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Reopening Plans for Adventist Colleges and Universities in North America


Many headlines across North America have focused on how millions of students of all ages will be able to continue their education as the 2020-2021 school year approaches. Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities are no exception.

The 11 Adventist institutions of higher education located within the territory of the North American Division have made extensive preparation for the campus life and learning environments of their students by prioritizing safety and wellness.

“Our tertiary institutions have uniquely positioned themselves at a time when teaching and learning has been redefined,” said Arne Nielsen, vice president of the North American Division for education. “Our institutions have taken the many steps needed to ensure the safety of students and staff alike with the 'new normal,' allowing innovation, creativity, and collaboration to flourish within and across our schools of higher learning.”

The colleges and universities have maintained a commitment to their missions of providing wholistic education while adapting to their respective local government mandates related to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Adherence to the guidelines for social distancing include adjustments of class sizes, food services, movement around campus, and dorm life. The institutions are also requiring health screening for students, staff, and visitors – testing for symptoms related to the novel coronavirus.

In addition, the colleges and universities are offering a “hybrid” class attendance option, allowing students to attend classes in-person or online while living either on or off-campus.

The Adventist colleges and universities are beginning the school year as scheduled or a week or two prior to their original start dates. The schools in the United States will end their semester or quarter by the Thanksgiving holiday, with the following semester or quarter beginning in January – as opposed to a limited break for Thanksgiving, then resuming instruction for a few weeks before dismissing students again for the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays.

Below is a list with links to reopening plans* of Adventist colleges and universities in North America for the upcoming school year as of July 29, 2020:

AdventHealth University – Orlando, Florida; Denver, Colorado

Andrews University – Berrien Springs, Michigan

Burman University – Lacombe, Alberta, Canada

Kettering College – Kettering, Ohio

La Sierra University – Riverside, California

Loma Linda University – Loma Linda, California

Oakwood University – Huntsville, Alabama

Pacific Union College – Angwin, California

Southern Adventist University – Collegedale, Tennessee

Southwestern Adventist University – Keene, Texas

Union College – Lincoln, Nebraska

Walla Walla University – College Place, Washington

Washington Adventist University – Takoma Park, Maryland


*As plans may change, please check periodically with individual schools for updates.


This article was written Mylon Medley and originally appeared on the NAD website.

Photo by Bruno de Oliveira, Pacific Union College, courtesy of the NAD website: Rajeev Sigamoney, professor of film for Pacific Union College, leads a class outdoors on the school’s campus while exercising social distancing protocols.


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