A message from Dr. Akin about Spring 2021 Semester
On this page you will find all of the information you need about Southeastern’s response to COVID-19 and related news. Below you will find links to local and state news sources, a link to relevant news releases, applications for housing and financial aid, Magnolia Kitchen updates, and more.
North Carolina COVID-19 Info Hub
Click here for the state government’s information and latest updates.
Housing & Tuition Assistance
Click here for SEBTS COVID-19 Assistance Request Form for Housing and Tuition.
Click here for the latest news releases from Southeastern.
Magnolia Kitchen Information
Click here for Magnolia Kitchen info and how to order food.
All visitors to Magnolia Kitchen will wear a face-covering when not eating and will socially distance while waiting in line. Plexiglass shields have been installed at the register to limit contact between staff and patrons. Sanitation of MK has been increased in order to ensure safety.
Southeastern Student Health Center
Click here for information about Southeastern’s health center.
Winter/Spring Semester FAQ on COVID-19 Policies:
What will be the start and end dates of the Spring Semester?
Classes will begin on January 21, 2021, and end on May 12, 2021. On-campus classes will be in-person for the entirety of the semester. Spring Break is scheduled for March 1-5, 2021, and Easter Break for March 29-April 2, 2021.
What will be the policies for in-person classes?
In-person classes will still require face coverings for the students and operate under the same spatial distancing standards (3 feet) used during the Fall semester. Classrooms will be cleaned, but the level and frequency of the cleaning will change. Research has shown that there is a very small chance of becoming infected from COVID-19 from the presence of the virus on hard-surfaces.
All in-person classes will also be recorded. The same attendance policies from the Fall that allow students to utilize recorded lectures in cases where they must quarantine or do not feel comfortable attending class still apply.
Will there be hybrid classes?
Hybrid classes will return in the Spring semester.
What will be the plan for chapel for the Spring?
Chapel will return to a Tuesday and Thursday schedule from 10:30am to 11:30am. Face coverings will be required and the same spatial distancing requirements for the Fall indoor chapel services will be used.
Will there be events on campus?
In-person events will be allowed but will require face coverings and spatial distancing. Only local speakers will be allowed for the events. Speakers that are not from the area will need to continue to participate virtually.
What is the plan for Spring graduation?
Graduation is scheduled for May 14, 2021. At this time, it has not been determined if it will be inside or outside.
Will there be mission trips or study tours?
Mission trips and study tours will still be on hold. Planning for potential summer trips can continue. As trip cancellation deadlines approach, further assessments will be made.
What are the requirements for face coverings?
Face coverings help in reducing the spread of COVID-19 by protecting others from either contracting the virus or reducing the viral load that an individual might receive from someone else.
Face coverings will still be required per the Fall semester guidelines (see next FAQ). Faculty and Staff are required to wear face coverings in all locations inside except when sitting at their desk spatially distanced from others. Face coverings are required in the Library except when sitting spatially distanced from others. Face coverings are required in the Ledford Center except when eating or when exercising in the fitness center.
What is SEBTS mask policy?
SEBTS Face Covering Policy: In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, SEBTS is requiring that face coverings be worn on campus where spatial distancing of at least 6 feet cannot be achieved. In addition, when moving around campus and inside buildings, face coverings are required for Faculty, Staff, Students, and Visitors. Face coverings are always required in the classroom (unless one of the following exceptions applies).
Face coverings are not required of certain individuals in the following circumstances.
- Faculty or Staff are not required to wear face covering when they are in their office and not interacting in-person with other individuals.
- Students are not required to wear face coverings when they are sitting spatially distanced in locations like the Library, outside on the campus, or eating. Please note that we ask that all individuals not eat or drink while moving inside buildings or around campus and in the classrooms so that compliance with the face covering policy can be followed.
- Dorm residents are not required to wear facing coverings inside their own dorm bedroom with the door closed.
- No one is required to wear face coverings when walking outside on campus spatially distanced from other people.
- Faculty are not required to wear face coverings when they are teaching with at least 6 feet of distance from other individuals.
- Per CDC guidelines, children under the age of 2 are not required to wear face coverings.
Definition: The following definition of a face covering is taken from Executive Order #147 issued by Governor Cooper on June 24, 2020.
A “Face Covering” means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face. A Face Covering can be made of a variety of synthetic and natural fabrics, including cotton, silk, or linen. Ideally, a Face Covering has two (2) or more layers. A Face Covering may be factory-made, sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, bandanas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels. These Face Coverings are not intended for use by healthcare providers in the care of patients.
CDC Guidance: Faculty, Staff, Students and Visitors are to consult CDC guidelines regarding face coverings and should pay special attention to the instructions on the proper storage and cleaning of face coverings.
Why does SEBTS require face coverings?
