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Providence Christian College

Return to Campus Plan – Fall 2020

While Providence Christian College and the entire world continue to face challenges from COVID-19, it is important that we take care of each other and ourselves. Sea Beggars are known for our hopefulness, faith in God, and true compassion for those around us. That compassion allows us to understand that many people are struggling from the impacts of the virus, and everyone has been affected in some way. Our PROVIDENCE community is interconnected and, collectively, we must continue to support each other.

At the link below, you will find PROVIDENCE’s plan for responding to COVID-19 and how we will begin returning to campus. In all of our efforts, our first priority is to bring glory to God and to support the health and well-being of our campus community and visitors. We will be flexible, practicing patience and care for each other, as well as adapting our plans if conditions change. We do our best planning together. That is why we sought the collective thinking of members of our community in creating this plan.

Many in our campus community are eager to return to campus, while others may need to continue to learn and work remotely. We will continue to foster community, in-person and virtually, in new and innovative ways. We will follow new health measures and take personal responsibility as part of our efforts to prioritize health and well-being.

In creating a comprehensive path forward for PROVIDENCE, members of the community collaborated to develop our return to campus plan. Our planning explored multiple scenarios, which will enable us to change direction if conditions or the guidance of government and public health officials evolve. Guidance from the PROVIDENCE Board of Trustees, as well as recommendations for Colleges and Universities published from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Department of Public Health and other government and public health officials were critical to our planning efforts.

Because the health and well-being of our community is our top concern. Our campus will be equipped in a manner that will enable a variety of course content delivery options. Our small class sizes and dedication to hygiene and sanitation will enable us to do things that would be more challenging for a larger college. The choice to return to campus will be yours, as will be your responsibility to keep yourself and others safe by practicing adhering to the necessary guidelines when we begin again.

As Christians, we know that we do not know what the future holds. However, we do know that He is Risen, and that new in Him, we will rise with Him, now, through this crisis, and eternally. It is with that hope that we trust that He has a good plan for Providence, and that the college, and our community, will rise again, for His glory.

Providence Christian College COVID-19 Reopening Committee

COVID-19 Update - May 22, 2020 - A Message to Providence Students

May 22, 2020

A Message to Providence Students

Eleven weeks ago, many of you left Providence for the break unaware that you would not be returning to Pasadena, continuing the semester as normal, and enjoying the last two months of your first, second, third, or final year at Providence.

I happily note today that you, and Providence, were up to the challenge. For those of you who were seniors, you made it through, and will be forever able to reference the event that has defined contemporary life. As difficult a disruption as this has been, we know that character is not the byproduct of convenience and ease but is formed by rising up in occasions like this and doing your best to respond to challenges.

Congratulations Class of 2020! We look forward to celebrating your accomplishment in the fall.

Like the graduating class, the rest of you also survived, and in many cases thrived, showing the grit that will be essential to the much-needed resurgence that we hope will mark the weeks and months ahead. For all returning students, I hope that this trying experience rekindled within you a desire to fully engage in the Providence residential liberal arts experience. We all are extremely encouraged by your determination to return to campus.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not note the efforts of every Providence faculty and staff member who did their utmost to be good and faithful teachers and servants during this time. I want you to know that they want you back here as much as you want to return.

So, what about our return? As Dean Shaw mentioned in his note last week, we are all systems go, circumstances permitting, to return in mid-August. With that variability in mind, we have reviewed some of the best contingency plans across the nation and have put forth a strategy moving forward that we think will not only allow us to meet present exigencies, but to continue to improve your overall experience at Providence.

Thus this exciting announcement. Starting in the Fall, we will be:

  1. Adding one week to the Fall and Spring semesters (from 15 to 16 weeks).
  2. Dividing the Fall and Spring semesters into two 8-week terms.
  3. Converting all 3-credit courses to 4-credits by adding 12.5 contact hours to each course.

What this will mean for you is that in any given eight-week term, your standard course load will be two four-credit classes. This will allow you, instead of juggling five classes along with your work commitments and/or your in-season athletic commitments, to focus your efforts, and deepen your study of two classes that will each meet for six hours/week.

Students will be granted the flexibility to enroll in as many as three classes per term if they would like to move at an accelerated pace or drop down to one class per term out of necessity if facing challenges or struggles of one form or another. Every student will be able to take between three and five four-credits classes per semester at the regular tuition rate.

