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Alerts: Coronavirus

The following FAQs reflect the Seminary’s current coronavirus guidelines and resources. These FAQs will be updated as needed.

For Students

Health

What do I do if I feel sick?

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, or shortness of breath, contact your health care provider and seek medical attention. Stay in your residence or dorm room out of respect for the community, and notify Jan Ammon by completing this form. We would like to keep track of the health and wellness of our students. If you are ill and unable to participate in online classes, please contact the Dean of Student Life.

I am not sick but have been in close contact to someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus. What should I do?

Consult your health care provider and notify Jan Ammon by completing this form. You are advised to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the last exposure, and be monitored by a health care professional.

I am not sick but have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus but has not yet been diagnosed. What should I do?

Consult your health care provider and notify Jan Ammon by completing this form. If the contact tests positive for coronavirus, you are advised to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the last exposure, and be monitored by a health care professional.

Who is defined to be a close contact?

According to the New Jersey Department of Health, a close contact is defined as: (a) being within approximately six feet of a COVID‐19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID‐19 case; or (b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID‐19 case (e.g., being coughed on).

I recently returned from an area where COVID-19 is present and have symptoms consistent with coronavirus. What should I do?

If you are exhibiting symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, contact your health care provider and notify Jan Ammon by completing this form. Your health care professional will work with the health department and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

I have not traveled recently to an area where COVID-19 is present, but I have symptoms of respiratory illness. What do I do?

Those who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are asked to stay in the residence or dorm room until they are free of fever, signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants).

What should secondary contacts do? I am not sick but I have been in the proximity of someone who is under self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.

Being a secondary contact does not require you to self-quarantine. You would only self-quarantine if you are a close contact of a presumptive or confirmed coronavirus case. You should continue to monitor yourself for symptoms. If you notice that you have symptoms and feel that you need to be medically evaluated, contact your health care provider and stay home.

What should tertiary contacts do? If I have been in contact with someone who has had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, what do I do?

Being in contact with someone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 does not require testing. For example, if you have a coworker whose family member is a confirmed case, you would not need to be tested. Despite coming into contact with the coworker, you did not have close contact with the person who actually has COVID-19.

Monitor yourself for symptoms and practice good hand hygiene. If you notice that you have symptoms, contact your health care provider and stay home.

Academics

Are summer language courses taking place?

Summer language courses will be held online. The Office of Digital Learning is working with faculty to design the online summer language program in a way that facilitates meaningful learning and community. These courses will follow a cohort model, and small groups will walk through the material together, including attending live web conferences, viewing recorded lectures, participating in virtual study groups, and joining cohort discussions. The registrar will send information about registration next week. The registration deadline is June 19.

How will the Seminary proceed with classes?

Reading Week has been extended until Friday, March 20 to aid in our transition to digital instruction. Beginning Monday, March 23, all classes will be held at their customary day and time. Instead of meeting face to face, classes will meet digitally using Webex (our web conferencing platform), which has now been embedded into Blackboard.

Your instructors are committed to offering live class sessions for as long as the situation allows. We recognize that it may not always be possible for everyone to join the live sessions. For most classes, video recordings will be available on Blackboard within 48 hours so that you can track with the class if you have to miss a live session. If you have concerns about accessing the recordings, email your instructor.

I don’t have a computer. How can I participate in digital classes?

Please contact help.desk@ptsem.edu for assistance. IT Support Services will help ensure you have access to a computer.

How will my courses proceed?

Instructors will be reaching out to each of their classes to explain how courses will proceed for the remainder of the semester. Please be sure to check your email for these communications.

How do I join a live class session?

All you need is the internet and a computer, phone, or tablet. Click here to learn how to find your Webex class link in Blackboard. Click on the following links to learn how to:

What if I can’t join a live class session?

We understand that a number of issues may prevent you from joining a live class session (losing your internet connection, a time zone change, or other demands on your time). If you expect to miss a session or have ongoing concerns about attendance, please talk with your instructor. If you unexpectedly miss a session, please email your instructor to let them know that you will view the recording when it is available.