While the public debate on face coverings has reached an elevated level, SEBTS desires for our students to express the Christian care, concern, and decorum that the Bible requires from us. Face Coverings are currently both an issue of living in submission to governing authorities as commanded in Romans 13:1-2 and of considering others as more important than ourselves as taught in Philippians 2:1-4.
Are there exceptions/exemptions to the mask requirement?
Exemptions: SEBTS does allow for exemptions to the Face Covering Policy for medical reasons. Otherwise, all students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear masks at all times while on SEBTS property where spatial distancing of at least six (6) feet cannot be achieved. If you have a medical exception and need to be exempt from the required mask rule, please contact the Dean of Students Office immediately by calling (919) 761-2306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In cases where an exemption is granted, an individual will be issued a green bracelet with the words “SEBTS Mask Exemption” embossed on the bracelet to identify that an exemption has been granted. Individuals that are granted an exemption are required to take extra care to maintain proper spatial distancing. In the classroom setting and while moving around campus, those with an exemption are required to maintain at least 6 feet distancing from other individuals. SEBTS does offer a wide selection of online classes that might be more suited for those with medical conditions preventing them from wearing masks. A request for an exemption must be submitted to the Dean of Students Office by emailing John Hare at email@example.com.
What if I choose not to follow the mask requirement?
Students who do not follow the campus mask policy will be asked to put on a face covering immediately or leave the campus.
Compliance with the Face Coverings Policy is a condition of in-person enrollment, employment, and in-person presence on campus. If an individual is found not in compliance with this policy, penalties can range initially from a warning to disciplinary action regarding student status or employment, and/or removal from campus for repeated failures to comply. If a student refuses to wear a face covering in the classroom, a professor has the right to require that the student leave and not return until a face covering is worn.
If a student forgets their face covering or their face covering becomes damaged making it unwearable, they can obtain one from the front desks at the Ledford Center or the Library. However, students and guests on campus are responsible for obtaining and using their own face coverings.
This policy will remain in effect until rescinded by the institution.
Policy Date: August 5, 2020
What about indoor gatherings?
Indoor gatherings will still follow the restrictions on numbers used for the Fall semester. Numbers for spaces are defined in SEBTSCAL. Face coverings are required along with spatial distancing.
Is there the possibility that restrictions for the Spring will be relaxed at some point?
The Seminary will continue to monitor the development and availability of vaccines, therapies, and research in conjunction with the CDC guidelines. The status of these elements could lead to a lessening of restrictions.
What about food service through Magnolia Kitchen in the Spring?
Magnolia Kitchen will operate with the same procedures as this Fall including the use of Personal Protection Equipment, packaged food, and scheduling meal pickup times for meal plan participants based on last name.
Will there be an in-person New Student Orientation for the Spring?
New Student Orientation will take place online like the Fall semester.
What about office arrangements and remote working?
Office spacing will remain consistent with the Fall allowing for only one staff member per 144 sq ft. Remote and hybrid working is still available except for positions that must operate on campus. Remote and hybrid working details are to be worked out with your supervisor.
What about testing and quarantine requirements?
Testing and quarantine requirements will remain the same as the Fall and are covered in our FAQ’s below:
- What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19?
- What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19?
Southeastern has designated space for quarantine housing for any students who have not tested positive for COVID-19 but are displaying symptoms or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. If a student is displaying symptoms or comes into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must immediately email firstname.lastname@example.org and call John Hare in the Dean of Students Office at (919-761-2306) in order for an assessment to be made. If they need to move into quarantine housing, they will be able to move essential items into the designated quarantine housing and will be asked to remain quarantined for two weeks. Accommodations will be made for meals.
Students should be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19:
· Fever or chills
· Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
· Muscle or body aches
· New loss of taste or smell
· Sore throat
· Congestion or runny nose
· Nausea or vomiting
You can call our campus doctor, Dr. Robert Stewart, of the Southeastern Health Center at (919) 604-1297 if you have COVID symptoms or have tested positive for COVID.
If you need to get tested for COVID, you can access the Wake County testing link here https://covid19.wakegov.com/testing/.
Radeas Labs will be providing free COVID testing every week, Monday – Saturday from 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. until the end of the year. Same day results (24 hour or less).
907 Gateway Commons Cir. Suite #100
Wake Forest, NC 27587
Phone number: (919) 263-1150
What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
If a student contracts the COVID-19 virus, the first course of action is to help the student receive care and to ensure the safety of the remainder of the student body to the best of our ability. A student receiving a positive test for COVID-19 must immediately email email@example.com and call John Hare in the Dean of Students Office (919-761-2306). Students who contract COVID-19 will need to quarantine according to CDC guidelines. Students who live in SEBTS dormitories will be required to move to a quarantine designated space unless they opt to return home. In addition, if the person has a roommate, their roommate will also be required to move to a quarantine designated space or return home, and their room will be deep cleaned by Facilities. Those students who live in SEBTS housing who test positive will also need to quarantine. Determination regarding how best to quarantine in this situation will be advised on a case-by-case basis. Students who do not live in SEBTS housing must quarantine and stay off campus property according to CDC guidelines.
