We are continually monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19. Please continue to check this page for regular updates regarding MDC’s response to this rapidly developing situation.

Resources

Guidelines for Building Use
COVID-19 Safety Plan

Free Online Counselling Service
City of Hamilton COVID-19 Information
Government of Ontario COVID-19 Information
Public Health Ontario
COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool 
Government of Canada COVID-19 Information

Contact Us

We are still available to answer your questions! Find contact information for all of our staff and faculty here.

If you have questions with registration, student accounts, or any other course-related questions, email Rachel at divreg@mcmaster.ca.

If you have questions about our different programs or the application process, contact Sara at divadmit@mcmaster.ca.

For course-related technology questions (WebEx, Zoom, Avenue To Learn), email Francis at mdcit@mcmaster.ca.


November 24, 2020 – Update

Our COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet and assess the changes in government updates and regulations in the Hamilton area and beyond. Our building remains closed except for essential services. Those who require access should notify our on-campus personnel, Phil Strickland or Francis Pang, to ensure we stay within our limit of 10 people at any time. Graduate Assistants who need access for their work are limited to a maximum of three at any one time and should schedule their time in advance.

For those entering the building, please remember to:

  • Schedule access in advance
  • Wear a mask at all time in all public areas
  • Sign-in and use hand sanitizer at our main entrance
  • Follow all posted signage to ensure a distance of 6 feet at all times

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are displaying potential symptoms after having visited our building in the prior two weeks, please contact our COVID-19 Response Team by emailing John Steadman and Phil Strickland.

November 17, 2020 – Update

Due to the continuing increase in COVID-19 cases in the Hamilton region and tightened government restrictions, the MDC building will close as of Tuesday, November 17, for the safety of our students and employees. The building will be restricted to essential services only, to a maximum of 10 individuals at any one time, and all students are asked to study from home. All those who require access should contact Phil Strickland or Francis Pang to ensure we are below our limited capacity. Those entering the building should continue to follow all safety protocols, including signing in at the main entrance as a means of facilitating contact tracing in the event of a positive case.

The end of our Fall term will continue online as planned. All staff, faculty, and GA’s are encouraged to work from home where possible.

We advise all those in our community to stay safe and observe public health warnings to reduce all non-essential contact. If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are displaying potential symptoms after having visited our building in the prior two weeks, please contact our COVID-19 Response Team by emailing John Steadman and Phil Strickland.

 

November 10, 2020 – Update

Our building is open once again following our livestreaming sessions. As our students work to finish the final weeks of their courses, we encourage them to use our space for quiet study and to take opportunities for support where they may need it during this busy time at the end of term. There are opportunities for fellowship at our online Chapel service every Monday and through the online student community created by the DSA on Avenue To Learn. Our student support service gives all students free access to online resources and to 24/7 support. This confidential service is available through web chat and phone to access counsellors from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

To book study space, contact Melanie at mcglynnm@mcmaster.ca. Those visiting our building should review our COVID-19 Guidelines for Building Use and remember to use sanitizer and sign in at our main entrance. Masks must be worn at all times in public spaces of our building.

If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are displaying potential symptoms after having visited our building in the prior two weeks, please contact our COVID-19 Response Team by emailing John Steadman at steadmanj@mcmaster.ca and Phil Strickland at strickpd@mcmaster.ca.

November 3, 2020 – Update

As we reach the last week of our livestreaming sessions, we are grateful to our faculty for their work in planning and running their live classes smoothly, to our students for their participation, and to our IT team, for their dedicated work in continuing to ensure our online activities run without interruption.

On Monday, November 9th, our building will once again be open for student study. If you need a quiet place to study, please reserve a space by contacting Melanie McGlynn at mcglynnm@mcmaster.ca.

Our safety procedures adhere to strict public health guidelines. Those visiting campus should be prepared to sanitize and sign in at the main entrance and wear a mask while in the building, while following all posted signage. If any situation arises where you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are displaying potential symptoms after having visited our building in the prior two weeks, please contact our COVID-19 Response Team by emailing John Steadman at steadmanj@mcmaster.ca and Francis Pang at pangfg@mcmaster.ca.

 

October 27, 2020 – Update

As we move into our second week of livestreaming our hybrid classes, we are encouraged by the positive response these sessions have received, as our students gather together virtually, some for the first time. With the success of these sessions, MDC will continue this format into our Winter term.

Our Winter term will look much the same as our Fall term, with classes starting online and meeting virtually, in real time, during our livestreaming weeks. We hope the continuity through the terms will allow students to plan well for their Winter terms as they progress in their programs. Of course, we look forward to the time when we can once again meet in-person. When the situation allows, we will have additional meeting options available.

As we move into the final weeks of the term, we want to commend our students for their understanding and flexibility as we learn and study together. With the end of term often being a busy and stressful time, we encourage everyone to be aware of their mental wellness and self-care. Our student support program is available to all students at any time and can help you through difficulties related to stress, anxiety, health, and student life. Online resources and 24/7 support are available through their portal here.