What do I do if my kids are at home, or if I have roommates or other family?

We understand that many of you are working at home alongside family or other roommates. Try to join the live class, if possible, and feel free to use the mute and video off features as needed. If, for personal reasons, you are unable to attend a live class session and a recording is available, be sure to watch it on your own time.

How will classes be graded this semester?

In order to alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty that may come with the sudden shift to online learning, the default grading system this semester has been changed to Pass/D/Fail. If you wish to choose a letter grade system for one or more of your courses, you must notify the instructor of each course and the Registrar of that choice by April 17.

Who can I contact when I need support or accommodations for specific challenges?

If you have ongoing challenges that prevent you from staying on track with a particular class, please reach out to the instructor first. For academic issues that your instructor cannot or does not address, contact Academic Support (academic.support@ptsem.edu). If you are dealing with an illness or other personal challenges, contact the dean of Student Life (deanofstudentlife@ptsem.edu). If you need support navigating Webex and/or Blackboard, please contact the Office of Digital Learning (learning@ptsem.edu), IT Support Services (help.desk@ptsem.edu), or Blackboard (blackboard@ptsem.edu).

Where do I find tech support and resources?

Attend DLL Support Hours. The Digital Learning Lab has become truly digital. Find them on Webex here Monday through Friday from 1:00-5:00 pm. An Office of Digital Learning staff member will be there to answer your questions about Webex, Blackboard, Zotero, or other digital learning tools. The Office of Digital Learning also has a news page at https://learning.ptsem.edu/news/.

Search the ODL Knowledge Base. The Knowledge Base has articles that can help answer some basic Webex questions. If you are having trouble with a Webex feature, try searching there or the Webex Help Center.

Email. If you can’t find the help you need during the support hours or from the knowledge base, feel free to email the Office of Digital Learning with your questions. Email blackboard@ptsem.edu with any Blackboard-related questions, and email help.desk@ptsem.edu with any Webex-related questions.



Can I use Webex on my own to meet with other students?

Yes! You are able to host a meeting yourself. Feel free to use this to collaborate with others on your own time. To learn how to schedule a meeting on the website click here and on the desktop application click here. To learn how to use your personal meeting room click here.

Student Life

When will commencement take place?

We will hold a postponed commencement celebration for the class of 2020 next year, May 10, 2021, in the Princeton University Chapel. We hope that as many graduates as possible will be able to return to campus to celebrate, and more details of the festivities will be forthcoming.

How will I receive my diploma?

In light of our postponed commencement ceremony, graduates will receive their diplomas by mail this May. They will also receive refunds for the graduation fee.

How does this impact my housing?

As you know, the situation with the coronavirus is changing rapidly every day. We strongly encourage you, if possible, to leave the Seminary campus. We do not have a medical center on campus, and it would be difficult to provide the care and support we would want you to receive if you have been exposed to or there is a diagnosed case of COVID-19.

With that being said, we realize it is not possible for all of our students to leave campus, for a variety of reasons. If you need to remain in residence, we will do all that we can to be of support. However, we need you to understand that resources will be limited beginning March 20 at 5 p.m. Students who wish to stay in residence will be subject to further social distancing measures, and students in Alexander Hall and Hodge Hall will relocate on a temporary basis to apartments at CRW.

If you have any questions, please email housing@ptsem.edu.

If I move off campus, will the Seminary reimburse me for unused room and board?

Students who choose to leave campus through the end of the semester will be reimbursed up until April 3 for unused portions of room/board or rent. If you desire to leave for a period of time and return to campus housing, we are sorry that reimbursement will not be available.

I want to return home but do not have the funds to do so. Can the Seminary help?

Please contact the Dean of Student Life if you wish to return home but need financial assistance.

I am relocating from a dorm room to CRW. If I forget something in my dorm, can I go back for it?

