adapted to pandemic restrictions with flexibility, resilience and grace, and we have worked hard to offer an exceptional educational experience despite limitations. But now we are confident that we can safely return to in-person learning and welcome students to campus.”
Carter says that the Seminary’s Leadership Team is still discussing when and how other in-person community activities will resume — including common meals, chapels, meetings, and events open to the general public.
“The classroom is always our first priority, but we do hope to find safe ways to gather as a community. We encourage everyone to take the steps necessary to keep themselves each other healthy and safe.”
Throughout the pandemic, Bethany has made a strong commitment to the health and safety of the campus community, including partnering with Earlham College to offer an on-campus vaccination clinic, improving the HVAC system in the Bethany Center, requiring face masks, and avoiding indoor gatherings. In March 2020, Bethany swiftly shifted in-person classes, gatherings, worship services, and meetings to Zoom. Thanks in part to these protocols, there have been very few cases of Covid-19 in the Seminary community.
“I am so grateful to our students and faculty for their patience and creativity during this time of unprecedented uncertainty,” says Academic Dean Steve Schweitzer. “As we transition for our fall semester, I am glad we will be able to t each and learn together again both physically in the classroom and on the screen.”