We would also like to thank those entering our building for respecting others and doing their part as we remain vigilant in following our safety policies and procedures. We encourage you to continue being careful and reporting potential cases where needed, following public health guidance, including vaccinating against the flu if recommended. If any situation arises where you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are displaying potential symptoms after having visited our building in the prior two weeks, please contact our COVID-19 Response Team by emailing John Steadman at steadmanj@mcmaster.ca and Phil Strickland at strickpd@mcmaster.ca.

October 20, 2020 – Update

As we enter our first week of livestreaming classes, it has been refreshing to see some returning familiar faces as our faculty come to our building to utilize the livestreaming technology to teach their classes in real time. We are grateful to our faculty, staff, and hardworking IT team for their work to ensure our livestreaming processes run smoothly.

A reminder that our building will remain closed this week and the next two, until November 7th, for these livestream sessions. If you require access for student study or otherwise, please contact Melanie McGlynn at mcglynnm@mcmaster.ca.

Our COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet weekly and monitor new updates as they become available. We are consistently working to improve our safety protocols and the efficiency of our cleaning procedure to protect those working within the building.

 

October 13, 2020 – Update

As we prepare for our livestream sessions in the coming weeks, we remind all those visiting our building to review our Guidelines for Building Use prior to coming to campus.

Starting next Monday, October 19 until Saturday, November 7, our building will be closed as our faculty members arrive on campus to livestream their courses. We look forward to our classes gathering synchronously using new technologies within the building. If you require access to the building during this time, please contact Melanie McGlynn at mcglynnm@mcmaster.ca to book an appointment. Please note that students who require access for student study space will be assigned a study room for use and are not permitted to attend live sessions.

During this time, our safety protocol will remain. All those entering the building are required to wear a mask unless in private spaces and must enter only at the main entrance in order to sign-in and out. Additional signage and protocols are outlined in the above guidelines and upon entry.

If you have questions, please refer to the ‘Contact Us’ section on our updates page. We encourage you to use email for contact as many of our staff continue to work from home.

 

October 6, 2020 – Update

Our COVID Response Team continues to monitor COVID-19 cases and new government advisories, as they affect MDC. With the safety of our community in mind, we remind you to stay mindful of your exposure to others and attentive to wearing a mask, social distancing, and sanitizing and hand washing practices.

Our building remains open from 8:30am to 5:00pm. Please be aware that we have made updates to our procedure for entering the building. Our sign-in sheet (see below) now includes specific amendments for those referred for testing or awaiting test results. These amendments apply to anyone wishing to enter the building, those in their household, or those they have been in close contact with.

A reminder that during our livestream weeks (October 19 – November 7), our building will be closed. Please contact Melanie McGlynn at mcglynnm@mcmaster.ca to arrange access. Students who require access for student study space will be assigned a study room for use and are not permitted to attend live sessions.

 

October 1, 2020 – Update

Due to the increase in campus wide cases, MDC would like to remind all members of its community that upon entering our building you are required to sign-in, assenting that you have not travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, are not experiencing any COVID-19-like symptoms, and do not believe you have been exposed to someone with such symptoms. These protocols exclude entry for any individuals who have been referred for testing or advised to self-isolate, are awaiting test results, or have tested positive for COVID-19.

Those who have attended MDC and are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive should contact the Registrar’s Office at strickpd@mcmaster.ca immediately. All disclosed information will remain private and confidential. MDC will work in compliance with Public Health, who will use contact tracing to contact affected individuals. All affected areas and public spaces will be cleaned and disinfected promptly.

With our presence on the wider university campus, MDC students, staff, and faculty are reminded to exercise caution when visiting other areas of campus and being vigilant in sanitizing and safety practices when returning to the MDC building or their own homes. To monitor the cases on the MMU campus, visit the McMaster University website here.

 

September 29, 2020 – Update

With the swiftly changing situation with COVID-19, MDC is operating with the utmost care and concern for its staff, faculty, and students. Starting September 30, 2020, our building hours will be slightly modified, with MDC open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm.

During our livestream weeks (October 19 – November 7), our building will be closed for public access with a maximum visitor capacity of 10 people to allow for our faculty and support staff to be on campus to utilize our livestream classrooms and technology. To book study space or request access to the building for these three weeks, please contact Melanie McGlynn at mcglynnm@mcmaster.ca. Students who wish to study on campus during the livestream sessions are advised to give adequate advance notice to ensure space is available. We will be monitoring the availability to ensure students’ needs are met so they can access their classes without interruption.

All members of our community are encouraged to stay connected with one another during this time. Our Chapel services, held virtually every Monday at noon, include a live chat as an opportunity for worship and fellowship together each week. All MDC students have access to the Divinity Students’ Association (DSA) “course” on Avenue To Learn, with various forums for prayer, research support, and community resources, and for host events like lunch hour hangouts and watch parties. More events like this are posted on our website, so be sure to take advantage of these chances to engage.

