COVID-19 Updates & Information
In just a few weeks, 120 men will graduate from The Master’s Seminary and spread across the nation and around the world to serve the Body of Christ. These masters men are fully equipped for pastoral ministry, and we are eager to see how the Lord will use them for His glory and the good of the church.
We were looking forward to celebrating these men’s graduation, and commissioning them for ministry, at 6:00 pm Sunday evening, May 10, on the campus of The Master’s Seminary and Grace Community Church. Unfortunately, we have to postpone this year’s commencement exercises because of the COVID-19 crisis. As the pandemic has worsened in recent days, as California has lived under a shelter-in-place order, and as the President of The United States has extended federal guidelines on social distancing and group gatherings, it has become clear that May 10 is no longer a viable date for our 2020 graduation ceremony.
At the moment, we do not know the exact day when commencement exercises will happen, but we do know it will be in the month of August. We will update this page as soon as we know the exact date of graduation.
When we are able to gather and celebrate the class of 2020, it’s sure to be memorable—unlike any graduation in TMS history—as we thank God for the provision of these ministry leaders and, together, praise Him for who He is, and what He’s done in all of us, during the days of COVID-19.
Dear family and friends of The Master’s Seminary,
Last week, The Master’s Seminary administration informed faculty and students that all classes will be conducted remotely for the remainder of the semester.
We moved to online instruction Friday, March 13, with hopes of returning to in-person classes later in the semester. However, the continued spread of COVID-19, and a series of shelter-in-place mandates from Los Angeles County and the state of California, have made it impossible to return to in-person classes before the end of the semester.
This is, of course, not ideal. Biblical, effective pastoral ministry is deeply personal, so must also be the training of pastors. While we are thankful for the technology that allows us to continue instruction and complete the semester, we will sorely miss the in-class dynamic—particularly the brotherhood of the student body and the professor-to-student interactions in hallways, offices, and classrooms.
Many have asked what this means for graduation. Will we still have a ceremony May 10? And if we do, will it be online, or will we gather at Grace Community Church for our traditional commencement ceremony? Others wonder what this means for summer courses which are scheduled to begin May 11. Will those courses be online as well? At this point, we are unable to answer these questions. The situation is changing daily—often by the hour and minute—and it would be unwise to predict the developments of our city, country, and world in seven weeks. All we can do is monitor the situation, continue to faithfully train men for gospel ministry, and trust the Lord. When we have enough information to make informed decisions that prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, we will let you know immediately.
With great joy, we are, even now, preparing for fall registration: to welcome many first-year students and to reunite with our returning student body. What a reunion that will be.
In an email sent out last Friday, Nathan Busenitz, our Dean of Faculty and Academic Provost, wrote the following to our student body: “What comfort there is in remembering that God is on His throne. In a world of unknowns, we know the One who knows all things. We can face the future with confidence, because our hearts and our hope are anchored in Him.”
To God be the glory for what He has done and what He will continue to do.
For the most up-to-date information about how TMUS is responding to COVID-19, visit masters.edu/coronavirus.
Dear family and friends of The Master’s Seminary,
As the world continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus, The Master’s Seminary is taking appropriate steps to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. For that reason, the seminary will be conducting all classes remotely for the next two weeks. Classes will continue according to their current schedule, but they will be delivered via appropriate online learning platforms. Over the next few days, faculty will be transitioning their instruction online, and they and the staff will help every student transition online for the next two weeks of class. This new class format goes into effect Friday, March 13. We intend to return to a normal class schedule as soon as recommended by the CDC and the American College Health Association.
In the coming days, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will make decisions about the rest of the semester based on our desire to protect student safety and health. We will provide updates regularly here at tms.edu. Check the website often for the latest information.
Pray for our students, staff, and faculty as we continue to train men for gospel ministry. We know that God is sovereign and good, and we can rest in Him in the coming days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is TMS conducting classes for the remainder of the semester?
A: Classes are being hosted online and delivered via distance learning for the rest of the spring semester.
Q: Is the seminary campus, including the library, currently open?
A: No, the seminary campus, library included, is closed to students and all non-essential faculty and staff. However, the TMS library database, including thousands of digital books, journal articles, and other resources, is available to students.
Q: When will the seminary campus reopen?
A: We don’t know at this time. We are following the social distancing guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. We are also abiding by shelter-in-place mandates from the county of Los Angeles and the state of California. Campus will not reopen until those mandates, and restrictions on group sizes, are lifted.
Q: Will there be a commencement ceremony for the class of 2020?
A: The 2020 commencement ceremony will take place August 30, 2020, at 6 P.M., at Grace Community Church.
Q: Will summer classes be online or in-person?
A: All summer courses for both the MDiv and ThM programs will be hosted online. We are still hopeful that the DMin program will be able to meet on campus in July.
Q: Will the TMS campus be open by the start of the fall semester?
A: Right now, the TMS campus intends to be open when the 2020-21 academic year begins this August. If that changes, we will notify students and update this website.
Q: When can students register for the fall semester?
A: They can register anytime. TMS has not changed the registration timeline for the 2020-21 academic year.