Parent Newsletter - December, 2021

December 2021 

From the President

Philip G. Ryken President Wheaton College IL

Dear Parents, 

It takes a king to establish a kingdom, which is why God sent Jesus into our world.

Despite fleeing to Egypt when Herod sent soldiers to kill every male child in Bethlehem, the day would come when Mary and Joseph’s son would come into his kingdom—a kingdom that would come by the way of the cross. From beginning to end the gospel according to Jesus is the good news about God’s kingdom.

It is to prepare some of the brightest and most gifted young leaders in the world to live and serve the King that Wheaton College exists. Every aspect of this residential, Christ-centered liberal arts institution of higher education aims to educate them as citizens of the kingdom of glory, who live for the day when Christ will reign supreme over all.

May His Kingdom come!

In Christ’s service,

Philip Ryken
Philip Ryken

Parent Town Hall

All parents are invited to join our next virtual Parent Town Hall on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, from 5:00– 6:00 p.m. CST. President Ryken and senior leaders will give a College update and you will have the opportunity to ask questions via Slido. If you can’t join us live, a recording of the Parent Town Hall will be available after the session.

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Career Communities

Imagine gathering with a group of friends or classmates to work on career planning together! That’s right: figuring out post-College plans, developing career readiness skills, networking, writing resumes – none of these activities need to be solo.

Career Communities (CCs) are a great place for students to come together to learn how to navigate this unfamiliar terrain. At a residential Christian liberal arts college, we know that relationships are one of the key reasons students choose Wheaton. This program is designed just for students who value relationship and connecting with others as they journey through their undergraduate experience.

CCs meet weekly for 5-6 weeks each semester. Students explore industries together and with alumni and a professional from the Center for Vocation and Career (CVC) team. They grow their network of alumni, discover skills needed in a particular industry, and discuss topics like “What does it look like to be successful in this industry?” With interactive and creative experiences, open dialogue where all questions are welcome, and the safety of a small group, CCs are an ideal environment for students in all stages of career development. 

Encourage your student to sign up for these innovative, relational, and, we believe, transformative experiences via our website.

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Important Campus Housing Dates

The Residence Life team is grateful for your support and care for your students. We have experienced some great highs, along with our share of relational challenges this year, and we view the out of the classroom experiences as part of your student’s growth and discipleship process. College is about learning, growing, and stretching and the residence life team does our best to support your student throughout the year. We value your support and wisdom in your student’s lives and appreciate how you pray for them and encourage them to live out the commands of scripture to love God with all their heart and to love their neighbor as they love themselves. Here is some important housing information for the next few weeks:

Christmas Break Closing: Campus housing closes during Christmas on Friday, December 17 at noon. The last meal served at the dining hall is dinner on Thursday, December 16. Because there is an institutional need for some students to remain on campus over breaks, the College works to house them in campus houses or apartments. Students approved to remain on campus, who do not have an institutional need, are charged a nightly housing fee and requests are processed using this request form.

Spring Semester Start: Housing opens for returning students on Saturday, January 8 at 3pm. We strongly encourage all students, regardless of vaccination status, to take a PCR or rapid antigen COVID-19 test prior to returning for the spring semester, so we can have a fresh start to the semester. Students with a positive test or who are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, should delay their arrival to campus and notify Student Health Services to discuss a plan for their return.

Spring COVID-19 testing resumes on January 4 for early arriving students who are currently part of the weekly testing plan. Students must submit a test on January 4, or on the day they arrive if after January 4.  They will then resume the regular testing schedule that they followed during the fall semester.

Year-End Giving

As we reflect on the coming of Christ during this Advent season, we are thankful for the light that his birth and life bring.  When we think of those who came with gifts to honor the newborn King, we also remember the gifts that advance the excellence and affordability of a Wheaton education. Your faithful support and generosity are sincerely appreciated.

Please consider a gift to the Wheaton Fund this month.  Your tax-deductible donation by December 31 is essential to our mission of equipping our students for kingdom service. Thank you for remembering Wheaton College in your year-end giving.  

Peer Coaching Program Available in Spring 2022

Learning & Accessibility Services (LAS) announces a new Learning & Teaching Collaborative initiative with the launch of a peer coaching program for spring semester. Peer coaches will expand our capacity to serve students who would benefit from extra support in time management, study strategies, and overall academic accountability. We look forward to seeing how peer coaches can provide these supports while also creating lasting connections with their peers and contributing to students’ overall sense of belonging at Wheaton College. Be sure to encourage your student to reach out to if they are interested in becoming a peer coach or being connected with one for support!