The new course map for incoming first-year students will consist of 32 four-credit classes required for graduation, consisting of 16 core courses, eight courses within the concentration, and eight elective courses. As a result of this new structure, your concentration will feel more like a major, and your opportunities to use elective credit for study-abroad, internships, apprenticeships, and preparing your college transcripts for graduate school will increase dramatically.

Returning students with less than 64 credits will be given the opportunity to move to this new map. Returning students with more than 64 credits will move forward on the old map and be able to satisfy all of their graduation requirements as planned on the current four-credit platform.

Additionally, moving to this new model will allow us:

  1. To increase course offerings by 25% (from 32 to 40 courses per semester).
  2. To decrease class sizes by 50% (from 26 to 13 students per class on average).
  3. To increase the number of courses taught by full-time faculty of rank (from its current level of 60% to 90% of all classes offered).

All of this amounts to an exciting change for our institution!

Moreover, even in the midst of this challenge, the college has moved forward with its plan to hire three new full-time professors, promoting Prof. Brandon Addison to Assistant Professor of Business Administration, hiring Prof. Isaiah Lin, who is completing his PhD in Philosophy at Syracuse University this summer and taught for us last year, and bringing on board Dr. David Alexander, two-time professor of the year at Huntington University in Indiana. These hires are just the start of a five-year plan to continue to add excellent faculty in all of our concentrations.

So what are the next steps for you? In the next few days, you will be contacted by the Registrar’s office and your concentration advisor to set up an appointment for next week’s advising and registration period. At that time, you will be able to select courses for Fall Term 1 and Fall Term 2 and review your academic plans for 20-21 and beyond. Please be sure to make and keep these appointments in the upcoming week.

As I close, let me return to the question of re-opening. If, and we certainly hope this is not the case, that we are unable to return to campus in mid-August, the two term schedule in the Fall will allow us, if necessary, to resume in-person classes starting the third week of October after enjoying Sea Beggar weekend together and celebrating the class of 2020 in an Saturday, October 17 evening commencement ceremony.

I also want to assure you that your safety will be our top concern. Our campus will be refurbished in a manner that will enable you a variety of course content delivery options. And our small class sizes and dedication to hygiene and sanitation will enable us to do things that would be more challenging for a larger college.

Yet all of that said, the choice to return to campus will be yours, as will be your responsibility to keep yourself and others safe by practicing good habits when we begin again.

As Christians, we know that we do not know what the future holds. However, we do know that He is Risen, and that new in Him, we will rise with Him, now, through this crisis, and eternally. It is with that hope that we trust that He has a good plan for Providence, and that the college, and our community, will rise again, for His glory.

I pray that you and your families continue to keep the faith and are of good courage as we prepare for the start of the fall semester.


Dr. David Corbin
Vice President for Academic Affairs

What Do Students Want This Fall?

In-person classes78%10%12%
Flexible block schedule51%16%33%
In-person and online (simultaneously)53%24%23%


Feature of Campus LifeVery ImportantImportantNeutralSomewhat ImportantNot at all ImportantN/A
How important is it that the campus housing opens in the fall?33%25%22%7%11%3%
How important is it that the social events return to the university?27%34%21%8%9%1%
How important is it that athletics return in the fall?22%22%23%12%19%2%
How important is it that arts events return in the fall?14%22%31%15%17%1%



COVID-19 Update - May 14, 2020

May 14, 2020

Dear Providence Community,

In light of the recent announcement that California State universities are postponing on-campus activities for the fall and continuing their education remotely—as well as the news that LA County may continue to maintain a stay-at-home order well into the summer—we thought it wise to make you aware of our intentions:

All systems are go for resuming on-campus learning as well as activities in mid-August at Providence.

Please be on the look-out for a video announcement from Dr. Corbin (arriving Friday, 5/22) detailing exciting developments for the coming academic year, as well as an overview of the fall schedule.  General guidelines for resuming resident life, athletics and campus activities will be forthcoming as well. 

We will be prepared to comply with prescribed safety standards regarding sanitation and social distancing, and we will continue to monitor state and local announcements to respond accordingly.  In the meantime, we encourage you to rest in a Sovereign God who is also our Heavenly Father.

He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap … In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.  (Ecclesiastes 11)

COVID-19 Update - April 2, 2020

April 2, 2020

Dear Providence Community,

Remote Learning for the Remainder of the Spring Semester

In light of the recent announcement by the President of the United States extending the social distancing guidelines through April 30, it is with heavy hearts that the Providence administration has decided to continue classes by way of a remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester.

