COVID-19 Information

MTSO’s Ongoing Response to the Novel Coronavirus

MTSO Campus Extend

Beginning with the Fall Semester, we are offering MTSO Campus Extend: a learning experience gathered across physical and virtual space. Classes are using a “hyflex” educational model that blends into one class, in real time, campus-based students (meeting in person) with videoconferencing students (connecting remotely), augmented with additional asynchronous work throughout the week. Read President Jay Rundell’s full message introducing Campus Extend here.

Community-life experiences such as chapel and special events will are taking place within the Campus Extend format. Here is more information about Fall Semester.

We are providing technological and instructional support for all students and faculty. Under our Healthy Together plan, campus spaces have been redesigned for lower-occupancy rooms, with reconfigured furniture and traffic patterns to facilitate social distancing. Photos of some signage and configurations are here. In some classes, professors will be physically present. In others, they will teach remotely.

The Fall Semester begins Aug. 24. However, rather than a fall break in October, there will be a two-week break at Thanksgiving, with finals taking place Dec. 7-11 as originally planned. This means less travel on and off campus during the term and no interaction in physical space after Nov. 18.

Healthy Together protocols

To ensure that each of us clearly understands our individual responsibility as a member of the MTSO community, the Administrative Council has approved a Healthy Together COVID-19 Protocol. All students and employees are required to read and sign the appropriate protocol.

The student protocol is here. The employee protocol is here.

Here is more information about safety measures MTSO has taken and safety measures required of individuals.

Academic building accessibility

Gault and Werner halls will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. Common spaces are available for studying and meeting while observing our Healthy Together protocols.

Food service

Boxed lunches will be available on Tuesdays during Fall Semester. All lunches must be preordered online by Tuesday at 9 a.m. each week. Order using this link. Payment ($6 per lunch) will be processed when the order is placed. A few notes:

  • A vegan option is available.
  • Drinks are not available.
  • We're unable to customize entrees at this time.
  • By choosing a specific pickup time for your order pickup (rather than "as soon as possible"), you will help the Dining Hall staff time meal preparation better.
  • Contactless pickup will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the breezeway between Dunn Dining Hall and Dewire Residence Hall.

MTSO community members are encouraged to bring a drink and a lawn chair to enjoy physically distanced dining and socializing on the hill in front of Dunn Dining Hall.

Chapel

Our 1 p.m. Tuesday chapel services welcome participants who gather in person in the Centrum, share the experience remotely in a classroom and tune in from home. Here is archived video of sermons from chapel services this semester:

Sept. 1: “A Good Psalm for a Pandemic?” by President Jay Rundell

Sept. 8: “Afraid of Your Own Shadow” by Assistant Professor of Homiletics, Worship, and Black Church and African Diasporic Studies Kyle Brooks

Sept. 22: “What You Have Is What You Need” by Director of Enrollment Management Benjamin Hall

Mailroom

The MTSO mailroom will have limited hours, from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also, mail will not be distributed to offices or other parts of campus. If you have ordered things to be delivered to campus, you will need to pick them up when the mailroom is open.

Single-night housing

Single-night housing is available to MTSO students who need a room for one or two nights a week. To apply, use this application. Questions? Email housing@mtso.edu.

Library

Access to the Dickhaut Library and the MTSO physical collection is suspended for faculty and students. Walkthrough browsing, study spaces and library computer use will not be available until further notice.

Requests for MTSO and OhioLINK materials can be made by using the online request form on the library’s website. Items will be left for contactless pickup in Werner Hall in the room directly across from the mailroom.

Library staff is expanding virtual services, including updating the library website content. Online research consultations can be arranged by using the online form on the library’s website or emailing Library Director Elonda Clay at eclay@mtso.edu or the Assistant Library Director David Powell at dpowell@mtso.edu.

Library staff members can provide full text of electronic articles or ebook chapters and can scan print articles and book chapters to be sent to students as PDF documents.

Campus community gatherings and events

We are committed to bringing the MTSO community together, in person when safe and virtually when necessary. Our gatherings include Tuesday chapel services.

Theological Commons: Events presented by the Theological Commons, MTSO’s public theology offering, will be planned throughout the semester. Please mark your calendar for Eating Together Faithfully, a virtual event scheduled for Nov. 5-6.

For additional events, check this space on our webpage for updates.

Conversations with the president and dean: Students are invited for weekly physically distanced conversations with Jay Rundell and Valerie Bridgeman to discuss the ways theological concerns intersect with current events. Information will be shared before each conversation.

Travel restrictions

All school-sponsored travel is suspended.

Ongoing communication

As conditions evolve, we will continue to evaluate our situation and pursue the best options for fulfilling our educational mission in new and different ways. It is vital that members of the MTSO community monitor their mtso.edu email accounts for updates. We also will post updated information on this web page.