Wartburg Theological Seminary COVID-19 Response as of April 1, 2020

In our ongoing efforts to care for one another and our neighbors, Wartburg Theological Seminary has put into place temporary policies that will remain effective through Tuesday, June 30th—with a possibility to be extended or rescinded before that time—to help us steward our shared life together.

Care for one another during this time is our top priority!

From the Chair of the Board of Directors

Reflecting on Interim President Kris Stache’s cogent COVID-19 update and call to prayer, and based on frequent conversations with Dr. Stache and data-driven dashboards provided by our Administrative Cabinet (Rev. Amy Current, Paul Erbes, Dean Craig Nessan, Andy Willenborg), I am thankful to add my assessment and assurance. Dr. Kris Stache, cabinet, faculty and staff are remarkably well—prepared and proactively poised for each eventuality that emerges; each day as if on wings like eagles—effectively executing Wartburg’s core mission, forming valued leaders.  

With gratitude to our gracious God and Wartburg’s servant leaders,

Dr. Stephen J. Cornils
Chair, Wartburg Seminary Board of Directors

Detailed Information and Updates

STUDENT LIFE & COURSE DELIVERY DETAILS

Campus Accessibility

Campus is closed to the public, but will remain open with modified operations. Student on-campus housing also remains open but there will be no guest housing at this time. Food service has been discontinued and maintenance and custodial staff are following best practices for cleaning and disinfecting.

Planned work and course related meetings are expected to convene via Zoom.

The library continues to be open with modified operations for WTS students, faculty, and staff.

The food pantry continues to be open with modified operations.

Worship

During this time of heightened concern, uncertainty, and social isolation due to the coronavirus, it remains essential that we continue to be a worship-centered community—a community that sings and prays around God’s word. We are committed to gather as a community for worship each day at the regular 10:30am CST hour. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to join as their schedule allows and hang around for fellowship and chat time in Zoom breakout rooms following the service.

We are keeping the worship services internal to the WTS community so that we can maintain a space for worship that allows us to experiment and practice the leadership of worship in this digital environment.

 

Masters Level Coursework

All Masters level courses will be completed exclusively via our distance learning platforms through the end of the semester.

TEEM Coursework

Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) intensives scheduled through June 30th will also move to distance education delivery to be held synchronously by Zoom during the scheduled weeks. The summer intensive courses through the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest (LSPS) scheduled in June have been canceled.

Learn more about the TEEM programs at WTS and LSPS here.

Contextual Education

Masters level and certificate students—including those as students on internship, in CPE, and in fieldwork—are expected to follow the policies set forth by the government(s), organizations, and synods where they are serving.

Guidelines for WTS Internship, Collaborative, and TEEM Students

EVENT UPDATES

Considering Your Call Weekend

The Considering Your Call discernment retreat was canceled. Participants were invited to continue in discernment with us by taking advantage of the many ways to connect with our Admissions team. Visit the Admissions homepage to learn more about these opportunities!

Reformation and Reunion

Alumni events part of Reformation & Reunion have been canceled. The continuing education opportunity from this event (the Creation in Crisis Conference) will now be a one-day digital conference. Click here to learn more about that opportunity.

Creation in Crisis: Science and Theology Respond

Creation in Crisis will now be hosted as a one-day digital conference. Take advantage of this incredible opportunity to hear from renown scholars of science and theology as we navigate the climate crisis in our communities and our world. Learn more and register today!

Admissions Online Open House

The Online Open House will continue as planned and is highlighted here in light of the cancellation of the Considering Your Call Weekend on-campus discernment event. Participants will hear from current students, faculty, and Admissions & Student Services staff, and have an opportunity to ask questions. Visit our website to learn more and register. Contact admissions@wartburgseminary.edu with questions or for help signing up.

Baccalaureate & Commencement

Commencement and Baccalaureate scheduled for Sunday May 17th will be carefully organized as a real-time digital celebration via Zoom. Planning is already underway to think creatively about how we can honor our graduates that day. More information will be coming soon.

Preaching for Deacons: Continuing Education Opportunity

This course will take place in real-time using Zoom web conferencing, starting with the afternoon of Tuesday, June 2, and concluding by noon on Thursday, June 4. Click here to learn more about the course and registration.

ADDITIONAL UPDATES AND RESOURCES

Presidential Search

WTS is in a position of financial and program vitality, welcomed one of the largest classes in its history last fall, and now has secured capable interim leadership. The Board of Directors has been able to judiciously and thoughtfully plan for its preferred future. A Work Group has been established to define the desired characteristics of the next leader and will report in a matter of weeks, upon which a nationwide search will commence. We thank you for your interest and invite you to stay tuned for the announcement of the position’s availability.

Faculty Searches

Wartburg is continuing in its search for three new faculty members with interviews and forums being conducted via Zoom when appropriate. We have strongly encouraged the participation of our students, faculty, and staff and prayers for this process of communal discernment at Wartburg Theological Seminary.

Learn more about the open faculty positions here.

Resources for Information on COVID-19

Please practice care and consideration for yourself and others. If you are symptomatic, stay home. If you have questions or need assistance, ask for help. Consult with medical staff if symptoms persist. Be conscientious about how you interact with others in public.

In addition to your state’s health department website, we encourage you to access the following resources:

ELCA Public Health

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

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