While the order permits educational institutions to maintain essential campus services, including the facilitation of remote learning and support services for all students, allowing students to return to our residential campus to resume normal campus activities would make abiding by the guidelines on social-distancing near impossible and put the members of our community at unnecessary risk.

We realize that this news is disappointing and frustrating for everyone, especially those whose last semester of their senior year is being lost. We are deeply grateful at how students, faculty, and staff have all responded in these trying times; with grace, kindness, and perseverance as we try desperately to maintain the high quality education and personal connections that characterize a Providence Christian College education.

Check-out Process for Residential Students

While our residence halls will continue to remain open to some students due to extenuating circumstances, we must ask that all residential students work with the student-life staff to collect their belongings and vacate the Village apartments. A move-out plan is being finalized and will be communicated to students within 24 hours, including instructions, options for assistance, and a final deadline. It will be necessary for us to carefully schedule and monitor this process, so we ask that you please wait for full instructions, and to follow them carefully. Dean Shaw will be the point of contact during this time, you may contact him directly at 626-696-4020 (office), 310-561-2953 (cell) or

Graduate in May – Celebrate in October!

While we cannot imagine the disappointment in not being able to complete the last semester of your senior year with all of your friends and beloved faculty, we can imagine that having to skip celebrating graduation, one of the most important accomplishments in your life, is devastating. Knowing how important it is to celebrate in person with each other and because we do not want to deprive our graduating students and their families of this opportunity, the administration will plan to hold a special Commencement on campus as part of an expanded Sea Beggar (Homecoming) Weekend on Friday and Saturday, October 23 and 24. We believe this will offer the best opportunity for our seniors and their families to properly celebrate this milestone accomplishment!

The Board of Trustees and administration will still formally approve all degree recipients on May 16, so eligible students who have completed all graduation requirements will officially graduate “on time.” As per usual, diplomas will be mailed to students over the summer.

We are excited for this new and special opportunity, which will be the first of its kind (and likely the last), to make lasting memories as a college body in what will surely be an unforgettable year for all of us.

Next Steps

In the coming days students and families will be receiving additional critical communications from the departments led by members of our administrative leadership team, including academics, business office, and student life, with more details on what the next steps are as we carry out this final adjusted plan for the spring semester.

  • Dr. Corbin will be communicating additional details on advising, registration, and completion of the spring academic term, etc.
  • Mrs. Dirksen will be communicating the details of student accounts, possible credits and/or refunds, student employment, and possible extra federal student aid funding related to the CARES Act, etc.
  • Dean Shaw will be communicating details of the residential student move-out plan, the process for securing housing for next year, and other student life matters that are usually handled at the end of the semester.

As promised before, we give you our assurance that we will be as gracious and accommodating as possible in a less than ideal circumstance and, in turn, appreciate your patience and grace with us as we navigate uncharted territory.

Finally, please know that we share in your disappointment at this unwanted turn of events, but we also share a common faith in the God of Providence. In closing, I want to encourage you with the text from Question and Answer 27 and 28 of Lord’s Day 10 of the Heidelberg Catechism on the providence of God.

27. Q. What do you understand by the providence of God?
A. God’s providence is his almighty and ever-present power, whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, and so governs them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed, all things, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.

28. Q. What does it benefit us to know that God has created all things and still upholds them by his providence?
A. We can be patient in adversity, thankful in prosperity, and with a view to the future we can have a firm confidence in our faithful God and Father that no creature shall separate us from his love; for all creatures are so completely in his hand that without his will they cannot so much as move.

It is this providential God that we serve and who watches over and cares for us, and who we can place all of our hope and trust in this life and the next. Thank you for continuing to keep Providence in your prayers even when we are praying for you.

In Cristo Omnia Nova,

Administrative Cabinet

Providence Christian College
464 E Walnut Street
Pasadena, California 91101
Toll-free 866.323.0233
Fax 626.696.4040

COVID-19 Update - March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

Dear Providence Community,

In light of recent announcements by the President of the United States, his Coronavirus taskforce, and the local civil authorities, the Providence administration has decided to resume classes by way of a remote learning format using our current Populi education management platform for a three-week period beginning Monday, March 23rd and extending through Saturday, April 11th. Lord willing, our plan will be for students to return to campus on Monday, April 13th to complete the semester, which will now end on Friday, May 15th, with Commencement exercises now scheduled for Saturday, May 16th.

