We are off to a great start on our New York and Florida campuses! Everyone is healthy and safe, and I am so proud of how the students are serving and preferring one another. Thank you for your support and encouragement during this unique time of preparing this generation to reach their generation with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope the following updates are an encouragement to you!
Graduation and Columbus Day Weekend Events :
As we have continued to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and New York State guidelines, we have made the difficult decision to delay all Columbus Day weekend events, including graduation. As a parent, I understand the importance and emotion of being physically present at your child’s important milestones. Our hope is that in delaying our graduation ceremony, as many parents and guardians as possible will be able to attend.
- We will celebrate graduation for both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 classes on August 14, 2021.
- Originally, the grand opening and dedication of the new Huskies Health and Athletic Center was planned for Columbus Day Weekend, along with a special alumni reunion. We will now hold the grand opening and dedication during our Founders Bible Conference, which will be held on the weekend of April 9-11, 2021. We will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the New York Bible Institute during the conference.
Here are some sneak peeks of the Huskies Health and Athletic Center, as well as our brand new soccer complex:
Parent Connect Points:
Please join us for one of our Parent Connect Points on September 17th and September 24th at 7 pm. These Connect Points will feature a Q&A as well as important Bible Institute information. The links to both webinars can be found below.
The passcode for both webinars is: WOL Parent
Our Campus Life Team has provided daily digital activities, delivered coffee and snack shack items, and provided as much encouragement as possible to our quarantined students. The team even organized a parade through campus for students to watch out their windows! For students who are not under quarantine, they have brainstormed and come up with fun activities like socially distanced s’mores and mini-golf.
Discipleship has begun on both of our campuses! Over the New York Opening Weekend alone, we received over 57 applications for discipleship– and that’s just the beginning! We are committed to the spiritual and emotional health of every single student entrusted to us this year.
The students have also done an incredible job of preferring one another by following all the regulations and guidelines placed upon them during this time. It is so encouraging to see how young people will do what is needed, even when it’s difficult, to maintain the privilege of studying scripture and participating in biblical community.
Health and Safety:
We are pleased to announce that our student body, faculty, and staff are healthy. At this time, we have no COVID-19 cases on campus. We believe that the first few weeks of the Fall Semester are extremely important, and we would like to assure you that we are constantly assessing our procedures and monitoring the health of the student body. Our incredible Health Services team received and reviewed two-week health histories from each and every student before they even arrived on campus. As we settle into the rhythm of the academic and ministry schedules, we realize that each day we need to be vigilant in following our protocols.
We are working closely with the USCAA and the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on our plan for sports this year. Due to the virus, all competition has been delayed until January 2021. However, we are planning for basketball tryouts and practices to begin in October, along with informal soccer and volleyball practices. Currently, the plan is to begin the competitive basketball season in January, and the volleyball season in February, with soccer beginning later in March and April. Softball is still on track for a regular spring season. As more details are confirmed and schedules are updated we will be updating the Huskies Athletics site.
After a great opening weekend, we are pleased to share that our academic semester is well underway! On Tuesday morning, our Freshmen students took their Bible Knowledge Content Test. At the end of the year, they will retake this exam. When these two exam scores are compared, it will provide tangible evidence of the significant growth in their knowledge of the Word of God.
This week, Dr. Ray Pritchard is guiding our Freshman students through the book of Galatians, and Dr. Richard Emmons is teaching our Sophomores a course on Genesis 12-50.
Did you know that you can enjoy the same content that your student is experiencing this week? We previously recorded Dr. Pritchard’s course on Galatians and have made it available to the general public. That means you can experience first hand what your student is experiencing! You can learn alongside them and dialogue with them about this incredible book of the Bible. To get this free online course, visit: https://learn.wol.org/courses/
We’re already into week three on the Florida campus, and we’re so thankful for what God is doing. Despite all the necessary precautions and restrictions relating to COVID, the spirit on campus is upbeat and enthusiastic. Students absolutely loved the Galatians class with Dr. Ray Pritchard and several commented that they can’t wait for him to return to teach Daniel in the spring semester. This week they are enjoying the book of Judges with Dr. Matt Vander Wiele.
A few students found themselves in a precautionary quarantine for nearly three days. Thankfully all turned out well, but the Lord used the challenge to bring out a godly response in their attitudes. One student mentioned that he was encouraged by the unity of the student body and the way people are preferring one another.
Students completed two evaluation exams designed to test their knowledge of theology and general Bible content. Many students commented on how it made them aware of gaps in their own understanding of Scripture. After the test, we even had one student place their faith in Christ, as they had never done so before! Needless to say, we are thrilled, and our student body is feeling very encouraged.
The Student Leadership team has begun investing in students during weekly chapels, and they have also begun matching students and staff for discipleship this year. We are pleased that much of our student body is actively seeking out discipleship, and we have been encouraged by their eagerness to serve on their newly-assigned ministry teams.
It has been a foundational week in the Ministries Department. We held our first Ministries Chapel in which we presented ministry opportunities to the students and announced the vision of proclaiming the Gospel to 25,000 people on social media by producing and posting our testimonies. It’s going to be an awesome fall semester as we strive together to see “Every Life Reached and Changed for Eternity.” One student said, “I’ve been impacted by the ministry of Word of Life all of my life, now I get the opportunity to invest in others myself as a WOLBI student!”
Here are some photos of Opening Weekend at our New York Campus– it may have looked a little different than usual, but it was a blast!