Bethany Theological Seminary has announced a plan for a phased reopening its campus in preparation for the fall semester.
President Jeff Carter noted that the plans are based on guidance from the federal, state, and local governments, and that they prioritize the health and safety of the extended Bethany community while emphasizing the educational needs of students. Using the mission as a guide, Seminary leadership are placing the first priority on classroom and educational activities with campus community activities and support activities given second and third priority.
Following is a summary of the reopening timeline:
Phase 1 (current phase): only essential staff (finance, maintenance, and custodial) are working on site, and only for limited periods of time. Other staff working almost exclusively from home. The Bethany Center is closed to students and visitors.
Phase 2 (beginning July 15): in addition to essential staff listed above, employees with direct student responsibilities will begin working from Bethany Center, with rotating schedules and other measures to limit of exposure to the coronavirus.
Phase 3 (beginning of the fall semester): classes will be offered on campus with students in the classroom. Most employees will continue spend a large portion of their working time at home. The seminary will put measures in place to allow for proper social distancing, limit the number of people in the building, and require self-screening, hand washing, mask wearing, and other measures to protect the health and safety of students and employees.
“We are asking all in our community to commit to ‘Golden Rule Practices’ in order to keep one another healthy and safe,” says Carter. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Bethany community has shown a remarkable ability to show care for one another and to adapt to unusual circumstances. I am confident that whatever else happens, we will continue to provide an excellent education to our students and that we will remain a close knit and mutually supportive community.”
Bethany plans to communicate about these plans in more detail in the coming weeks.