Statements on potential impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)
This page is for official announcements about COVID-19’s impact on the Knox College community. For community encouragement and connection during COVID-19, visit knox.utoronto.ca/careduringcovid19.
January 14, 2021
To all members of the Knox College community:
I am writing to update you on COVID-19 protocols in relation to the state of emergency declared by the Province of Ontario, beginning today, Thursday, January 14, 2021.
Since the pandemic began in March 2020 Knox College has operated with an abundance of caution in order to protect the health and safety of all within our community while continuing to provide our programs of theological education. Under the state of emergency, the existing COVID-19 protocols remain in force and will continue to provide the basis of operations at Knox College, including the following:
- Knox College will be open for business, but the building will remain closed.
- The Caven Library will provide curbside pickup and drop-off of books on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 am to 4 pm.
- In accordance with the provincial stay at home order, faculty and staff will continue to work remotely from home, except in cases where supervisors determine that the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the College, in accordance with the provincial order.
All protocols for physical distancing, screening, face coverings and reporting remain in place and will be strictly enforced.
We will continue to review the academic, administrative and pastoral resources required to support students and faculty through the state of emergency and beyond. We will also assess the situation daily and make adjustments as may be necessary to participate in the province-wide effort “to reduce the number of contacts people are having, in order to prevent illness and death” and “to protect the health care system.”
We’d like to think that with the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines we are heading into the final stretch of this pandemic marathon. But this will be a challenging term for us all. I urge patience, prayer, and persistence in all things. Knox College will stand with its students, faculty, staff, and residents as we face this together. May the Lord be with us.
January 6, 2021
Caven Library’s curbside pickup service has resumed; please see information here on curbside pickup/book return, and scan and deliver services.
December 9, 2020
In accordance with revised COVID-19 protocols, Caven Library’s curbside pickup service is not available until January 2021. Please contact library staff at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with research and online resources.
Update for November 23, 2020 from Principal John Vissers
Change to Winter term schedule for Knox College and the Toronto School of Theology
Classes for the winter term will now begin on Monday, January 11, 2021. All semester academic deadlines (including ROSI deadlines) will be delayed by one week. Reading Week (February 15-19) will not be changed. The final week of classes will now be April 5-9 and exam week will be April 12-16. As previously announced, all classes will be delivered using virtual remote platforms online. Further information will be coming from the Registrar’s Office and posted on the TST Website in the next few weeks.
To quote President Gertler of the University of Toronto, these decisions are “prompted by the fact that we’ve all been under an extraordinary amount of stress for months now, because of the burdens imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic…we care deeply about the wellness of each and every one of you. We want to make sure that you’re able to rest and recharge, and to make the most of the upcoming holiday break.”
Let me add this word of encouragement to our students: this is a very challenging time to be engaged in theological study and you deserve to be commended for what you are accomplishing under the conditions of COVID-19. Many of you are studying at Knox College while meeting major demands at home, managing the needs of your family, often under financial stress. Others are facing isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and mental health challenges which have been caused or exacerbated by the pandemic.
Let’s continue to reach out to one another, especially if you’re struggling, or you know someone who may be struggling. Let’s continue to pray for another. Let’s believe what we say we believe, especially as we enter Advent: God is with us. The pandemic may be with us for some time yet, and we will continue to face times of stress, uncertainty, and discouragement. But God is with us always. This is the assurance of faith given to us in Jesus Christ.
May the Lord be with you through the remainder of this term, and always.
Knox College Principal
Update for October 19, 2020
Winter 2021 courses will be offered remotely via Zoom and online platforms, continuing in the same manner as Fall 2020 courses.
Update for July 10, 2020
Admissions applications and mailing services update
We can now accept mail sent via Canada Post. However, as our building remains closed due to COVID-19, we cannot receive any mail coming from other mailing services. Reference letters and transcripts may be mailed to us only via Canada Post. All documents except for official transcripts can be submitted by email as PDF files. Electronic Official Transcripts are welcomed. Unofficial electronic copies (PDF) of transcripts directly from the issuing institution will be accepted as placeholders. If you have any questions, please contact the Recruitment Officer and Admissions Counsellor, Megan Shin, at email@example.com.