 

September 22, 2020 – Update

As concern grows in Ontario over the rise of cases of COVID-19 and its unpredictability, our Response Team has met to discuss at length the new government updates regarding restrictions on private gatherings and advisories to restrict spread wherever possible. In light of this, MDC will shift its hybrid in-class sessions to a livestream format. These previously scheduled in-class sessions will still meet October 19 to November 7 as originally scheduled but in their new livestream form.

As we highly value the classroom experience, we know this may come as a disappointment, but we are dedicated to maintaining the same high degree of teaching that MDC is known for while properly protecting the health of our students, staff, and faculty. Our faculty have prepared for this contingency and will be in touch with their classes to give more details on these livestreamed sessions.

We would like to reinforce that this decision does not affect accessibility to our building. We remain open for student study space from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 6:00pm. Those who need a space for quiet study and reliable internet access should plan to use this option. All those entering our building are required to sign in at our main entrance and follow the signage and safety protocols in place.

At this time our decision to shift to a livestream option applies only to our Fall term. As we continue forward, we will be regularly assessing the pandemic situation and will be responsive to public health and government advisories as they unfold.

 

September 15, 2020 – Update

We would like to welcome all of our new and returning students back to a new academic term! Last week we enjoyed a number of successful online events like our New Student Orientation and Student Retreat. We have even had some students back in the building, using our modified study spaces to access their coursework. We thank all those entering our building for following our safety protocol and respecting all those who choose to work at MDC.

Our COVID-19 Response Team is mindful of the increase in cases in certain regions of Ontario and we continue to closely watch the new information being released in order to make decisions that are best for our students, staff, and faculty. You can expect an announcement by October 6 on our hybrid in-person courses as we plan appropriately. During this time we want to reinforce the importance of proper and regular hand washing and sanitizing for those who visit our building. Please be sure to use the sanitizing station as you enter our building to limit exposure for those working inside. Our building hours are now 8:30am to 6:00pm, Monday to Friday. Those requiring access or using our spaces to study should be sure to follow these times. For more information on our safety protocol and how to reserve a study space, please review our Guidelines for Building Use.

 

September 1, 2020 – Update

Our COVID-19 Response Team was established as an emergency planning team when the coronavirus pandemic escalated back in March. Then, we were planning how to complete our academic year without interruption to our work or our students, as they progressed through—or even completed—their programs. Now, as we start a new academic term, this team will continue to meet appropriately as we monitor government updates and review the details of our upcoming term, alongside our faculty, administrative staff, and Joint Health and Safety Committee in their respective roles. It is the collective effort of all those in our community that keeps those who enter our building safe. Please continue to monitor our website, social channels, and direct communication to find new updates as the year progresses.

As an institution, we are looking forward to welcoming our new students. While our building will reopen September 8 for student study space, we know that MDC is more than a physical space. New students will meet the faces of MDC as they’re introduced to our staff and faculty at our online Orientation Day, and hear about the courses being taught this year. At the Student Retreat, our Divinity Students’ Association will lead our students in a time of fellowship before classes start on September 14.

If you are planning a visit to the building, please be sure to familiarize yourself with our Guidelines for Building Use and follow the appropriate signage around the building. If you have any questions, be sure to contact Tara in Student Records at divreg@mcmaster.ca. If you are looking for textbooks or MDC merchandise, be sure to contact Bernice at books@readon.ca to schedule a time to visit our Hurlburt Family Bookstore or have books shipped directly to you.

Please note, prior to September 8 our building will remain closed except by appointment. If you require access, please make an appointment with Phil Strickland at 905.525.9140 x24981 or strickpd@mcmaster.ca.

August 25, 2020 – Update

With just two weeks until our building reopens for the start of the academic year, all students, staff, and faculty have received our Guidelines for Building Use. In addition to standard protocols like regular handwashing/sanitizing and wearing a mask, this guide offers direction on where to enter, new building hours, class arrival and exit times, additional cleaning and availability of study space. It is the responsibility of all persons in the MDC community to be familiar with and follow these new guidelines when they enter the MDC building. During our three weeks of in-class hybrid sessions scheduled for October and November, a member of our administrative staff will be present to guide students and answer any questions that may arise. In the meantime, you can direct any questions to divreg@mcmaster.ca.

A reminder that prior to September 8, our building will remain closed. Students and visitors are required to make an appointment with the appropriate staff or faculty member or contact Phil Strickland at strickpd@mcmaster.ca for access to the building.

More details will be released soon regarding kickoff events like New Student Orientation and Student Retreat, this year taking place online. Our staff and faculty are excited for all of our students to join us this Fall, whether it is across our screen or across the hall.

 

August 18, 2020 – Update

With Fall term soon approaching, we are finalizing preparations for our building to reopen on September 8th. All students, staff, and faculty have now received our COVID-19 Guidelines for Building Use, outlining new changes to protocol and what students can expect when they return to the building for study. As we continue to look forward to our students joining us for our hybrid in-person classes in October and November, we ask everyone to familiarize themselves with these new guidelines as we seek to work and study safely. It is the responsibility of our community to help us reduce the risk of contamination by balancing the need to access the building with potential risk factors and by following our safety protocol to sign in, wear a mask, respect the physical distance of others, and routinely wash or sanitize their hands and working surfaces. Further communication will be provided in the upcoming weeks regarding New Student Orientation and other online events in anticipation of the new academic year.