The Dean of Students Office will share all reports of those with symptoms or positive tests with our campus physician for follow-up even if the student is working with their own physician.
What will the library’s hours and services look like?
The library, as in the Fall Semester, will be available during their normal operating hours as well as continue virtual services. The library will be opened with numerous guidelines in effect to promote the safety of all patrons and employees including the following:
- Masks will be provided for Library staff to wear on a voluntary basis. Staff and patrons are encouraged to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their face. Staff and patrons should remain home if they show any signs of sickness.
- Facilities Management and Library staff will work to ensure that hard surfaces are regularly cleaned. Facilities will clean areas and surfaces they normally clean on a heightened schedule. High touch surfaces like doorknobs and crash bars will be cleaned at least once every 2 hours.
- Facilities will provide cleaning supplies for circulation, reference, floor, and archives, along with a video for Library staff on proper cleaning techniques for their areas. Library staff will watch the video before reporting to work.
- Library staff will wipe down reference and circulation services once per hour. The person assigned to floor will wipe down hard surfaces such as tables and computers after patrons use them.
- Public coffee service has been discontinued for the foreseeable future
- Books may be returned using the outside book drop. Staff will use gloves when removing books from book drop. Returned books will be quarantined for at least 3 days before being returned to circulation.
- Circulation of regular materials will proceed as before, including circulation of items by mail.
- Reference stacks will be open and functioning as normal.
- Social distancing:
- Two people will be allowed at larger tables (6 ft. in length or larger), provided they distance themselves. One person will be allowed at smaller tables.
- Patrons and staff will maintain six feet of distance from others at all times.
- The floor person will serve as a roving social distance monitor asking people to spread out, if necessary.
An Important Message for our Returning Students
For all of our college students living in the dormitories, you are REQUIRED to verify a negative test before moving into the dormitories. Please see the section below, the previous email from the Housing Office, or contact the Housing or Dean of Students Office for this information.
For all of our returning students who are taking on-campus classes or live in campus housing, you are encouraged to get a COVID test before the start of classes Thursday, January 21. As COVID cases continue to increase across the state and nationwide, a verification of a negative test result for COVID would be most helpful in ensuring the health and safety of the SEBTS community as the semester begins. Please get a COVID test either within 48 hours of returning to campus housing or within 48 hours of your classes starting. While SEBTS is not requiring you to get a COVID test, SEBTS is highly encouraging you to get a COVID test in order to verify a negative result. You can be tested at the facility of your choice. However, the closest free testing station is located at Radeas Labs, 907 Gateway Commons Cir, Suite 100, Wake Forest, NC 27587. It is a drive-thru testing site and is available Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Test results normally take 24-48 hours. Be sure to be tested in a timely manner as to allow time for the test results to be returned. You do NOT need to report a negative test, but if you test positive, you must notify the Dean of Students Office.
Furthermore, the SEBTS mask policy will still be in place for the Spring 2021 semester. Face coverings must be worn anytime you are on campus. If you had COVID previously or have gotten the vaccine, you will still be required to wear a face covering.
A Message for our College Students Moving into and Returning to the Dormitories in The College at Southeastern
As COVID cases continue to increase and for the safety of all of our students, SEBTS is requiring all dorm students to be tested and verify certification of a negative test result for COVID. A negative test must be verified before a student can move into a dorm.
To all dorm students scheduled to move in, After receiving a negative test, each student must: 1) Click the following link, 2) Find their name, 3) Indicate if they have received a negative COVID test 48 hours prior to moving into the dorms.
Note: students may be asked to provide documentation of their negative test results upon arrival.
For those students who are currently staying in the dorm (students who are checked in with a room key), certification of a negative test result for COVID must be received by noon on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. You can be tested at the facility of your choice. However, the closest free testing station is located at Radeas Labs, 907 Gateway Commons Cir, Suite 100, Wake Forest, NC 27587. It is a drive-thru testing site and is available Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Test results normally take 24-48 hours. Be sure to be tested in a timely manner as to allow time for the test results to be returned.
After receiving a negative test, each student must: 1) Click the link following link, 2) Find their name, 3) Indicate if they have received a negative COVID test.
Note: students may be asked to provide documentation of their negative test results.
For those students who have their room key but are home or out of town for break, you must be tested for COVID 48 hours prior to your return to the dorm and receive a negative test result.
After receiving a negative test, each student must: 1) Click the link following link, 2) Find their name, 3) Indicate if they have received a negative COVID test 48 hours prior to moving into the dorms.