Please be sure to bring any belongings you think you may need for the remainder of the semester. Effective March 20 at 5 p.m., Alexander Hall and Hodge Hall will be closed until further notice.

What social distancing efforts must I commit to if I stay on campus?

Those who live in the CRW/Witherspoon and Tennent-Roberts apartments need to be particularly vigilant about abiding by the best guidance—and mandate—we are receiving from government and health officials, so that we can do our part to prevent an outbreak among our residential units. This means:

  • There should be no gatherings of any kind, either outside or in your apartments.
  • The playgrounds and pavilions at CRW and Tennent-Roberts will be closed until further notice.
  • Keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and others.
  • Stay in your residence, except for essential trips like the grocery store or pharmacy.
  • When you do need to go out, limit one to two people per car (other than families traveling together).
  • Outdoor activities are acceptable when they comply with stringent social distancing; organized sports and games are not permitted.
  • Wash your hands often and practice good hygiene.
  • Guests are not permitted on campus.

These are not optional guidelines, but they are the expectation and requirement for those living in the community.

What meal options are available if I remain on campus?

Dining services will close on March 20 after lunch service. Beginning Friday at dinner time, we will provide to-go meals for students on the board plan at CRW. There will be a limited menu, with attention to dietary restrictions. The Office of Student Life will provide additional information to students on this plan.

If you decide to leave the campus for the semester, you may receive a reimbursement for unused dining costs by emailing housing@ptsem.edu.

Will the Library still be open?

The Library will close to patrons on Friday, March 20, at 4:30 p.m. All digital resources will continue to be accessible and reference assistance will be available online.

Can student small groups still meet?

In keeping with social distancing practices, please refrain from meeting with other students in groups. We encourage students who wish to gather together for prayer, spiritual practices, or Bible study to do so digitally, using tools like WebEx.

Is Tiger Transit still operational?

Tiger Transit will continue to run as scheduled until Friday, March 20 at 8 p.m., after which service will stop.

What’s happening with the fitness center, fitness classes, and sport events?

All yoga, fitness classes, and recreational sports are cancelled for the rest of the semester. The basketball court, exercise room, gym, and fitness center are closed until further notice.

Will there still be worship services and spiritual support?

Though we will not be gathering for daily worship, the Chapel Office Team will be creating other ways to worship and provide spiritual support. Please be sure to check your email for Daily Bread, a new spiritual offering from the Chapel Office. There will be more to come!

Who can I contact for emotional support and care?

The concept of “social distancing” is a difficult one to embrace even though we understand its benefits for our community. We are mindful that this may create isolation and anxiety for members of our community. If you are feeling anxious or unsettled, please feel free to email Jan, Yedea, or Wanda Sevey (our new Director of Student Counseling.) We are very glad to meet with you to talk and pray. We will also be creating opportunities for support and care as these days unfold.

I am a student worker. How does this affect my employment?

Students should consult their supervisor about social distancing protocols, including the possibility of working remotely.

If you are leaving campus, you will be permitted to work if your job is appropriate for remote work.

If you are leaving campus and cannot perform your job duties remotely, you will be paid for your average number of work hours until the end of the semester. For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid (financial.aid@ptsem.edu).

Students should contact their supervisors to make arrangements.

Can I still go to campus? What about town?

For your health and safety and the health and safety of others, it is recommended you limit your travel. Only leave campus for essential services.

What are the hours of operation for the mailroom?

Please see below for times when students can receive services, including pick-up of mail and packages:

Mon: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tue: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Wed: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Thu: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Fri: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Outside of the hours listed above, students will have access to their mailboxes using their Seminary ID cards from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Please enter the mailroom via the student lounge door, on the side of Mackay Campus Center near the steps. Please be sure to remember your mailbox key.

Mailroom staff will go to the post office on Mondays and Thursdays only, therefore all outgoing USPS mail will go to the Post office on those days.


For Employees

Health

What do I do if I feel sick?