Prior to September 8, our building will remain closed. If you require access, please schedule a time with the applicable Staff or Faculty member, or contact Phil Strickland at strickpd@mcmaster.ca.

 

August 11, 2020 – Update

In anticipation of the start of our Fall term, beginning August 17th, MDC will relax building restrictions for faculty, staff, and GA’s to work on-campus. Our safety protocols will be maintained as we enter a new stage of reopening. We ask that everyone continue to enter and sign in at the main entrance, wear a face mask in all public spaces, follow posted signage, maintain social distancing, and sanitize and/or wash hands frequently. Complimentary masks and hand sanitizer are available throughout the building.

On September 8, we are excited to open our doors once again. Guidelines on our reopening will be posted online and distributed to students, staff, and faculty in the next week outlining available study space, hours of operation, and cleaning and safety protocols as we reopen safely. Details can also be found in our updated Safety Plan.

Since many of our Fall events will take place in an online format, we are very excited to connect with our new students in this year’s online Student Orientation. The new Hurlburt Family Bookstore will be open by appointment only, starting September 8. To purchase textbooks, please contact Bernice at READ On. Our spaces have also been modified to respect restricted capacity guidelines as we plan for the in-person portion of classes in October and November.

As we reopen, we ask all those entering our building to respect each other by following the posted guidelines in place so that we can all return to work and study safely.

 

August 4, 2020 – Update

As our faculty and staff prepare for the coming academic year, we are excited to return to a new version of studying and learning together. On August 17th, we will begin easing building restrictions for staff and faculty, so they might return to work as needed to support their Fall term preparations.

New technologies and spaces have been made available to support our hybrid term semester and new signage and safety measures are being established in anticipation of the in-person portion of our classes in October. More details on this will be released as the academic year begins.

Our building will remain closed to the public until September 8, 2020. We ask that everyone entering the building remain consistent in our safety protocols of using the main entrance only, signing in, wearing a mask, and washing hands frequently.

 

July 28, 2020 – Update

As we continue in stage 3 of our provincial reopening, we want to ensure we stay consistent in our practice of hand-washing, social distancing, and wearing masks to protect those around us.

Our building will remain closed until August 17, 2020. To request access, contact our on-call administrators, this week being Francis Pang at pangfg@mcmaster.ca or Melissa West at westmel@mcmaster.ca. All entering our building must do so at our main entrance and are required to sign-in and wear a face mask in all public areas, in accordance with the Hamilton municipal bylaw.

In anticipation of the start of our academic year, we will be ramping up administrative functions to prepare for students to return to their studies. As such, we have increased our cleaning procedures and availability of sanitizing products within the building while we modify our spaces for effective social distancing. As we stay vigilant in our public health safety practices, we are optimistic that our hybrid term will be able to continue as planned.

 

July 21, 2020 – Update

We are very pleased to see that Hamilton is making good progress towards flattening the curve and managing the COVID-19 outbreak. This week, the Premier announced that our community will move to Phase 2, Stage 3 on Friday, July 24. This will relax some restrictions on indoor spaces such as restaurants and movie theatres, and will increase group meeting capacity to 50 persons, not including staff. The City of Hamilton enacted additional legislation yesterday to mandate the use of masks indoors in all public spaces, a policy that MDC has already implemented for our building.

The MDC building remains closed and those needing access must call ahead to make an appointment. Those entering are required to sign in and out for each visit to facilitate contact tracing, should the need arise, and a mask or face covering is to be worn at all times in the public areas of the building.

Only the main entrance of the MDC building is to be used in order to best facilitate sign in and to reduce the cleaning required for commonly touched surfaces.  All other entrances are closed until further notice. This applies to all those who wish to enter the MDC building.

While the gradual reopening of the province is very encouraging, we must all remain vigilant and take responsibility to protect the health and safety of those around us as well as ourselves.

 

 

July 14, 2020 – Update

Our COVID-19 Response Team is currently gathering information and building plans to reopen as we anticipate the Hamilton region moving to Stage 3 very soon, with many regions in Ontario already doing so this week. We are grateful for the progress being made as we do our part to fight the pandemic. Our building will remain closed to August 16, 2020, open only for essential services. If you need access to the building, contact Phil Strickland at strickpd@mcmaster.ca to schedule a time. All staff, faculty, students, and visitors who require access the building during this time are reminded to sign in at our main entrance, wear a face covering when in the building, and make use of our sanitization stations.

Our Registrar’s Office is busy registering students for our upcoming academic year, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming students back with our hybrid format as we continue to learn together. For questions about registering, contact Tara at divreg@mcmaster.ca or check out our Course Schedule online.

