Will colleges and universities re-open in the fall?

By May 21, 2020
college, university, classroom

USA (MNN) — Let’s talk about the big question hanging over every college student – what will my college do for the fall semester? The pandemic put much of life on hold, and while some areas are going back to semi-normal, universities have a tough call.

York Moore with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has met with several college and university leaders across the U.S. to discuss what the future holds. He says, “The honest answer is really nobody knows. I know that some universities are starting to make the decision not to open back up in-class, in-person learning and that’s really tough. My guess is that we’re going to see a real mixture of universities deciding to bring students back versus e-learning as we continue on in the fall.

(Photo courtesy of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship via Becket Law Media Kit)

“There’s a financial reality to this as well. It’s not just about keeping students safe. It’s also about running the business of the university. That might sound callous but universities are not charities. They’re not non-profits. They are in business, many of them, to make money. So we’re going to have to see.”

It’s not just higher education that’s impacted by fall semester plans.

Moore says, “Think all about the implications that this has for the small-businesswoman that sets up a deli down the street from a major university, the dry cleaners,…all kinds of businesses that kind of rely on the ecosystem of the university. Campus ministries are no exception. We might not be for-profit small businesses down the street, but the reality is we depend on the ecosystem of the university to exist.

“Regardless, I think we’re in for a new normal. The new normal is going to require people to modify their behavior, including campus ministries. So we’re really gearing up with our partners and within InterVarsity to ask those questions [and] answer those questions. What will be our contingency plan as we return to any kind of circumstance?”

No matter the campus, however, InterVarsity is persisting to be Christ’s light to college students. InterVarsity chapters are getting creative with how they connect and build relationships, and Moore says they’re seeing a positive response.

(Photo courtesy of Ryan Jacobsen via Unsplash)

“We have weekly large groups that have been attended by thousands of students across the country. That’s great news! Many of our partners with InterVarsity and the EveryCampus movement have been doing large-scale gatherings, simulcast, pre-recorded production shows, but that’s only temporary. We have to figure out what a new normal looks like for serving students.”

Right now, InterVarsity would be greatly encouraged by your support, involvement, and prayers. If you would like to give to InverVarsity, click here!

InterVarsity has also partnered with the EveryCampus movement to foster spiritual revival at every college and university across the US. They recently celebrated crossing the finish line for prayer walking every US campus. But it’s not too late for you to get involved! Click here to learn more about EveryCampus.

Finally, please pray for Gospel campus ministries like InterVarsity. Ask God to grant their campus leaders wisdom and encouragement as they reach out to college students with Jesus’s love.

“We do believe that God is in this,” Moore says. “In fact, I believe that what we’re actually going to witness as a result of COVID-19 is going to be a great move of God.”




Header photo courtesy of Changbok Ko via Unsplash.

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