Latest Updates, Resources, and Response to COVID-19

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COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

Sept. 10, 2020 Update

Portland Campus Re-opens on a Limited Basis for Fall Semester

Starting Friday, Sept. 11, Western Seminary’s Portland campus is opening on a limited basis to students and visitors. As we announced in July, we are adopting a hybrid course delivery model for the fall semester, which means some of our courses will be fully remote while a select few will be available both remotely and on-campus. The courses that include an in-person option are what we are calling Flex courses.

On-campus Flex Courses

Students who will be attending the on-campus portion of the Flex courses have been sent detailed instructions for campus use and classroom expectations during the semester. To maximize the safety of our students particpating in in-person classes, we are implementing the following safety requirements:

  • Masks must be worn by everyone at all times except when eating in designated areas.
  • No eating is permitted in the classroom and drinking is only allowed with a device with a straw.
  • Instructors will take daily attendance for contact tracing purposes.
  • Student seating has been determined to ensure social distancing is maintained.
  • Hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks will be provided in multiple areas
  • All surfaces in Bueerman Hall rooms 104 and 105, bathrooms, and entry ways will be cleaned and sanitized before each class period.

Library Hours

The Portland campus library will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. To ensure the safety of all those using the library, masks will be required at all times and total occupancy will be limited to 25 people. Additionally, study areas and computer work areas have been moved to maximize social distancing. Visitors will also be asked upon entry to sign in for contact tracing purposes. 

Specific campus related hours and updates will also be posted on our Campus Updates page.


July 1, 2020 Update

All Campus Courses Will Be Offered Remotely this Fall

To best serve and care for our students in the midst of the continuing COVID-19 crisis, Western Seminary will continue to offer all on-campus courses remotely in the fall for Portland, Sacramento, and San Jose campuses. A select few Portland-campus courses will be made available as Flex courses, which allow some students to meet on campus while the others join through video conference.

Throughout our assessment of plans for the fall, Western’s leadership has been guided by the following three operating principles:

  • Ensure the health, wellbeing, and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.
  • Provide a way to keep students on track to complete their degree program in a timely fashion.
  • Ensure we are providing the most robust pedagogical experience possible for students.

Registration for all campuses is open from July 1–31. Class schedules for Fall 2020 are now available.


June 23, 2020 Update

CARES Act Funds Allocated to Students

In what has been a financially difficult time for many students, Western Seminary is pleased to announce it will be passing on to students a significant portion of the money it received through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Western received $100,084 through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund authorized in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Of those funds, over $50,042 has been allocated for emergency financial aid grants to students for their expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus.

For more information on eligibility and an update on fund disbursement details, visit our CARES Act page.


June 8, 2020 Update

Sacramento Campus Transitions to Soft Reopening

Beginning June 8, we have transitioned to a "soft reopening" of our Sacramento Campus. This decision was made in response to Placer County entering "Phase 2" of reopening. Campus hours will be Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Visit our Campus Updates page for more information on the conditions and expectations in Sacramento.


April 23, 2020 Update

Zoom Update from Our Faculty

Professors Kay Bruce, Gerry Breshears and Patrick Schreiner share an update via Zoom on how theological education is continuing in an online format at Western Seminary.


March 24, 2020 Update

Message from Our Provost

Watch this brief message from Chuck Conniry, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs at Western Seminary:


March 20, 2020 Update

California Campuses Closed to all Staff and Visitors

In reponse to the statewide coronavirus shelter-in-place order for California, both our Sacramento and San Jose campuses are now closed to all staff and visitors. 

Message from President Randy Roberts

See a recent message from Western Seminary President Randy Roberts discussing our Christian response to this pandemic.


March 19, 2020 Update

All Campus Locations Closing Until Further Notice Beginning Saturday

In an effort to protect the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, and surrounding communities, we will be closing all campus locations beginning Saturday, March 21. All campus buildings and libraries will be closed to students and other visitors until further notice. Most of our employees will be working remotely, and only essential personnel will remain on campus (this applies to the Portland campus only).

Regional and federal regulations are changing and evolving at a rapid pace. We are monitoring the situation and will be working on making any needed changes in order to ensure the safety and health of the community.

Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions and Technology Resources for more information as we work to transition all classes to an online-only format beginning March 23.

Students may access our Help Site for additional tools and resources.


March 16, 2020 Update

San Jose Campus Closed

On March 16, 2020, the Health Officer of the County of Santa Clara issued an order directing all individuals living in the county to shelter at their place of residence. The full order can be read here.

The San Jose Campus is currently closed until further notice.

During this time, all San Jose Campus staff will be working remotely and can be reached via email. All on-campus classes are being transitioned to an online-only format. Please stay tuned for updates and information from your instructors.

We will continue to monitor this fluid situation and share updates as they become available.


March 14, 2020 Update

Western Seminary Community,

We want to provide important updates regarding our institutional response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis. Starting the week of March 23, all campus-based courses will transition to an online-only format for the remainder of the semester.

All Students

If students have concerns about attending on-campus classes during this coming week (the week of March 16), we will give you the option of staying home without penalty from your professor for missing that week’s class session. Your professors are already thinking about the best ways to accommodate those who opt out of next week’s class sessions. Please reach out to your professor directly, should you have to miss class.

Online Students

All online courses will be mostly unchanged. For course updates, please check your course’s Online Learning Center (OLC) page for an update or check in with your professor directly. If your online course is affected by the COVID-19 measures (e.g. TH 504), the online campus will be reaching out to you directly. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the online campus via the Online Learning Center.

San Jose + Sacramento Students

Our faculty and adjunct colleagues in Sacramento and San Jose will be working directly with Wes Ehrhart, Executive Dean of our Northern California campuses, and will likely be transitioning courses to an online format starting the week of March 16. Please stay tuned for messages from your directors of student services and professors.

Portland + Online Graduates

In light of increasing restrictions mandated by local and federal governments in response to the spread of COVID-19, Western Seminary is postponing the graduation banquet and commencement ceremony which were scheduled to take place on April 24 and 25, 2020.

We will continue to monitor recommendations from the CDC and local authorities and are hoping to reschedule these events in May or June. We will let the community know about the new dates as soon as possible. We will also be issuing refunds for all purchased banquet tickets this week, allowing you to purchase them again once the banquet has been rescheduled.

Please consult our coronavirus FAQs page as well as the 2020 Western Seminary commencement page for more information and updates regarding plans for the rescheduled graduation activities.

Policy changes aimed at prevention and mitigation of the coronavirus in both the public and private sectors remain very fluid, and since the best of plans are subject to change, Western Seminary has created this web page to keep our community informed of the most recent developments.

This pandemic represents an unprecedented set of challenges for all of us. We want to express our gratitude to you, our students, for the mature manner by which you have thus far handled these circumstances. What makes us unique as a gospel-centered educational community is our common commitment to Jesus Christ and our trust that our God is in charge, even in seasons of relative chaos and uncertainty. Let’s continue to pray for those who are directly affected by the coronavirus and for the most vulnerable in our communities.

Yours in Christ's service,

Randal Roberts, DMin

Charles Conniry, Jr., PhD
Provost | VP of Academic Affairs