Despite our building remaining closed to mid-August, we are building plans for a phased reopening and will release further details very soon. Again, we want to express our thankfulness for your patience as we continue to navigate these unusual times.

 

July 7, 2020 – Update

Our COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet weekly and monitor updates regarding the coronavirus. We are very pleased to see the progress being made in the Hamilton region as the number of new positive cases declines. We continue to evaluate our upcoming hybrid academic year, with our Fall and Winter terms planned in a hybrid format—a combination of online and in-person sessions, the latter scheduled for late October and November.

Our building is closed except by appointment and we have a protocol in place should you need to enter. To gain access, contact Phil Strickland at strickpd@mcmaster.ca. Upon entry you will be required to record your visit on our sign-in form, all entering the building must wear a face covering, as recommended by government health officials. Sanitization stations are available around the building. We will be modifying our protocols in our Safety Plan and release updates as we plan the reopening of our building.

These physical protocols help us keep those providing essential services to our students safe. Your physical and emotional health is important to us. Many Ontarians find themselves facing new struggles like anxiety or depression during this time of uncertainty. If you are struggling with workload, stress, feelings of anxiety or depression, don’t hesitate to use one of these government resources, or talk to one of our certified counsellors at our Student Support program.

June 30, 2020 – Update

MDC’s COVID-19 Response Team continues to monitor our safety plan according to government announcements and recommendations. Our building remains closed through to July 31, 2020. To enter the building, please make an appointment with Phil Strickland at strickpd@mcmaster.ca or 905.525.9140 x24981 so we can maintain our reduced capacity. Please do not enter the building without having made an appointment. Everyone entering the building at any time MUST sign in at our main entrance so we have a record of your visit.

We would like to thank all those in our community—our current and incoming students, staff, faculty, Board, and donors—for your patience and understanding as we have navigated these last couple months. We will continue to assess and make adjustments for the summer and academic year ahead. The physical and emotional wellness of our community is our highest priority. We know these imposed changes can be tiresome and isolating and we welcome your feedback regarding the year ahead and how we can better support you. Feedback can be directed to our COVID-19 Response Team at divinity@mcmaster.ca or by reply email. If you find yourself struggling, our Student Support Program is available 24/7 to talk to an online counsellor confidentially, free-of-charge.

We wish everyone a happy and safe Canada Day weekend. In appreciation of the hard work of our staff and faculty, MDC will be taking an extended holiday from July 1st to July 3rd.

 

June 23, 2020 – Update

MDC’s building remains closed until July 31, 2020 with restricted access for essential services only.

Our COVID Response Team has created a COVID-19 Safety Plan in accordance with the government safety recommendations. This plan will be revised as we move into new phases of reopening, outlining the standards we require for entering and gathering within our spaces.

At this time the procedure for entering our building is by appointment only and requires you to sign in at our main entrance with verification that you have read and agree to our requirements as posted. These requirements include confirmation you have not travelled outside of Canada within 14 days, are not experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, and will wear a face covering in all public spaces of our building. Our team has developed these guidelines in accordance with government advisories to protect the well-being of our staff, faculty, and students as we continue to learn and work together. We are optimistic that these guidelines will allow for significant progress in the recovery of our province as we look forward to gathering in-person once again.

 

June 16, 2020 – Update

Earlier today we hosted, for the first time ever, a virtual Board and Senate meeting. We would like to thank all of the members of our Board, Senate, and various Committees for joining us and being flexible in adapting to a new method of gathering.

As announced a number of weeks ago, our Fall 2020 courses are being planned for a hybrid format, a combination of online and in-class teaching, with the in-class component scheduled for late October and November. This model of delivery takes into account the best interests of the safety for our faculty and students and allows flexibility for MDC to adjust quickly to new developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, should we need to switch to an online only format. This format also allows for our students to progress in their programs without interruption. With safety and student success as our goals, we have made the decision to extend our hybrid delivery format to our Winter 2021 term. With a consistent course format across the full academic year, our students can begin to anticipate and make plans for their upcoming year of study while our faculty and staff prepare to welcome our incoming and returning students.

With the success of our Spring term being held online this past term, we are making plans for our Spring 2021 courses to be held primarily online as well. This shift in delivery allows us to be accessible to any students who may wish to study with us.

We know our community will look different during this coming academic year, but we are excited about, and committed to, bringing new opportunities to engage with each other, no matter where our students may be studying. As social restrictions lift, our doors will eventually be open to welcome all of our students back for face-to-face gatherings once again.

 

June 9, 2020 – Update

As we await joining many parts of the province in moving to Stage 2 of the reopening phase, MDC continues to plan for our Fall semester in hybrid format. We are reviewing plans for our Winter semester and will announce final decisions in the coming weeks. Our building will remain closed to all except essential services until July 31, 2020. For emergency access, contact Phil Strickland at strickpd@mcmaster.ca.

Despite remaining in the first stage of reopening, we are encouraged by the increase in size of allowable social gatherings and consistent decline in cases while we readily anticipate the time when we can reopen our halls to our colleagues and students once again.

