Past updates may not reflect current or correct information.
Commencement 2021 & 2020
We will be holding an in-person commencement for the Class of 2021 on Friday, May 7, at 2 p.m. Tickets are required to attend. Masks are required inside all university buildings.
We will also have an in-person commencement for the Class of 2020 on Saturday, May 8, at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are not required. Masks are required inside all university buildings.
Both ceremonies will be streamed live.
Update — March 1
We will begin a phased approach to de-escalate the COVID-19 protocols on campus beginning March 2. Since the beginning of February, we have experienced a 90% drop in the positivity rate among the campus community. As of Monday, March 1, we have three positive student cases and one positive faculty/staff case. Our COVID-19 Task Force, in conjunction with recommendations from the Health and Safety subcommittee, carefully reviewed the data from both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing as well as studies of our campus inoculation rate.
Masking will continue to be required to enter all public buildings but will be voluntary once students are seated. Masks will also be required to enter academic buildings but at the professor’s discretion, masks may be removed once class begins.
In keeping with state guidelines for restaurants, masks will be required to enter The Den and dining common but may be removed while seated. Masks will also need to be worn in the various campus retail establishments such as the Bruins Shop, the University Cleaners and Bellis Copy Center at all times.
The COVID Task Force will continue to meet several times throughout the week and to monitor levels and advise any changes.
Update — January 11
We are excited to have students back on campus this week and are looking forward to a great semester together. We will start the spring semester with generally the same guidelines and policies in place as we had for the fall. Some additional safety measures will be implemented for the first month so that we can accurately assess the overall health of the campus.
Update — October 26
Our 2021 spring semester will begin as planned on January 12 and end with Commencement on May 7. The University will not have a spring break next semester but will include several non-instructional/off days in the calendar.
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Reporting has been updated to include a budget report.
Update — July 30
Regretfully, we have decided not to hold our 2020 Commencement in August. We believe that limiting the number of campus guests will help protect the campus community and help us have an on-campus, in-person fall. We would still love to celebrate with the class of 2020 at a future time.
Update — July 24
Update — July 2
Update — May 29
Update — May 27
President Pettit shares changes to the fall semester including students arriving on campus on Aug. 14–15, classes starting on Aug. 18 and students not returning after Thanksgiving Break.
Update — May 8
BJU will open for in-person classes in late August. New students will arrive for residence hall move-in and orientation on Friday, August 21. Classes will begin Wednesday, Aug. 26. Our 2020 commencement will be held on Aug 29. Read more
Update — April 30
All entrances to campus are now open as well as outdoor athletic facilities, Bellis Copy Center and the Cleaners.
Update — April 14
BJU launches COVID-19 Emergency Grant campaign for students. This $5 million campaign will help provide COVID-19 emergency relief grants to incoming and returning students this fall. Read more and be a part.
Update — March 25
Our Commencement scheduled for May 8 is postponed. We would still like to have it in the future, but for now, we are holding off setting a specific date.
Update — March 23
Dear BJU Community,
I am so thankful for the prayers and support of our BJU community as we navigate the COVID-19 concerns and seek to make the best possible decisions for our students and families as well as the University as a whole.
In making decisions about how we respond to coronavirus, I have two primary goals—to protect the health and well-being of our campus family and enable each student to finish the academic semester successfully.
Here are key steps we have taken to date:
- On campus classes are suspended, and beginning March 30, we will deliver classes online for the remainder of the semester.
- Spring break remains on the schedule for this week, but students will not return to campus when it ends March 29.
- Chapel will continue via livestream Mondays and Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
- All students have departed campus, and the residence halls are empty.
- A number of Greenville-area families opened their homes to international students who need additional time to make travel arrangements, and we are most grateful. BJU is assisting these students as necessary.
- Room and Board has been prorated for residence hall students and will be credited to their account; it can also be used to reduce the cost of summer online courses.
- Campus offices remain open and operational departments are functioning as normal. However, employees who can perform their work remotely from home are doing so until further notice.
- On-campus events are cancelled through May 1.
- University-sponsored international summer mission teams and internships have been cancelled.
- Study Abroad trips to Italy, Israel and Portugal have been cancelled. Decisions regarding other Study Abroad trips scheduled for later in the summer will be made shortly.
As our students—some of them for the first time—are preparing to finish their courses online, I am especially grateful to faculty and staff who have banded together to support a revised teaching and learning environment.
Faculty have adjusted syllabi and capstone projects and are preparing to teach from their offices and homes. Staff are providing resources and assistance to ensure both faculty and students are equipped technically for online learning.
I covet the prayers of our university community for faculty as they maintain the high quality of a BJU education the next few weeks and for students that they will adapt quickly to the change in their learning environment and finish the semester strong.
This change in the semester schedule that happened so unexpectedly has been difficult for our students, especially seniors. They have had to say good-bye to friends, faculty and staff before they were prepared to do so. Their campus activities have come to an abrupt end, and for many, summer plans have changed as mission trips and some Study Abroad programs have been cancelled.
A major question still to be answered is whether we will hold Commencement. Seniors and graduate students have worked diligently for years and have looked forward to celebrating their graduation with their families and friends. Right now, we are holding off on a final decision as we monitor the COVID-19 conditions. If possible, we would like to hold the ceremony for our 2020 graduates, either in May or later. We will communicate our plan as soon as a decision is finalized.
I will communicate with students and the university community frequently through the end of the semester. In addition to livestream chapels Monday and Wednesday, I will issue a short daily devotional video Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; continue my Highest Potential podcasts on Tuesdays; and issue other video communications several times a week. These will be available on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. BJU.edu also will feature daily updates and news.
As we continue through this time of uncertainty, let us rest in the ability of our omnipotent and omniscient God—who knows the end from the beginning—to strengthen and protect us. I challenge our BJU community to gain strength from the Word and live in a way that reflects our dependence on Him and our love for others.
Psalm 91:2 “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.”
Update — March 20
As of 7 p.m. March 20, access to campus will be through the Wade Hampton Boulevard entrance only. Visitors are asked to check in at this main entrance. Additionally, access to all buildings for students, faculty and staff will be by electronic access through your BJU ID card.
Update — March 15
For BJU Employees
As we respond to Gov. McMasters’ directives this afternoon to close all South Carolina schools—including universities—through March 31, our primary priority is to keep our employees and those who live with them healthy. Faculty, staff and GAs should check their email for details on working, taking leave or working from home.
Starting tomorrow morning—Monday, March 16—CDC and day camp services will not be available through March 31.
We’re thankful we have had no diagnosed cases on campus. We encourage employees to follow all CDC guidelines and call the Employee Health Hotline for advice as necessary. Let’s be in much prayer for each other as we navigate through this situation.
Updates — March 12
- Classes on campus ended Friday, March 13
- No classes March 16–20
- Spring Break is still March 23–27
- Classes will resume through online delivery March 30
- All on campus events cancelled until May 1
- Living Gallery is cancelled (April 9-11)
- Decisions regarding events in May, including graduation, will be made in the next few weeks.
Ticketholders will be contacted by the box office about refunds
Updates and clarifications will be added as available. More details available via email. Info on courses and student support is available on the Intranet.
We are urging the university community to take preventive actions to protect themselves and others.
- No one should come on campus if they or someone in their household have symptoms (cough, fever, or difficulty breathing).
- BJU employees should not come to work if they or someone in their household have symptoms, or if they or someone in their household are at high risk due to age or other health factors.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, not hands.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces.