Dear Bible Institute Students,
We have missed you tremendously on campus, but we are so proud of your diligence and persistence in your program as we were forced to transition to remote instruction. As you have walked through this trial, we are so proud of how you have demonstrated the joy that only Christ can give!
After much prayer, discussion, and consultation with our local health and government authorities, it is with a heavy heart that Word of Life has determined we have no option other than to cancel our 2020 New York Summer Camp programs. While we are greatly disappointed to miss out on the summer season, especially because of the life change that we have experienced at camp every summer for the past 74 years, it has become clear over the past several weeks that additional New York State guidelines and restrictions have made camp completely unfeasible.
As things currently stand, New York State has implemented a four-phase plan for reopening regions. The Bible Institute and our camps are located in the Capital Region. Currently, the Capital Region has not even met the criteria set forth by Governor Cuomo to open for phase one—and opening camps would be part of phase four. Each phase is 2 weeks long, so even in the best-case scenario of phase one beginning immediately, we would be looking at only operating one to two weeks of camp. We know that students need to make plans, and ambiguity is never good for anyone. With that in mind, we felt we needed to make this decision now, as difficult as it is.
I also want to remind everybody that our program is a full, one-year program and every student must complete a summer ministry practicum in order to graduate. Therefore, we’ve put together a very robust (but simple to follow) ministry practicum syllabus. You’ll find more details on that towards the end of this post.
As you saw in my video, this is probably one of the hardest announcements that I’ve had to make in my time serving as President of the Bible Institute. However, I am reminded that God is still sovereign, that He is still in control, and that we can trust Him. While this time may have come as a surprise to all of us, it is no surprise to the Lord. We can fully rest in the fact that God is in control, and based on that understanding, I’ve found peace in this decision.
It is also important for me to mention to you that we are here to serve you and to help your summer ministry be as successful as possible. You are not alone during this time!
There are many who are considering our second-year program and our Davis college program. We are fully intending on opening this fall, and we are taking every precaution and following all government guidelines in order to provide a safe and healthy academic environment for our students. Parents: as your child talks to you about attending second year or Davis, please take it seriously, take it to the Lord in prayer, and support your child during this time. So many parents have reached out to me and shared with me how they’ve seen God use Word of Life Bible Institute to shape and mold their child into the image of Christ. We hope that you will consider allowing us to have another year with your child as they further their biblical education.
Here are some updates you need to be aware of:
WORD OF LIFE BIBLE INSTITUTE MOVE-OUT PROCEDURES
We are pleased to share that you may now retrieve your personal items from your dorms, as New York State has relieved its Pause Order. Thank you for your patience! When you return to campus, we ask that you thoughtfully follow the procedures below. We have worked with our local Department of Health officials on this plan and we need your full cooperation.
We know that you will want to stay and see friends while you are on campus, but everyone will have limited time to complete the move out procedures. Please have a face covering when you return to campus. If you cannot maintain social distancing, we would ask that you have your mask on. Please avoid hugs, handshakes, and being in close quarters with others. This is to prevent the spread of any illness. We want to take a measure of caution and wisdom for the wellbeing of our campus community.
To make the move out process as efficient and safe as possible we are allowing a two-and-a-half-week period for you to plan. Move out times will be from 7am-7pm on the days listed below:
- Week 1: May 18-23, 2020
- Week 2: May 26-30, 2020
- Week 3: June 1-3, 2020
We will need you to communicate the day and time you are planning to be on campus to retrieve your items. You may do so by emailing your Student Life dean with the date and time you plan to arrive.
TEMPORARY STORAGE OPTIONS
If the allotted time period doesn’t work for you to move out, we can accommodate your belongings at a safe location until the time in which you can come and get them. Simply email your respective dean and communicate that you would like temporary storage and include the date you plan to pick up your belongings. If you need Word of Life to ship your belongings to you it will be at your cost. There will be a wait period for shipping based on the number of requests we receive. Word of Life will communicate with you when the boxes are packed, and we can take payment over the phone on the date they will be shipped.