 

June 2, 2020 – Update

MDC’s COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet weekly to review new government updates. While we anticipate a provincial Phase II reopening, our building remains closed except for essential services until June 30, 2020.

While we plan for a hybrid Fall term and are hopeful for in-person classes to return in Winter 2021, we will only do so when we are confident there is little risk to our students, staff, and faculty. Announcements regarding our academic year will be given in the coming weeks. We are currently making preparations for our building to reopen with adequate signage for physical distancing and personal protective equipment necessary. In the meantime, if you require emergency access, contact Phil Strickland at strickpd@mcmaster.ca with adequate notice. We ask that if you enter for any reason, you wear a mask or face covering in our public spaces to protect our essential workers.

Please continue to remember MDC in your prayers as we make decisions regarding our academic term and activities as we seek to do His will.

 

May 26, 2020 – Update

We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while we performed a thorough cleaning of our facility last week. Going forward, our building remains closed for all access except for essential services until June 30, 2020. To request access, please contact Phil Strickland, with advance notice, at strickpd@mcmaster.ca.

Our COVID-19 Response Team is weekly reassessing our plan for phased re-opening and our Hybrid Fall term while examining the format of our Winter term, as new information becomes available. We will continue to make decisions based on the advice and protocols of government and health officials. As such, we are securing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect those who will re-enter our building. With the Premier’s announcement of a delayed Phase II opening, our staff and faculty continue to work from home as we continue our Spring term courses and develop new ways to welcome students in the Fall.

MDC seeks to ensure the safety of our community. As the province slowly reopens, please remember to maintain strict social distancing and handwashing protocols, using PPE where necessary, to ensure we can all return together again safely.

 

May 19, 2020 – Update

As we continue to monitor new government announcements regarding the re-opening of our province, MDC continues to make decisions and put plans into place for the safe return of our faculty, staff, and employees while planning for our hybrid Fall term. We will continue to keep you updated weekly with new developments regarding re-opening our building and events and activities for the Fall term.

As part of this planning, our building will be closed for all access until Tuesday, May 26, 2020 or until further notification, as we complete a deep clean of offices, ventilation, common areas, and touch point surfaces. If there is an urgent need for which you require emergency access to the building, contact Francis Pang at pangfg@mcmaster.ca.

We would like to recognize and thank our custodial staff, namely David McIsaac, for his diligent and dedicated work in keeping our work spaces and equipment clean and disinfected so we can maintain a safe work environment for all.

 

May 12, 2020 – Update

Our COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet weekly to review and discuss new developments on the health crisis and announcements of phased re-opening. Within our current plan, our building remains closed until June 30, 2020, with access only for essential services or emergencies.

We are happy to report that through the generosity of a community church, we were able to secure a limited number of masks for use now and in preparation for a phased re-opening of our building. Our team has made plans for securing additional PPE to be available for the return of staff, faculty, and students when the situation allows.

Our COVID-19 Tuition Relief Fund was launched mid-April. Having received over 40 applications to the fund, we are now working to distribute financial aid to these individuals in need. We are very grateful to be able to support our students in this way and we continue to encourage those who are able to give to increase the funds available for those facing financial crisis as a result of the coronavirus.

Our Response Team attempts to access accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on the spread of COVID-19 and recommended protective practices from government and public health websites, and we encourage our community to do the same. You can find direct links to these sites in the Resources section above.

 

 

May 5, 2020 – Update

As we monitor government regulations and phases of re-opening, MDC continues to evaluate timing and procedures for returning to work. While our building remains closed to all except essential services for the forseeable future, we are pleased to report we are securing the protective equipment necessary to ensure the continual safety of our staff, faculty, and students when we are able to phase in regular working practices in our building. We will do everything we can to safeguard our community by reducing risks at all possible costs.

During this time we continue to accept applications for our COVID-19 Tuition Relief Fund. We encourage any students who have been affected financially by the COVID-19  crisis to apply for additional financial aid. More information can be found here. At the same time, we are reaching out to our supporters to partner with us in this effort to help our students in need. To donate to the tuition relief fund, click here.

If you require access to our building, contact Phil Strickland at 905.525.9140 x24981. For all other inquiries use the ‘Contact Us’ section above.

 

April 28, 2020 – Update

Our COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet weekly to review updates on the COVID-19 health situation and discuss new government announcements.

This week, the Ontario Premier announced phases of re-opening. While we are still some time away from these phases being put into process, MDC is contemplating what this looks like for us and is putting plans into place to safely re-open our building for those who require it. With our Spring term fully online and all May and June events happening virtually, we are well-positioned to enter the summer months with these restrictions. Currently, our building remains closed to all except essential services until June 30, 2020. As more guidelines are released by the government, we will keep you up-to-date as we make plans with the health of our students, staff, and faculty as our priority.

In the meantime, please remember we are always available to answer your questions. All of our staff can be reached by email, found on the Administration page of our website.