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Student Financial Services

The extended Christmas break is a great time for parents and students to complete the 2022-2023 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students will receive an automated email once results are received by our office and if any additional requirements are needed, they will be posted in the student’s portal.

Spring 2022 Billing

Students and authorized users will receive an automated email notice by mid-December when spring semester bills are available for online viewing.  The spring due date is January 10, 2022. Paying online in the Billing & Payment Gateway by electronic check is the fastest way to submit payment.  When using 529/College Savings plans for payment, make sure to contact the plan administrator early, to allow for sufficient mail time during the busy holiday season.  Checks must be received by our office by the due date to avoid late fees.

Payment plan enrollment will be available online in the Billing & Payment Gateway when bills are completed.  Fall plan participants will not be automatically re-enrolled, so please remember to enroll in a spring plan by the due date, as needed. 

Not receiving monthly eBill notices?  Students need to grant parent access and permissions to their student accounts in their Student Billing & Payment Gateway Profile under Authorized Users. Students will enter a parent's email address and parents will receive two automated emails with login information which will allow access to account activity, on-line payments, payment plan enrollment, and year-end tax statements (if student permits).  It is recommended that parents and students log in to the Billing & Payment Gateway at least once each month when the eBill notices are sent, to review their student’s account.  Authorized Users log in here. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Student Services at or 630-752-5700.

Campus Store

Spring semester course materials are available at As a reminder, the Campus Store will price match Amazon and Barnes & Noble if a price difference exists. All price matches must be done in store and are only good for the purchase of NEW books.

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Interim Chaplain Dr. Greg Waybright’s Christmas Reflection: The Good of Every Gift

“For the real good of every gift is essential first, that the giver be in the gift — as God always is, for He is love — and next, that the receiver see and then receive the giver in the gift.” - George MacDonald

When I was a boy, I loved basketball. I played almost every day so that, one November, I felt my ball was worn down to the point that I needed a new and better one. I asked my parents to get me a ball but, given that we didn’t have much money, they said, “No, you don’t need one yet.” However, they did give me a limited amount of money to buy Christmas gifts for what was then our family of four. My older brother, preferring football, rarely played basketball. 

When Christmas arrived that year, we gathered around our tree to open gifts. When my brother opened my gift to him, he discovered… a basketball. He looked with disgust at what was a very selfish gift from me. Then he flipped it to me and scoffed, “Great gift, Greg.” I felt awful. I felt guilt (deservedly). So I ran to my room, jumped on my bed and blubbered, “What’s wrong with me?!” What was wrong, of course, was that this was no gift to my brother. It was an ego-centered purchase, one my parents had already said no to. And, as is usually the case in a family, I was never able to get them to forget what I’d done.

MacDonald’s first description of the good in a gift , i.e., the amount of the giver in the gift, helps us to grasp why my gift was so lame. There was nothing of the giver “in” that gift. It was a gift “for” the giver. My brother saw that immediately and, therefore, did not receive it. How different it is with the gift of Christ that the Apostle John spoke of in his Gospel. As Jesus drew near the cross, He knew His disciples’ hearts were troubled. He wanted to make sure His disciples were cared and provided for. So He told them, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever, the Spirit of truth” (14:16-17a). Then, as Jesus got closer to his time of death, H said this: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. And you are my friends…” (15:13-14a)

How much of the Giver was in that gift? All that Jesus is. He gave His life to meet our greatest need, i.e., our rescue and re-making. As He was about to give that gift, He provided for us through a second gift, the gift of His Spirit to be our Counselor. On our side, what is needed is MacDonald’s second “good” of a good gift, i.e., that we see and receive the giver in the gift. Hear John’s words about that: “To all who receive Him, to those who believe in His name, He gives the right to become children of God.” (1:12) Thank you, Lord Jesus.

One more thing: Maybe, guided by Jesus’ giving, we should all consider how to put more of ourselves in every gift we give, one that reflects our love for and relationship to the receiver. Even more, may we be intentional about seeing and receiving the giver in every gift given to us this Christmas -- with gratitude and great joy.

How to Pray for Wheaton in December:

With thanks for your involvement and prayers, 

The Wheaton College Parent Engagement Team

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