COVID-19 Response Letter From Our Program Manager
Dear students, parents, and pastors:
I am very sorry to inform you that IMMERSE 2020, SPU’s youth discipleship academy set to take place in July, is cancelled. For the past few months and even weeks, we at IMMERSE have remained hopeful and excited for this summer’s program, while paying close attention to the various factors related to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 pandemic, including shelter-in-place precautions and standards at the local, state, and national levels.
In an effort to prioritize the well-being of all students and staff, Seattle Pacific University recently made the decision to cancel all activities through the summer, which includes IMMERSE.
We have been considering how to respond; we still want to somehow engage our students and promote discipleship this summer. However, at the heart of IMMERSE is an embodied community centered around common learning, practice, and reflection. In addition, a review of best practices of similar programs around the country has suggested that attempting to simply move a program designed to be in-person to a synchronous or asynchronous online format has not been successful.
Therefore, we decided not to simply try to move our summer program online. Nevertheless, we have some preliminary ideas of how we still might stay engaged this summer, provide an opportunity for spiritual and theological growth, and even help churches to think about student discipleship in the midst of social distancing.
I will be in touch with each of you individually about those possible opportunities, figuring out reimbursements, and options to forward your registration to next summer. But, for now, I just wanted to let you know about the cancellation of our summer program as soon as possible so that you can take that information into consideration as you plan your summer.
Again, I deeply apologize for this news. We were overjoyed at engaging an amazing group of young leaders this year, and are quite dispirited ourselves at the loss of IMMERSE this summer. Please know that we are continuing to pray for all of you as you navigate this difficult season.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. Again, I will be in touch with all of you about next steps.
Immerse Program Manager