If you have questions with registration, student accounts, or course-related matters, email Tara at divreg@mcmaster.ca.

If you have questions about our different programs or the application process, contact Sara at divadmit@mcmaster.ca.

For course-related technology questions (WebEx, Zoom, Avenue To Learn), email Francis at mdcit@mcmaster.ca.

 

April 21, 2020 – Update

While our building remains closed to everyone except essential staff and we are continuing our work from home practices, MDC’s activity has all but slowed!

Our Spring Term began this week with our first courses starting yesterday. Our enrolment numbers are looking promising, and we look forward to hearing the outcomes of these online courses. If you are still considering taking a course, there’s still time to sign up!

Our President’s Dinner Online kicked off on Thursday. We’ve enjoyed hearing from Dr. David Guretzki in his web series on 1 Peter 2:17 and stories from some of our graduates about the places God has led them. If you haven’t checked it out yet, we encourage you to do so! The online auction is open until Thursday at noon and there are new stories and videos being released daily.

With all this, we are still fully engaged in our planning processes for our Fall Term. This September, we will run all scheduled courses across all programs using our hybrid format. This format will run online from the start of term on September 14th, meeting in-class for two days later in the term. These in-class dates will be scheduled in the last two weeks of October and first week of November, when we hope the health situation is more fully resolved. We are very much looking forward to meeting and getting to know our new students and welcoming back our returning students for our 2020-21 academic year!

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us:

  • For questions with registration, student accounts, or course-related questions, email Tara at divreg@mcmaster.ca.
  • For questions about our different programs or the application process, contact Sara at divadmit@mcmaster.ca.
  • For course-related technology questions (WebEx, Zoom, Avenue To Learn), email Francis at mdcit@mcmaster.ca.

 

April 14, 2020 – Update

McMaster Divinity College continues to monitor government reports and updates on COVID-19. With our Spring term and doctoral defences taking place through online means, MDC can confirm that our building will, for the time being, remain closed to June 30, 2020 as a precautionary measure to all staff and faculty.

This also means our Board Committee meetings and June Board and Senate meeting will take place using online means. Preparations are underway with the members of these various committees to ensure our meetings can run smoothly despite the new medium.

This Thursday, April 16th, was meant to be the evening of our President’s Dinner, our main fundraiser of the year. Of course, we announced weeks ago that this event would no longer be taking place, but save-the-date because we are bringing the President’s Dinner to you! Unfortunately we won’t be able to provide you with a meal and have fellowship with you in-person, but we would be delighted if you would join us this Thursday for our President’s Dinner Online. The event will run on our website and social media channels for one week, where we will be releasing all kinds of content and we want to hear from you! We hope you will take some time to engage with us as we would have in-person to hear what MDC has been doing over the last year. You will hear from our speaker, Dr. David Guretzki of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and some of our students and alumni and how they have been serving our communities during this time. Our silent auction will be held online and you’ll have the chance to win some MDC swag! If you don’t already, like us on Facebook and Instagram to stay connected and we will see you Thursday morning!

 

April 7, 2020 – Update

As we evaluate new reports and projections about the spread of COVID-19 and the extended period of self-isolation, we continue to shape our responses and future plans to meet the best interests and needs of our students and community.

As such, it has become increasingly unlikely that the revised date for our Convocation Ceremony on June 18, 2020 is viable. Our Convocation Ceremony is important to us. We want to ensure we give our graduates the recognition they deserve and opportunity to celebrate with them and their loved ones the accomplishments they have made over their time of study with us. We think this is best done in an in-person format and want to make every effort possible to maintain this type of event for our graduates. With the current COVID-19 restrictions, we are further postponing plans for an in-person ceremony until sometime in Fall 2020. The exact date will be released in the coming months. This will not have an impact on students having their degrees conferred before that time. If anyone has any questions, they should contact the Registrar at strickpd@mcmaster.ca.

Our teams are busy building plans for the Fall term. We are evaluating all avenues to create flexible delivery models that minimize the impact upon our students and their programs. We will continue to work closely with our international students as they begin to make plans to study with us this Fall.

As our Winter term comes to a close this week, we would like to extend our sincere thanks for your understanding and grace. This period of adjustment has affected all of us in different ways, but one things we hold in common is a gracious God who holds all things under His care.

 

March 31, 2020 – Update

McMaster Divinity College is continuing its measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 with work at home policies and online learning. We are encouraged by the flexibility of our faculty in making mid-term adjustments to their courses, students for their understanding and adaptivity, and staff for their commitment and smooth transition to working in new environments.

There is no doubt that these drastic changes disrupt our normal routines and the way we must interact with each other and can often cause uneasiness or unrest. Our community is important to us and we want to make sure that you are receiving the help you need, when you need it. We want to remind you of our online counselling service. This free and anonymous service is available to anyone and is a great resource that provides helpful tips for managing stress and anxiety and provides someone to talk with via online chat or phone call 24/7. McMaster University has also offered the following health-focused blog posts with suggestions of how to stay active and connected while practicing social and physical distancing:

Of course, we are always here for you if you are having trouble managing course load, have uncertainty about future plans, or have suggestions on how we can better serve our community during this time. We want to encourage open lines of communication and feedback. Students may send any questions or comments to strickpd@mcmaster.ca and staff and faculty may contact their supervisor at any time with comments, questions, or concerns.