MOVE OUT PROCESS
As you plan and prepare for your trip to pick up, please keep the following in mind.
- You must follow the move-out procedures below.
- You are only permitted to access the campus during your selected move-out times.
- Anyone who joins you must have proper PPE (facemask that covers the mouth and nose) and must not be showing symptoms of being sick within 72 hours of arrival.
- Email your Student Life Dean and schedule your pickup time according to the dates above.
- Check in at the front of the Jack Wyrtzen Center
- You will receive a checkout list to complete your move.
- We are also looking at potentially doing an online graduation, and we would like to get pictures of students to make it personalized and special. At the JWC in the grass next to the building, Cassidy Janho will give you a cap and gown and take a photo of you. If there is a line, please maintain 6 feet distance for safety purposes.
- Next, go to the Bollback Student Life Center, wash your hands in the public bathrooms, check your mail and remove any mail from your mailbox.
- Go directly to your dorm after checking your mail. There will be a Word of Life staff member to help in the area and answer any questions you may have.
- Clean all furniture with cleaning supplies (provided by WOL) and return the room to its original state.
Ensure the following items are completed:
- All personal items removed from all areas (including the laundry rooms).
- All trash is taken to outdoor dumpsters (not left anywhere else in the dorm).
- Furniture placed back in its original positions.
- Wardrobe/desk/dresser be emptied, cleaned/wiped down, and drawers left OPEN.
- All surfaces wiped down (closet shelves, desks, bed frames, windowsill, etc.)
- Blinds shut and windows locked.
- Floors Vacuumed
Key Return procedures:
- In the Lounge on your floor there will be a table set up to return your keys.
- There will be a key sized envelope on the desk in which you will return your room/mailbox key.
- Seal the envelope and write your name/student ID #/Room #/Mailbox # on the envelope. Please write legibly and neat.
- Seal the envelope and place it in the large gallon sized bag labeled “Room/Mailbox key”. Unreturned mailroom keys will accrue a $20 fine and unreturned dorm keys will accrue a $10 fine per key to your student account.
We ask that you exit the campus upon completion of all the above. DRIVE SAFE!
Contact the student life department through email with any questions.
Dean of Women: Karen Smith- firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean of Men: Justin Cousins- email@example.com
Please download the Summer Ministry Syllabus for updated information on the Summer Ministry course, which is a requirement for graduation. This course will open in Canvas on June 5, and at that point you may submit your ministry proposal and begin logging hours upon approval. While we still expect summer ministry to be a challenge and a capstone to your school year, we have worked hard to create a syllabus that we believe every student will be able to complete in order to graduate. If you have questions or concerns about your ability to fulfill course requirements, please reach out as soon as possible so that we can help you formulate a plan for success. Each student will be assigned a teacher’s aide when the course opens on Canvas. Your teacher’s aide will approve your plan and work with you on any questions or concerns. If you have questions before the course opens, you can reach out to the ministries department directly by contacting Mr. Headlee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We understand that the cancellation of New York camps this summer has ramifications for those of who you chose to receive your raised funds from Missions Reality over the course of summer ministry. We are weighing our options and will follow up with you on this issue in the coming days.
We are working on a couple of ways to honor our graduates! Please take time to stop by the photo booth while you are back on campus picking up your things, in order to be included in our virtual celebration. Our plan is to celebrate with you in person with a postponed graduation ceremony at 2:00pm on Saturday, October 10th, 2020. We are hopeful that all travel and gathering restrictions will be lifted by this point and you can join us for a special ceremony that will be part of our Homecoming Weekend over the Columbus Day weekend. More details and a full weekend schedule will be confirmed and communicated this summer.
You will never know the impact that you have had on us as staff into those that you have served administer tune so deeply over the course of this last year. We hope and pray that you never slow down in your pursuit of making much of Jesus in all that you do. We really look forward to seeing how God is going to use each of you over the course of this summer as you pursue a ministry that is tailored fit just for you. I am confident that each one of you will do great.
Make Much of Jesus,
Roger L. Peace, Jr.
President of Word of Life Bible Institute