Providence faculty have been hard at work preparing for this change in modality and will be reaching out to each student individually to communicate the specific details related to each course. You can expect another communication tomorrow from Dr. Corbin, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

While our residence halls will remain open to some students due to extenuating circumstances, we encourage the rest of the students to remain at home and to abide by the protective guidelines established by localities. If returning to campus to retrieve necessities is a burden, considering we are not asking students to move out completely, we would be happy to mail critical items to you at our expense. If you are interested in this option or have housing concerns, please contact Dean Shaw directly at 626-696-4020 (office), 310-561-2953 (cell) or

It is our sincere hope and prayer that the Lord would see fit to allow our community to gather once again in April, to give thanks and praise to Him for all things, to complete the semester together on campus, and to celebrate our graduates together. Please pray for our government officials, agencies, and health organizations as they work as fast as possible in mitigating this rapidly evolving situation.

We are grateful for your patience and support as we take the steps necessary to continue to serve our students in the best way possible, and we offer to you our assurance that we will be as gracious and accommodating as possible in a less than ideal circumstance. Each of you are in our prayers, and we want you to know how much we miss having you all present on campus.

Finally, in what I realize is a time of growing stress and anxiety for many, may we draw comfort and confidence in knowing the God we serve has been, is now, and will always be, in control. May we, as Christ-followers, model his grace and love through our willingness to help our neighbors and each other during this global emergency. I do hope we can together live out four simple guidelines from Proverbs 3: “Trust the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”

Additionally, Psalm 46 reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The full Psalm is an eloquent perspective on the current situation that I encourage each of us to mediate upon in prayer as we navigate the uncharted course that lies ahead. Thank you for continuing to keep the College in your prayers even when we are praying for you.

In Cristo Omnia Nova,


Jim Belcher

Providence Christian College
464 E Walnut Street
Pasadena, California 91101
Toll-free 866.323.0233
Fax 626.696.4040

COVID-19 Update - March 12, 2020

March 12, 2020

Dear Providence Community,

Los Angeles County and California continue to be in a declared state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 situation. In addition, the city of Pasadena has identified the first confirmed case of COVID-19. As you know, this situation is fluid and changing daily. It is our desire to keep you as up to date as possible on the response and plans for the Providence Christian College community.

Effective immediately, Providence administration has decided to extend the spring break and the entire semester by one week in order to further assess the situation and determine the best course of action for the completion of the spring term. This means that, as of today, the plan will be for students to return to campus to resume classes on Monday, March 23rd. Additionally, our semester end will be pushed back by one week to Friday, May 8th, and Commencement exercises will now occur on Saturday, May 9th. We were notified today that, effective immediately, the California Pacific Conference is suspending all athletics activities indefinitely. Athletic Director, Brian DeHaan, has also cancelled all campus athletic activities and will be working with the baseball coach and team to process return home for all players today and tomorrow.

We realize that this may be inconvenient for some, however, like everyone else, we are keeping abreast of the latest information and are seeking to make decisions that are in the best interests of our students. We will send you another formal communication next week, Thursday, March 19, to give you another update, including whether or not the remainder of the semester coursework will be transitioned to a remote format.

As was communicated last week, we would ask that students avoid nonessential travel, to halt all international travel to CDC Level 3 countries, and to be prudent about domestic travel and monitoring their health closely. We must require any member of the campus community to self-report illness. This is critically important as it may impact the ability to continue on-campus operations. We do recommend that any student who becomes ill while away from campus on spring break remain off campus until they are free of fever for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.

Providence is prepared to support faculty and students to continue their coursework remotely, if that is determined to be the best course of action. The decision of whether or not to do this will be made and included in the communication coming to you next week, Thursday, March 19.

If there is anything we can assist you with or questions we can answer, please don’t hesitate to contact Geoff Shaw, Dean of Student Life, at 626-696-4020 or

We are grateful with you that we serve a sovereign God who knows and controls all things and has promised us that all things must work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. What comfort that gives to us in the midst of such uncertainty!

In Cristo Omnia Nova,


Jim Belcher

Providence Christian College
464 E Walnut Street
Pasadena, California 91101
Toll-free 866.323.0233
Fax 626.696.4040

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