Update for May 28, 2020
Knox College continues to work closely with the Toronto School of Theology and the University of Toronto in monitoring government regulations and protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this in mind, and in order to ensure student support and success, it is our intention to offer all Fall 2020 courses remotely via Zoom and online platforms. Students will not be required to attend classes on campus in Fall 2020, though access to academic resources and support services will be provided as physical distancing restrictions are adjusted. Please note: A decision had not been made regarding proposed course offerings in Winter 2021. Knox College will continue to respond to developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and will announce any decisions. Please monitor this website for more information as it becomes available.
Update for May 7, 2020
Update for May 6, 2020
Fall Semester Classes at Toronto School of Theology: Principles in effect until December 31, 2020
We have received many questions from students and prospective students about Fall classes. It will be several weeks before the University of Toronto announces plans for Fall; however, TST is in regular conversation with the University and understands itself to be consistent with the U of T’s goals by announcing the following:
Our primary organizing principle will be providing access to classes and extra-curricular responsibilities that allow students to make progress with their degrees and to engage with their fellow student and college communities in this exceptional time of pandemic and its aftermath.
In light of this we are actively planning for the following:
- To provide for Fall 2020 remote access to most classes, except practicums, and to communicate decisions about the scope of remote access for future academic terms in consultation with the University of Toronto and public health directives.
- To provide for some person-to-person opportunities in some classes, if public health conditions permit.
- To work with students, including those who anticipate healthcare-based practicums, to fulfill curricular requirements in appropriate ways.
- To work with international students who have met admission requirements but do not have a visa and/or study permit in hand, or who cannot travel to Toronto, to begin classes through remote access.
- To work with our librarians to make research access available.
Students should stay in touch with their faculty advisors and administrators when they need more information.
Minimal technological requirements to access Quercus, can be found here.
Update for April 23, 2020
During Caven Library closure
A new Resource Guide for TST students to access electronic resources: visit this page and click “UTL Guide to Accessing Electronic Resources 2020” (to be updated weekly).
Library help for research is also available through knox.readerservices@utoronto.
Update for April 2, 2020
Concerning Admissions and Applications: transcript submission
Because postal service for Knox College (and the University of Toronto) is currently suspended, Knox College encourages all applicants to send their application materials electronically rather than by mail. All documents except for official transcripts can be submitted by email as PDF files; see the Basic Degree Application Checklist for details.
Update for March 26, 2020
Updates for March 25, 2020
Today the University of Toronto announced that its June convocation ceremonies will be postponed: https://www.utoronto.ca/message-from-the-university-regarding-the-coronavirus
Likewise, all May convocation ceremonies at Toronto School of Theology, including Knox College, will be postponed.
At Toronto School of Theology, we share the disappointment expressed in U of T President Gertler’s letter, and we want to assure our students that those who complete their degree requirements on time will still graduate and receive their degrees — and parchments, when they become available.
Each Toronto School of Theology College is making plans for the rescheduling of its convocation. Given the changing situation, all of those details are not yet in place. Each College will be in
contact with its own students to confirm alternate plans.
This decision was not taken lightly. We look forward to celebrating our students’ achievements when the Convocation ceremonies are able to take place.
Spring and Summer Classes at Toronto School of Theology
Toronto School of Theology announces that its classroom based classes will be held through remote delivery through September 2020. Plans are still underway for the delivery or postponement of courses that involve placements and practicums. Each college will announce plans for practicum classes in the near future when we learn about the ongoing restrictions necessary to preserve public health.
As a result of the closure of all but non-essential services, all University of Toronto libraries are now closed. Students who have been depending upon libraries for internet or computer access should notify their instructors, who should, in turn, notify their College to determine what kind of support is available.
