Dear ACU Community:
The leadership of ACU has been meeting regularly for the past few weeks and multiple times this week to prayerfully consider steps we can take to preserve the health and safety of our students and our community, while maintaining educational continuity.
We are thankful that there are no reported cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Arizona Christian University, and to date, only 9 cases in the state of Arizona. Despite this, we know this virus is likely to spread rapidly in our state and nation and want to do all we can to limit and delay its effect.
Out of an abundance of caution and a desire to preserve the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and with the approval of ACU’s Board of Trustees, we are taking the following immediate steps:
- We are extending spring break by one week. There will be no classes during the week of Monday, March 16.
- Instruction will resume in a fully on-line format on Monday, March 23 and will conclude six weeks later, on schedule. Finals will still occur the week of May 4.
- Students are welcome to return to campus, as ACU housing and food services will remain open for the remainder of the semester unless we are directed otherwise by health officials. Additional health, cleaning and disinfecting protocols are already in effect. Students with jobs on campus can continue.
- In lieu of chapel, ACU Chaplain Tim Reed and others on staff will provide weekly messages and worship through social media.
- As is happening at the NCAA and in professional sports, athletic competition and travel will be suspended indefinitely and resume when and if appropriate. NAIA winter championships have been canceled by the NAIA.
- Decisions regarding other, smaller campus events and activities will be made on a case-by-case basis as we monitor ongoing updates from state and federal authorities.
We want you to know that we are greatly disappointed to temporarily lose the valuable face-to-face classroom instruction and athletic competition that are so important to ACU, its students and its community.
But ACU remains open and will continue to provide an excellent education, temporarily in an online format. Faculty and staff should report to work as scheduled. Additional measures will be taken to clean and sanitize public spaces on campus.
Please be mindful of the need to practice good hygiene, frequent handwashing, and most importantly, avoid public places and social interaction if you are sick.
ACU fully expects to be up and running with all academic, athletic and extracurricular activities in the fall, if not sooner. Over the next few months and before students return in the fall, we are moving forward with multiple campus construction projects that will provide new athletic and classroom facilities. Behind-the-scenes engineering and design work is being completed now, and construction should occur without interruption this spring.
We continue to closely monitor all directives from the CDC and the Arizona Department of Health Services and will communicate updates as appropriate.
This moment of crisis will pass. Our state and federal health officials learn more about this virus every day, and work on vaccines is underway. In the meantime, many will become sick with varying degrees of symptoms. According to the latest data, 99 percent or more will fully recover. Those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly are most at risk.
What an extraordinary moment this is for us as followers of Jesus – God chose us to live in this time of fear, hopelessness and panic, so that together we can share the story of God’s protection and provision, for eternity, of a place with no pain, no fear, no sickness and no death!
As we noted last week, this is a time to pray. Pray for God’s supernatural protection over our ACU community. Pray for comfort and healing for those who are sick. Pray for the health care professionals who are treating them, and also those who are working on vaccines. Pray for our federal and state leaders – for wisdom, stamina and supernatural discernment. Be a vessel of God’s peace to your family, friends and community – a peace that passes understanding.
As you pray, remember Psalm 91:1-3:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
God has given us an amazing opportunity to point people to the Gospel. Abide in Him, trust in Him, and fear not!
Len Munsil, B.S., J.D.