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, or shortness of breath, contact your healthcare provider and do not come to work. Be sure to notify your supervisor and notify Jan Ammon by completing this form.

I am not sick but have been in close contact to someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus. What should I do?

Consult your health care provider, notify Jan Ammon by completing this form, and do not come to work. You are advised to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the last exposure, and be monitored by a health care professional. You may return to work if you do not have any symptoms after 14 days.

I am not sick but have been in close contact with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus but has not yet been diagnosed. What should I do?

Consult your health care provider and do not come to work until the contact’s diagnosis is complete. Please also notify Jan Ammon by completing this form. If the contact tests positive for coronavirus, you are advised to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days from the last exposure, and be monitored by a health care professional. You may return to work if you do not have any symptoms after 14 days. If the contact tests negative for coronavirus, you may return to work.

Who is defined to be a close contact?

According to the New Jersey Department of Health, a close contact is defined as: (a) being within approximately six feet of a COVID‐19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID‐19 case; or (b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID‐19 case (e.g., being coughed on).

I recently returned from an area where COVID-19 is present and have symptoms consistent with coronavirus. What should I do?

If you are exhibiting symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, contact your health care provider, notify Jan Ammon by completing this form, and do not report to work. Your health care professional will work with the health department and the CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

I have not traveled recently to an area where COVID-19 is present, but I have symptoms of respiratory illness. Can I come to work?

Those who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are asked to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever, signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants).

What should secondary contacts do? I am not sick but I have been in the proximity of someone who is under self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.

Being a secondary contact does not require you to self-quarantine. You would only self-quarantine if you are a close contact of a presumptive or confirmed coronavirus case. You should continue to monitor yourself for symptoms. If you notice that you have symptoms and feel that you need to be medically evaluated, contact your health care provider and stay home.

What should tertiary contacts do? If I have been in contact with someone who has had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, what do I do?

Being in contact with someone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 does not require testing. For example, if you have a coworker whose family member is a confirmed case, you would not need to be tested. Despite coming into contact with the coworker, you did not have close contact with the person who actually has COVID-19.

Monitor yourself for symptoms and practice good hand hygiene. If you notice that you have symptoms, contact your health care provider and do not come to work.

Workplace

Do I report to work?

Beginning Friday, March 20 at 5 p.m., the Seminary will move to a state of partial campus closure until at least May 1.

All employees who can fulfill their job responsibilities remotely will continue their work with a normal schedule.

Personnel who fulfill critical functions to campus operations will continue to report to campus.

Otherwise, all of our employees who cannot fulfill their job responsibilities remotely will be asked to stay home and will continue to receive full pay and benefits.

If you are not feeling well or have been in contact with someone being tested for coronavirus, notify your manager and notify Jan Ammon by completing this form.

Confer with your manager about changes in work location or schedule as part of social distancing measures.

What are social distancing measures?

Each department will develop and implement a social distancing plan that is appropriate to their work and schedule. This may include:

  • Encouraging employees to work from home whenever possible
  • Allowing for flexible work hours
  • Limiting in-person meetings and using digital technology to communicate whenever possible
  • Avoiding large meetings or meetings in rooms that cannot hold at least three times the number of persons

Managers will develop departmental social distancing policies for their teams. You should talk with your manager about expectations for social distancing.

Can I work remotely?

Employees whose work can be performed from home are encouraged to work remotely. Those whose work cannot be performed remotely should confer with their supervisor about whether and when they need to report to campus. Personnel who fulfill critical functions will continue to report to campus, and all others whose work cannot be performed remotely will be asked to stay home and will continue to receive full pay and benefits.

If you are fulfilling your job responsibilities remotely, you should talk with your manager about expectations for social distancing. You are expected to work a full schedule and be available for conferencing and digital meetings if you’re working from home.

Do I have to come to work if I’m concerned, at risk, or have preexisting conditions?