Updates for March 18, 2020
We learned this morning (March 18) that the University of Toronto has closed its buildings, effective 11:59pm on March 17, to the general public and is asking that only essential staff work on site. University of Toronto residences remain open for those students who are not able to travel home: www.utoronto.ca/message-from-
Following the guidance of the University of Toronto, Knox College’s academic and administrative wings will be closed to all but essential staff, effective 4:30pm today (March 18).
The Knox College residence remains open. Staff will continue to work on site to ensure the safety of our residents.
We will continue to post timely updates to our website and we encourage you to monitor it regularly.
Concerning Admissions and Applications
Due to the building closure with only essential staff on site due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, there will be no mail services at Knox College until further notice. Knox College encourages all applicants to send their application materials electronically rather than by mail. All documents except for official transcripts can be submitted by email as PDF files. Electronic Official Transcripts are welcomed. Unofficial electronic copies (PDF) of transcripts will be accepted as placeholders while the signed originals arrive by regular mail when the College reopens.
The deadline of May 31, 2020, for Fall 2020 admissions remains unchanged. However, Knox College will continue to monitor the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and make changes to the deadline if needed. If you have any questions, please contact the Recruitment Officer and Admissions Counsellor, Megan Shin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates for March 16, 2020
Concerning Caven Library hours
Beginning March 17th, the Reading Room (study space) will be closed until further notice. Patrons can still check materials out but will not be able to study in the library. We will continue to monitor the situation daily, so please check back for further updates.
Concerning Summer Courses at Knox College
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, summer session classes may be delivered via a method other than in-person instruction (including online platforms) for part or all of the term. A final determination of delivery mode will be made by Knox College by April 24. Decisions regarding courses that cannot be accommodated online or that are to be cancelled will be communicated to students who have registered in those courses. Course registration for TST Summer courses opens via ACORN on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
Update for March 13, 2020
In coordination with our colleagues at TST and the University of Toronto, Knox College will be completing our Winter 2020 classes online, effective Monday, March 16th.
Knox College itself will remain open, though Chapel services and Community Luncheons will be cancelled for the remainder of the academic year.
We would encourage you to read the statement by the President of the University of Toronto: https://www.utoronto.ca/
Our faculty and staff have been preparing for this eventuality. We would encourage you to continue to check your email and our website for more information as it become available.
For those of you registered in Winter 2020 courses, please check monitor Quercus and your email for direction and information from your course instructors.
Professor of Church and Society & Acting Principal
Update for March 12, 2020
To the Knox College community,
Like you, Knox College is actively monitoring developments related to the potential impact of the coronavirus (now referred to as COVID-19) on community and academic life at Knox College and the University of Toronto.
We maintain contact with the University of Toronto and Toronto School of Theology as they develop response and contingency plans, and post updates to their websites. Likewise, we are currently planning for a series of scenarios, should this unsettling situation impact Knox College campus life and academic activities.
At the moment, Knox College remains open and active. Classes are running. The Residence continues to provide a home and community to Knox and UofT students. The Caven Library continues to provide academic resource support and services. The Academic Offices are fully staffed and continue to provide support to students and applicants as we near annual deadlines.
That said, we also appreciate that this may change. Therefore, we ask that you continue to monitor our website and your email for any future announcements.
Please pray for those affected directly – those in quarantine, those are ill, and those who mourn those who have died. Remember as well all of the medical professionals and spiritual care providers who stand on the front-line of this troubling health crisis.
Professor of Church and Society & Acting Principal
Update for March 6, 2020
Knox College is actively monitoring developments related to potential impact of the coronavirus (now referred to as COVID-19) on community and academic life at Knox College and the University of Toronto. The University of Toronto and the Toronto School of Theology have posted related information and timely updates to their websites. We encourage you to review this information and govern yourselves accordingly.
University of Toronto: https://www.utoronto.ca/message-from-the-university-regarding-the-coronavirus
Toronto School of Theology: https://www.tst.edu/about/news/toronto-school-theologys-statement-coronavirus