MARCH, 20 2020 UPDATE: NY CAMPUS ONLY
We have been updated from NY Governor Cuomo at 11am this morning March 20th that all businesses are to have 100% of non-essential employees work from home. Due to this new update we are going to postpone students coming to campus to pick up their belongings because there is no staff to oversee the process. We will make sure that all doors will be locked to protect any belongings that are on campus. Our security team will be in place monitoring all buildings as well to make sure everything will remain safe. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we seek to honor our state governing officials and their regulations placed upon us. This executive order from Governor Cuomo is in place indefinitely and we will update you when those changes come.
MARCH 19, 2020
Dear Student and Parents,
We wanted to provide you an important update and decision concerning the Word of Life Bible Institute programs in New York and Florida. Each day our Crisis Management Team has been monitoring the rapid developments with COVID-19 and provided Senior Leadership with daily briefings. In New York, Governor Cuomo has instituted several executive orders which impair our ability to serve students on campus with excellence. Some of these include occupancy restrictions and 75% of on-campus staff needing to work remotely. In Florida, the Department of Education and Gov. DeSantis has strongly recommended that we close the Bible Institute for the rest of the semester.
In response to all these external factors, we have made the decision to shift completely to remote instruction at both New York and Florida campuses. Students should not plan on returning to the NY or FL campus. With remote instruction, you will still have the same world class adjunct and residential professors teaching God’s Word! We are resolved in our commitment to have every student and staff member connected in relationship. “Connected” has been our theme, and we are dedicated to staying connected to you in this process of remote instruction. Below, you will find important details concerning the major areas of our program as we move forward with remote education.
Considering these changes, we anticipate a high volume of inquiries relating to academics. So that we can respond to your needs as quickly as possible, please direct all New York academic-related items to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and all Florida academic-related items to: email@example.com.
In response to the decision to cancel on-campus classes and activities for the remainder of the spring semester, the Academic Department has devised the following action plan:
- Videos of the scheduled classes will be posted on Canvas. Students are expected to carefully view the entirety of all class videos (Resident and Guest Lecturer) that are posted to Canvas. They are expected to be viewed at normal speed.
- Guest Lecturer courses will be uploaded in sections (for example – all 10 hours of Hebrews will be uploaded at once). However, we will not upload all courses at the same time to avoid confusion and to prevent students from becoming overwhelmed.
- Resident Lecturer classes will be uploaded as they are recorded.
- Students will be expected to complete class video reports (similar to a reading report) at the time of the class exams for Guest Lecturer courses. Viewing reports for Resident Lecturer courses will be determined at the discretion of the Resident Lecturer. Please regularly consult Canvas announcements for specifics.
NY Freshmen Courses include:
- New Testament Survey
- Systematic Theology (which includes sections of Ecclesiology and Eschatology taught by Dr. Jeffrey and Professor Stroutrespectively)
- Hermeneutics 1
NY Sophomore Courses include:
- Principles of Bible Teaching
- Hermeneutics 2
- Missions Reality
- Christian Marriage
- Counseling Youth
- Personal Finances
- Biblical Manhood / Biblical Womanhood
- 1, 2, 3 John
FL Freshmen Courses include:
- New Testament Survey
- Systematic Theology (which includes sections of Ecclesiology, Pneumatology, and Eschatology taught by guest lecturers)
- Hermeneutics 1
Assignments and Testing
- All assignments will be submitted via Canvas.
- Please pay close attention to all announcements as changes may be made to existing assignments in order to accommodate new circumstances.
- All class videos must be viewed prior to the scheduled final exam for each course.
- Regularly check your Canvas calendar to see what tests and assignments are approaching and the deadlines for completing them.
- Testing will be done through Canvas and will be on the honor system. We expect students not to consult class notes, internet sources, the Bible, or any other helps unless the test specifically states otherwise. An integrity question will be included in each exam.
- Tests will have time limits. If a student requires additional time due to a learning disability, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (NY), email@example.com (FL) for special permission and arrangements.
- Canvas announcements will be posted when specific courses are made available. Students are expected to check Canvas and their student emails at least four times a week, in accordance with what is normally required of WOLBI students.
- In lieu of not having classes in person, certain changes may be made to facilitate student interaction with the class material and with each other. Students should check individual courses in Canvas for specifics.
- All due dates will be laid out in the individual courses on Canvas. Students will be expected to complete assignments on time according to the prescribed dates.
Israel Study Tour
- Given the current climate of global uncertainty, the Israel Tour in its current configuration is regrettably cancelled and we are actively pursuing the most generous reimbursement possible for all trip participants beyond the published minimum. The precise amount will be communicated as soon as all details are known. If circumstances permit a trip in late May (May 22 – June 3), all current trip participants will be advised immediately and given the opportunity to register. The price of a new trip may vary.
- The Bible Geography and Backgrounds elective has also regrettably been cancelled. Enrolled students will receive a full tuition refund for this course.
Technical Problems with Canvas or Student Emails
- If students have technical support needs, first refer to the technology quick-start guide here: https://studentportal.wol.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/BIStudent-TechnologyHandout2019-08.pdf
- If you need help with Logos Bible software, you may contact Logos support directly at https://logos.com
- In all other cases if you need technical support you can contact the WOL IT helpdesk here: https://ithelpdesk.wol.org/support/solutions or contact the IT helpdesk during normal business hours (8 AM-5 PM EST) at (518) 494-6265.