From March 20 at 5 p.m. until at least May 1, the Seminary will move to a state of partial campus closure. Employees who are able to fulfill their job responsibilities remotely will continue their work with a normal schedule. Employees may choose to use paid time off (PTO) in accordance with the Seminary’s regular policy.

If you are at particular risk because of preexisting conditions and your duties cannot be performed remotely, please contact HR for further guidance.

How do I handle my childcare if schools are closed?

Confer with your manager about changes in work location or flexible hours that may help to accommodate caregiving. If the Seminary is open, you are expected to work a full schedule and perform your job as assigned. Employees may choose to use paid time off (PTO) in accordance with the Seminary’s regular policy.

How does this affect student employment?

Students should consult their supervisor about social distancing protocols, including the possibility of working remotely.

If a student is leaving campus, they will be permitted to work if their job is appropriate for remote work.

If a student is leaving campus and cannot perform their job duties remotely, students will be paid for their average number of work hours until the end of the semester. For more information, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Students should contact their supervisor to discuss their situation.

How will my pay be affected if I’m required to work more than my normal hours due to employee shortages?

Current pay practices and overtime rules are in effect for all employees.

What happens if the Seminary closes?

During a partial campus closure, all employees who can fulfill their job responsibilities remotely will continue their work with a normal schedule. All employees who cannot fulfill their job responsibilities remotely will be asked to stay home with full pay and benefits until further notice. Personnel who fulfill critical functions will continue to report to campus.

If the Seminary closes entirely, the same principles would apply as for any other closure, such as weather-related closure. Employees will be paid and would not be required to use leave time.

Departments are developing contingency plans that will identify those who must continue to work if the Seminary is closed. If your position fulfills a critical function, you will be informed.

Proper precautions and protections will be used as appropriate, depending on your department and role.

What are the hours of operation for the mailroom?

Please see below for times when you can receive services, including pick-up of mail and packages:

Mon: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tue: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Wed: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Thu: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Fri: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Everyday from 7:15 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., employees will have access to their mailboxes using their Seminary ID cards. Please enter the mailroom via the student lounge door (on the side of Mackay Campus Center near the steps). Please be sure to remember your mailbox key.

Mailroom staff will go to the post office on Mondays and Thursdays only, therefore all outgoing USPS mail will go to the Post office on those days.

Mail will not be delivered to offices or departments.


General FAQ

Has anyone been diagnosed with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Seminary?

There are no known cases of COVID-19 at the Seminary.

What is the Seminary doing to prepare for a potential outbreak?

There are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus.

The Seminary’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Team regularly convenes to prepare for a range of scenarios that could potentially threaten the well-being of our community. The Seminary is developing a plan unique to the potential impact of COVID-19 on our campus, offering alternative options that will ensure the continuity of classes and worship in the event of a local or regional outbreak. Information regarding this plan is available here.

What happens if I incur a significant amount of absences due to mandatory travel restrictions or illness?

If regional travel restrictions are mandated, the Seminary will activate its business and academic continuity plan to ensure classes continue, worship experiences are offered, and operations are maintained. Please note, such circumstances may call for alternative methods and reduced services.

Students who miss classes due to a documented illness should inform the dean of Student Life and their specific situations will be addressed individually.

Employees should reference the salary continuation policy in Section III of the employee handbook under “Disability Leaves of Absence.” For questions regarding work policies, employees can contact Human Resources.

What can I do now to prepare?

There are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus. We remain diligent in monitoring the situation in collaboration with the Mercer County Department of Health and the CDC.

For general emergency preparedness, it would be prudent to consider having the following available:

  • Prescription and nonprescription drugs and medical supplies
  • Toiletries
  • Cleaning products
  • Water and food supply

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Senior Pastor, Asbury United Methodist Church, Atlantic City, NJ

Latasha Milton, Class of 2018

“My passion is doing what I can to empower and liberate people who are hurting. PTS has made me a better person and pastor because it’s given me the tools to better serve the oppressed and marginalized.”