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.

Our COVID-19 Safety Plan

Helpful Resources

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 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.

Our building contact will be changing throughout the summer months. To request access to our building this week contact:

Phil Strickland
strickpd@mcmaster.ca or 905.525.9140 x24981


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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