While we are disappointed that we won’t be able to minister alongside you all this spring, we do want to emphasize that at this point we are praying and planning for Summer Ministry to still happen on both campuses. In Florida, unit leaders will need to plan to return to campus on May 26th, supervisors on May 29th, and counselors on May 30th. In New York, unit leaders will report on June 8th and all other students on June 9th. We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed but we want you to join us in praying that we are able to minister to the thousands of campers this summer. We look forward to having you serve with us as planned!
For our New York students, we do have to cancel our Open-Air Evangelism and Missions Reality trips. While this is not the action we wanted to take, we know God is in control and are doing our best to make decisions that put the health and safety of our students first. For those who have raised support we will send more details in the near future, but there will be opportunities to transfer those funds to a future Missions trip with Word of Life, or to apply those funds to your summer ministry and receive a weekly stipend while you serve at camp.
All other spring ministry trips and events will be cancelled as we move into our new remote instruction format for the Spring Semester.
We will be reaching out soon with some new opportunities to complete spring ministry from your homes. Expect these to include tools and resources to minister to various communities online, as well as resources to minister to family and friends in your immediate area. We know that many of you are already finding creative ways to do this as we’ve seen you using social media to encourage and connect online. We are excited to see what God will do with these new ministry opportunities throughout the spring semester.
New York chapels will be live streamed through the Word of Life Bible Institute Facebook page. We are planning an exciting Chancellor’s Chapel for you each week. Student Body Chapels will be live streamed at 12:00 pm every Friday. Students are encouraged to join live. If you are unable to watch live, we will post all chapels (Chancellor’s and Student Body) in the Christian Disciplines course on Canvas. Students will be expected to submit at two-paragraph response on what was taught during chapel on Canvas. Responses will be due before the end of the week the chapel is posted. More specific details will come through Canvas in the coming days.
In Florida, our goal is to live stream chapels weekly to our Facebook page as well. We will attempt to do these at the same times as current chapels and will send out a schedule as soon as we have it in place. These chapels will also be posted to the class videos portal online at a later time. Students will be encouraged to take notes and to post a response to the Christian Disciplines course page on Canvas. Instructions on how to do this will follow in the days ahead.
Leadership Training Elective in NY and FL
The Student Leadership elective syllabus will be modified in the days ahead to reflect a remote learning model. If you are a Resident Assistant or Student Experience Program (Service Resident Assistant in FL), please look for an announcement on the Student Leadership Elective for the modifications in the days ahead.
Discipleship From A Distance
The plan for discipleship is to create an atmosphere of biblical community and spiritual growth. We want to continue to be a blessing and an advocate for students from a distance. The Student Life Department on both campuses will still be available for counsel and encouragement. Please reach out at any time to the dean’s staff. All the deans emails are below. We are strongly encouraging the Word of Life staff members who disciple students to reach out and continue meeting with students remotely through the many avenues available. We will be encouraging our Resident Assistants to reach out weekly to their former suite mates in effort to continue accountability and encouragement on the student level.
International students have the option of staying in the United States with family/friends or going back to their home country during this period of remote instruction until the start of summer camp. Please coordinate your travel plans with Audrey Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org) in NY and Kinga Vickery (email@example.com) in FL. Additionally, Audrey and Kinga will keep you informed about your F-1 student visa during this time. We know this will be a very challenging time for our International Students – we are here to serve and provide solutions.
Pick-up of Student Belongings
We will be coming out shortly with some further guidance on how you can retrieve your belongings from your specific resident halls and dorms. We will do our best to serve you in this process as many of our students are scattered around the country and world. This will include pick up, shipping of essentials, and temporary storage.
Business Office/Financial Aid
We are very aware of the likely financial hardships you are facing as a result of COVID-19. These are trying times for many and we want to assure you of our commitment to you. We are offering creative ways for you to complete the Academic Program with the Word of Life Bible Institute via remote instruction. As a result, room and board charges will be handled in the following ways:
For all currently enrolled students, Word of Life Bible Institute will prorate the Room and Board charge for the weeks that students will not be receiving on-campus instruction. The credit will first apply towards the student’s current balance. If an additional credit balance occurs, students will have the opportunity to use that credit towards their next academic year. We will be preparing and releasing new billing statements within the next two weeks to provide clarity for each student’s current financial standing with Word of Life. Included with that billing statement will be instructions for applying a credit balance to the next academic year.
We are not currently anticipating changes to Federal Student Aid, but we are continuing to monitor guidance from the Department of Education. Any student requesting to withdraw will follow our standard institutional withdrawal policy for tuition, fees, and scholarships in addition to Federal guidelines for Title IV funds.
Please do not allow this current situation to be the reason you withdraw as we are committed to finding realistic solutions.
In conclusion, we recognize this is a lot of information! Please understand we are here to serve you in this process. Any questions related to COVID-19 can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call/text (518)-300-4444. Other questions can be directed to the contact people above.
We are excitedly awaiting your return to summer ministry here at Word of Life Bible Institute and Camps! This is not a good-bye, but a see you soon!
I am deeply grateful for each of you. We love each and every student. You are a gift to us. Let us look together for ways to make much of Jesus!
Yours for the Master’s Use,
Roger Peace, Jr. President
Word of Life Bible Institute
UPDATED MARCH 19, 2020 INTERNATIONAL
International Missions Update As Word of Life Fellowship monitors and responds to the global health pandemic COVID-19, the health and safety of our 1,500 missionaries remains one of our highest priorities. While there have been some adverse effects on Bible Institutes and camps around the world, there are no reported cases of the Coronavirus in our 81 locations worldwide. We will remain diligent in caring for our missionaries and staff, and we would ask for your continued prayer and support during these challenging times