As a team, we are planning for the weeks and months ahead, from the upcoming Spring term to outcomes affecting our Fall term and the events and activities that will take place. We thank you for your trust in our decision-making and covet your prayers as we navigate new waters ahead. Please know our prayers are with you and your loved ones as well.

 

March 24, 2020 – Update

Following the announcement by Ontario’s Premier in response to growing concern over the COVID-19, McMaster Divinity College will remain closed to the public, open only to authorized employees for essential services. All student activities including written examinations and dissertation defences will move to an online format. Our Spring Term courses will now also be held in an online format.

We recognize these new changes are difficult and bring a certain degree of uncertainty when adjusting to new processes. Please be assured we are doing as much as we can to alleviate any concerns students may raise to ensure completion of their term without interruption.  We also recognize that these modifications also provide unique opportunities. Our Spring term courses are more accessible than ever to those outside our regular proximity or availability. We are encouraged by the students or individuals who choose to take advantage of these courses being offered.

The majority of our staff and faculty continue to work from home with limited access to voicemail. As such, we encourage communication by email, found at the Faculty and Administration page on our website. Cleaning services will be maintained as an essential service with mail services restricted to once per week. For emergency access to the building within regular office hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm), please contact Phil Strickland at strickpd@mcmaster.ca or 905.525.9140 x24981.

We plan to revisit these parameters by April 9th and will continue to post updates as the situation develops.

 

March 17, 2020 – Update

As of March 17, 2020, MDC will only remain open for essential services. The majority of our staff and faculty will be working from home. Only very limited staff will be present in the building, and as such, we are limiting access to only our main entrance during this time. Our focus will be on helping our students complete their term and the activities required to do so. All precautions will be taken to practice social distancing where in-person meetings are necessary. All students are asked to study from home and only visit campus for a required academic reason, as advised by a member of the staff.

We plan to implement these changes until March 31, 2020, making adjustments based on the outlook of the pandemic situation.

We want to ensure our lines of communication are open during this time. Staff and faculty are most easily reached by email, which can be found on our Faculty and Administration page.

It is certainly a challenge to adjust to these new ways of studying and working but we are encouraged by the ways we have already seen our community adapting and rising to help those in need in healthcare, in pastoral ministry, and here at MDC. We pray for safety for all and look forward to being all together in our building again soon.

 

March 16, 2020 – Update

As we continue to obtain new information regarding COVID-19 and the recommendations from public health officials, MDC is asking all students to work from home until further notice. This includes closing all study rooms and GA Offices. In an effort to limit in-person contact, students should only visit campus for a required academic reason, as advised by a member of the staff. Doctoral defences and oral comps will take place as scheduled in an online format to reduce group gatherings, while written exams will continue in individually assigned rooms. At this time, staff will continue to maintain essential services while adhering to preventative measures.

Please check back for new developments regarding upcoming events.

 

March 13, 2020 – Update

Important Announcement regarding COVID-19

In light of recent events surrounding the continuing spread of COVID-19 and as a precautionary measure, McMaster Divinity College will be cancelling all in-person (face-to-face) classes after the end of day Friday, March 13, 2020. Instead, classes will be moved to online delivery for the remainder of the Winter 2020 term.

Additionally, all co-curricular activities and events are cancelled. This includes Chapel, Theological Research Seminars, Guild meetings, Linguistics Circle, Preview Days, and student gatherings. MDC will still remain open for essential services.

Faculty members and course instructors, in consultation with the VP Academic, will be communicating with students soon regarding how courses will be administered for the remainder of the term so that courses may be completed within the scope of the current academic calendar.

We want to assure all students, but especially those in the final stages of their programs, that MDC is making it a priority to ensure students complete their courses within the normal Winter 2020 timeframe.

Students should take the following actions regarding their courses:

  • Log in to Avenue to Learn and make sure that you can access all course shells for all your current courses
  • Email your course instructor and cc Dr. Francis Pang (pangfg@mcmaster.ca) if you are not able to access a particular course shell

Any non-essential public events on campus are being cancelled as of Friday, March 13, 2020 as well.

Public Health Officials recommend taking appropriate precautions to help prevent infection including:

  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.
  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid normal forms of contact (handshaking, etc.).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Keep up to date on information regarding COVID-19, especially areas where the virus is spreading. If possible, avoid traveling and large crowds, especially if you are an older person, are immuno-compromised, or have diabetes, heart or lung disease.
  • If you or a relative have recently traveled to a place where COVID-19 is spreading widely, please follow public health guidelines for self-isolation.

We will continue to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19 and update you accordingly. Please continue to check this page for regular updates on this rapidly developing situation.

 

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