KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)—In moves directly related to the safety of the Midwestern Seminary (MBTS) community amidst the coronavirus pandemic, President Jason Allen announced that the school’s May 1 public graduation ceremony will be canceled, and that all summer classes will be offered in a synchronous technology format.

Allen described himself as having “a heavy heart” in canceling the spring commencement exercises, which had been scheduled for May 1.

“We know how hard our students have worked to accomplish their goals of earning college, graduate, and post-graduate degrees in preparation for ministry,” he said, “but, again, we must yield to caution in defending against the effects of this deadly virus. This decision falls in line with our cancelling all other campus events for the semester.”

MBTS had already moved classes online for the remainder of the spring semester.

“First, and foremost, on our minds right now is the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and their families during this most unprecedented time in our nation’s history,” Allen said. “It is with prudence that we feel the need to extend offering our courses via synchronous technology through the summer term.”

As with many institutions of higher learning, Allen explained, Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College are continuing to prepare students for ministry via livestream and other online formats. He added, “Students can still continue to access learning from our incredible faculty even in these most difficult times.

“While we’re currently not able to offer students our typical on-campus, in-class experience, I want to assure anyone desiring to pursue their theological education that Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College are both fully operational offering our full slate of summer classes.”

Looking to the future, Allen said that, prayerfully, the institution will be fully up and running for the fall semester.

To register for summer courses, visit https://www.mbts.edu/summer20.

Regarding the cancellation of the public graduation ceremony, Allen noted that all degrees will be awarded in absentia, but graduates will have the option of crossing the stage to receive their diplomas in the December 2020 or May 2021 graduation services.

“We are extremely proud of what appears to be a record number of graduates at Midwestern Seminary this semester, and we want them to have the opportunity to receive their diplomas in person,” Allen said, “So, if they desire to ‘walk’ in a future graduation ceremony, we’d love for them to join us,” Allen said.

One other cancellation of note, associated with the recent news that the SBC Annual Meeting has been canceled, is that the SBC leadership class and the Crossover evangelism class will not be offered. Students needing information or details about those course cancellations should contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@mbts.edu.