Note: students may be asked to provide documentation of their negative test results upon arrival.
Additionally, if you have experienced any of the following symptoms or if any of the following situations have applied to you within the past two weeks you are required to contact the Dean of Students Office.
- Fever (typically fever of 100.4 F or greater)
- Sore throat
- Some cases of headaches and/or muscles pains
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Loss of taste or smell
- You or anyone in your household is awaiting COVID test results or experiencing symptoms of COVID.
- You or anyone in your household has been in close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes of more) with a person who has tested positive for COVID or displayed COVID symptoms (regardless of whether either person was wearing a mask).
- You or anyone in your household has had multiple small interactions with someone with COVID over a 24-hour period.
- You or anyone in your household has tested positive for COVID.
- You or anyone in your household has travelled out of the country.
Will the on-campus dorms be open for Spring 2021?
Yes. The College at Southeastern has resumed campus operations and staff are working hard to prepare for resumption of dorm life for Spring 2021. Every member of the College family must be ready to create a culture of responsibility and resilience. The health and safety of our community is our paramount priority as we adapt to the COVID-19 threat. Each of us must make personal commitment to act every day to protect our own health and the health of others.
College Life has established new social norms for dorm living. These are being communicated to each student scheduled to live in the dorms. Emphasis will be placed on adherence to guidelines related to visitors, cleaning practices, social distancing and honest communication when concerns arise. Students living in the dorms must be committed to high standards of personal behavior and hygiene to protect themselves and the other members of their living community.
Following shared responsibility expectations, common spaces will be altered, and residents will be expected to follow approved guidelines for cleaning, social distancing, wearing of masks, refraining from large events, etc.
Facilities, Cleaning, & Isolation Planning
Facilities, cleaning, and isolation planning will be altered to lower risk of exposure and promote the health and safety of all residents.
Facilities Management will work in partnership with residents to increase cleaning and disinfecting in the dorms. Common areas will be sanitized twice daily. In addition, ionization filtration systems are being installed in dorms and classrooms.
Isolation & Quarantine Planning
A comprehensive plan to isolate or quarantine residents who show symptoms or become ill with COVID-19 and are unable to travel home. This will include procedures for health checks, emotional support, meal delivery and other support services.
Resident Hall Cleanings:
In order to love and serve the students at the College at Southeastern, the following cleaning procedures will be implemented in the Goldston and Lolley resident halls as we attempt to reduce the risk of students contracting COVID-19:
- The dorms will be cleaned and sanitized in anticipation for the arrival of the student.
- The use of shared common room and kitchen facilities will require heightened hygiene practices and frequent sanitization by Southeastern staff.
- Dorm common areas will to be sanitized by Facilities Staff Monday through Friday every morning and afternoon.
- College Life staff will be responsible for sanitizing on Saturday and Sunday.
- The surfaces that are to be sanitized are as follows: door handles, light switches, handrails, kitchen surfaces, chairs, tables, and bathroom surfaces (common baths only).
- Soft seating cannot be safely sanitized on a regular basis and thus will be stored away and off limits to the students. Hard seating will be provided in lounge areas.
- Private bathroom cleaning and sanitizing will be the tenant’s responsibility.
- Hand sanitizing dispensers will be installed in the entryway of every riser.
Resident Hall Policy:
In order to ensure the safety of our students, we will be implementing the following policies in Goldston Hall and Lolley Hall. Any student found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.
In All On-Campus Residence Halls, the following policies will also be in place:
- People in the residential areas are required to maintain social distancing
- Wearing a mask is strongly encouraged
- Soft furniture unable to be properly cleaned is unavailable to use. This furniture will be replaced by other furniture that is able to be cleaned on a regular basis in order to maintain an adequate standard of cleanliness.
- Eating in the common areas is prohibited, eating in the kitchen is permitted provided social distancing is maintained
- Residents are not allowed to enter any dorm room that is not their assigned room
- Each resident is assigned a bathroom with a maximum of 4 residents sharing a bathroom and must only use their assigned bathroom at all times
- All outside visitation from guests is prohibited in the resident halls, including overnight guests
- Cross-resident hall visitation is prohibited
- Signage stating this policy is clearly visible in every resident hall
There will also be limits on the number of students allowed in the common rooms, kitchen, laundry rooms, and any other common areas in both Goldston and Lolley Hall.
What will SEBTS do if COVID-19 rates continue to increase?
If North Carolina continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases, SEBTS is considering two alternative courses of action.
- The first plan includes smaller classes where students will alternate between attending classes in-person or online.
- The second plan is to take all classes fully online, but with plans to provide an enhanced student experience with selective on-campus events that observe all necessary precautions.
We continue to monitor the infection rates in North Carolina and are developing plans that correspond with the measures taken by the state of North Carolina.
For any additional questions you may have, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.