Reopening Statement for Fall 2020
July 28, 2020
Below is the plan for in-person instruction and brief email that our president, Dr. Sam Horn, sent to the TMS student body as we prepare for the Fall 2020 semester.
The Fall 2020 semester is quickly approaching. New Student Orientation is this Friday, July 31. The modular week with Dr. Steve Lawson begins Monday, August 3. And regular semester classes start Tuesday, August 11.
Here are some important updates as you prepare for this Fall.
- Health and Safety
The seminary has prepared a list of safety protocols for this semester, in keeping with the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control. Please read through the attached document. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Student Services by emailing either Greg DeWeese at firstname.lastname@example.org or CJ Bohnen at email@example.com.
- Seminary Ambassador
I’m happy to announce that Dr. Carl Hargrove is transitioning into a new role for us at TMS. Dr. Hargrove has been a faithful part of our seminary family for many years, serving most recently as our Dean of Students. He has done an incredible job, and we are profoundly grateful. Moving forward, he will continue to serve as part of our faculty, while also taking on a new responsibility as our Church Relations Ambassador. He will represent TMS in that role as he travels and ministers for Grace Advance, The Master’s Fellowship, and The Master’s Academy International. When you see Dr. Hargrove on campus, please express your gratitude to him for the many ways in which he serves the seminary.
- Dean of Students
With Dr. Hargrove focusing more on representing the seminary abroad, Dr. Brian Biedebach has moved into the role of Dean of Students. Dr. Biedebach will continue teaching in the classroom, while also giving leadership to campus events, ASB, and student services. The rest of the Student Services team includes Cathy Romero, Greg DeWeese, and CJ Bohnen. Please don’t hesitate to contact them if there are ways the seminary can serve you.
- Looking Ahead
This year has been unprecedented. But it has served as a powerful reminder that only God is in control, and therefore we must trust Him with the future. As we prepare for the semester ahead, we do so with confidence—knowing that our sovereign King is on His throne.
I could not be more excited about seeing you here this Fall. What a privilege we enjoy as those who have been called to serve as His ministers. To that end, may we press on together for the glory of Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Dr. Sam Horn
President, The Master’s University and Seminary
Below is a brief email that our president, Dr. Sam Horn, sent to the TMS student body as we prepare for the Fall 2020 semester.
With the Fall semester approaching, we want to answer key questions you may have about the beginning of the school year. We will be sending out additional communication over the coming weeks, to keep you updated as things develop. Here are the answers to an initial list of questions:
- Will TMS reopen with in-person classes this Fall? Yes. The Master’s Seminary is eager to hold in-person classes on campus this fall.
- Is TMS changing its academic calendar for this coming semester? No. The academic calendar will remain the same. Classes will begin on Tuesday, August 11. Finals week will take place the week prior to Thanksgiving.
- If I am unable to come to class, can I take my classes remotely? Our desire is for you to be on campus, either in Los Angeles or at one of our Distance Locations. The dynamics of campus life, including personal interaction with your professors and the camaraderie of being part of a band of brothers, simply cannot be replaced at home with a screen. The seminary is working on a number of exciting on-campus events for this fall to heighten the experience for our residential students. We will be sending out more information about those events soon.
At the same time, we recognize some students may find themselves in situations where coming on campus is simply not possible. If you are in that position, please reach out to Greg DeWeese in our Student Services Department (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will work with you to create a plan that fits your specific needs.
- Will TMS require physical distancing for on-campus students? The Master’s Seminary is implementing health protocols in keeping with the requirements issued by federal, state, and local government officials. Specific protocols will depend on what governmental mandates are in effect during the semester. Though decisions will need to be made in real time, the principles that govern those decisions are timeless. Those principles include: (1) an eagerness to be a good testimony to the watching world; (2) a commitment to care for the health and safety of our students and staff; and (3) a desire to submit to those in authority over us.
Please know how grateful we are for you. If there is anything the seminary can do to serve you, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf.
Dr. Sam Horn
President, The Master’s University & Seminary
In the letter below, TMUS president Dr. Sam Horn talks about reopening plans for the fall. You will also find a brief FAQ section that will answer specific questions you may have about programs, commencement, and start dates for in-person classes.
In the midst of these unprecedented, uncertain times, the Lord has been gracious to The Master’s University and Seminary. He sustained us as we finished out the semester and we know He will continue to guard and guide us as the summer begins. We are experiencing the truth of Psalm 18:2. “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Now, as we look ahead to the 2020-21 academic year, I and the board of directors want to clearly state our intentions. They are two-fold:
- We are excited to reopen the university and seminary campuses this fall. The plan to reopen includes a return of campus housing, in-person classes, and athletic events. We are preparing now to meet our incoming class and transfers, and to reunite with returning students. Over the summer, a number of construction and renovation projects are scheduled on the university campus. Many will be completed by the start of the fall semester, and they are going to significantly upgrade classes, dorms, and common areas of campus. Between now and then, we are holding most summer classes remotely. The only exception to that are the MABC modular at TMU and the Doctor of Ministry modular at TMS. If you are a student in either program, you have already heard from your advisor about specific plans to hold in-person, safe classes this summer.
- As we prepare to reopen, we will prioritize the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. To that end, I have commissioned a task force of key administrators: leaders from university health services, academics, housing, student life, athletics, communications, enrollment, finance and campus operations. They are meeting regularly, and working to ensure that when our campus reopens, it is safe and in compliance with national and local mandates for our community. They are also working to make sure our campus is reasonably aligned with recommendations that health officials have for institutions of our size and scope. It is our understanding that the State of California intends to offer guidance for reopening campuses in the coming month. That guidance may differ by institution size, mission, campus setting, and region. Until we have this guidance and can evaluate how it will shape our particular campus, it would be premature to articulate a specific plan to our students and their families.
Again, we are eager to reopen both our TMU and TMS campuses this fall and offer in-residence instruction, athletics, and campus housing with appropriate adjustments necessary for the safety and health of our campus community. We will provide updates as the situation continues to unfold and we receive additional guidelines from the State of California.
On a personal note, I want to say how much I am looking forward to the return of our students to campus this August. I also want to encourage each prospective student, returning student, and our campus family to prayerfully ask God to establish the work of our hands as we submit our institutional plans to His great plan. He knows the end from the beginning and in Him we trust for the safety and security of TMU, TMS, and ultimately our own lives. Lord willing, we are planning on a great Fall semester and I want to encourage each prospective and returning student to make plans to join us!
With anticipation for a great Fall,
Dr. Sam Horn
President, The Master’s University and Seminary
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the plan for the Doctor of Ministry Program’s summer modular? The summer modular includes in-person classes for domestic students only. International students will participate remotely. Any students that are not able, or are not comfortable, traveling to The Master’s Seminary campus for class will be able to participate remotely. If you have any questions, please contact your advisor.
- What about all other summer courses at The Master’s Seminary? Other than The Doctor of Ministry summer modular, all other summer classes at TMS will be conducted remotely.
- When will in-person classes resume at TMS? All in-person classes are scheduled to resume this August when the fall 2020 semester begins.
- Does TMS have a rescheduled date for the 2020 commencement exercises? Yes. The class of 2020 graduation ceremonies is now scheduled for August 30 at 6:00 p.m. The ceremony will take place at Grace Community Church.