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February 2022

February 2022 

From the President

Philip G. Ryken President Wheaton College IL

Dear Parents,

We were delighted to resume in-person Chapel on January 31, in response to rapidly declining COVID/Omicron infection rates on campus and in DuPage County. If this trajectory continues (and we pray it will) we plan to hold Commencement on May 7 and 8—possibly following masking protocols—in Edman Chapel.

Recently Senator Ben Sasse (Nebraska) and former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (also a Wheaton parent) met with Wheaton students and presented a dialogue on “Living Faithfully in the Public Square.” In lively conversation peppered with common-sense insights on how to recover civil discourse in our nation, both leaders affirmed the importance of Christ-centered higher education to prepare students for kingdom callings.

In Christ’s service,

Philip Ryken
Philip Ryken
President 

Collegiate Day of Prayer

One of the most important ways you can support your student, and Wheaton College, this spring is to pray. As you pray, you are literally battling alongside your student and the College for God’s continued goodness to prevail on Wheaton’s campus. Our next Zoom Parent Prayer Gatherings will be held on Thursday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. in all U.S. time zones. This date coincides with the Collegiate Day of Prayer, a day set apart to pray for college campuses across the country. We are hoping that hundreds of you will join one of these prayer calls! Learn more about the Collegiate Day of Prayer at collegiatedayofprayer.org

Registration is required and will close on Tuesday, February 22 at midnight. Please Register Now.

Center for Vocation and Career Sign 825 x 300

CENTER FOR VOCATION AND CAREER:  “What Are Your 5?”

If you have ever supervised another person, you understand the importance of self-awareness. This is a major area of emphasis for our work with students – seeing themselves clearly and learning to articulate what they can bring to an organization or situation. And it all starts at a fun event we call WAY5What Are Your 5?

When first-year and sophomore students sign up for our Saturday, February 26 event, they will receive a code to take CliftonStrengths, our preferred assessment tool, at no cost. At the event itself, students will have a chance to interact with student leaders to learn more about how their Strengths can work for them. Encourage your son or daughter to sign up using this JotForm.

WAY5 is just one of the ways the CVC is teaching students to see themselves more clearly and to give them language to understand how God has uniquely created them.

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Commencement Weekend: May 7-8

Congratulations to the parents of soon-to-be-alumni from the class of 2022! We are proceeding with plans to resume our pre-pandemic Commencement schedule of events, including the participation of guests. We will continue to monitor the public health situation and send notifications if we need to make any adjustments to protocols. The Commencement Weekend schedule of events and related Frequently Asked Questions will soon be posted on the Registrar’s website at wheaton.edu/commencement. We are looking forward to welcoming you to campus for this meaningful weekend in your family's life. 

Spring Break and Housing Selection Information

Spring Break Housing

Campus housing closes for Spring Break on Saturday, March 5, at 10:00 a.m. and reopens on Saturday, March 12, at 3:00 p.m. The meal plan ends with dinner on Friday, March the 4th and begins with dinner on Saturday, March 12. The College provides housing for students during spring break for the following: athletics, international students, campus employment, and registered classes.

The housing calendar provides additional dates and times when housing closes in May and re-opens in August. View the housing calendar at wheaton.edu/life-at-wheaton/housing/housing-calendar. 

Housing Selection Process

Students will begin selecting their 2022-2023 housing after Spring Break. Housing selection priority is based on one’s year in school, starting with seniors and moving to first-year students. Within each class, a random lottery number is given and those with the lowest numbers select first. Since a core pillar of the Wheaton experience is our philosophy of residential living, campus students are expected to live in campus-owned housing throughout their time at Wheaton. However, some students will be granted off-campus permission based on our on-campus capacity numbers, which vary from year to year. Please know the number of off-campus spaces are limited, so not everyone who applies for off-campus permission will receive it. All students applying for off-campus housing will be notified by the end of March if they were given permission. If your son or daughter is applying for off-campus living, please encourage them not to sign a lease before they have received official permission from the College. In the past, students have felt pressure from landlords to sign leases early and this becomes an issue if they do not receive permission from the College. Students who sign a lease and are denied off-campus permission will be required to remain in campus housing and still be responsible for their off-campus lease.

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Conservatory and the Arts

We are in the middle of the Year of the Arts, Faith, and Imagination at Wheaton College, and there are many upcoming events, including a February 18 performance of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms by our combined choral ensembles. The Saint John’s Bible is traveling to various locations around campus. Poetry month will be launched by Malcolm Guite and will include an evening with poets Provost Dr. Karen An-Hwei Lee, Dr. Miho Nonaka, and much more. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will return to campus for two performances and “Spoon River Anthology” is slated for early April, along with other theater offerings through the semester. The Concert Choir will premiere a major new choral composition on March 26, and in March and April, the Art Department will host “My Secret Double,” an exhibition of visual art by Latvian and local artists on the theme of mental health. 

We hope you will be able to join us in person or virtually for some of this semester’s incredible events. Visit wheaton.edu/yearofthearts for more information.

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Ministry and Evangelism Office – Student Ministry Trips

Our Spring Break and Summer Ministry Trip teams are beginning to prepare for their trips by learning more about cultural differences, navigating conflicts, evangelism, and spiritual differences in the global Church. Would you consider supporting these students prayerfully and financially? Please visit our donor webpage to make a donation.

A Note from Interim Chaplain Greg Waybright ’74

I am often asked what the spiritual climate on campus is like at Wheaton College. As one who has been a pastor most of my life, I usually say it is much like the churches I have shepherded, i.e., there are a wide range of spiritual temperatures among students, faculty, and staff. Having said that, there are things happening at Wheaton that are noteworthy.

On the side of challenges to spiritual formation, it seems to me that, in general, students come to campus with less basic Bible knowledge than was the case when I was a Christian university president two decades ago. After a meeting in which I was asked to speak about my personal devotional life, a group of students told me they felt they were lacking in basic discipleship practices such as Bible reading, interpretation, and application to daily life. In addition, the long duration of the pandemic, combined with issues related to navigating a community that is diverse politically, racially, and ecclesiastically, takes its toll on our students emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  Others confess that they are seeking to find freedom from strongholds and unhealthy patterns of life they brought with them to campus.

On the other side, many of us are witnessing the movement of God’s Spirit on campus, especially among the students. There are currently over 25 student-initiated and student-led prayer meetings happening regularly. Once or twice a week, students gather, usually in Coray Alumni Gymnasium, to engage in what they call Kingdom Prayer Gatherings. They are praying for healing of all kinds, as well as for new commitments both to evangelism and to justice ministries. Ultimately, they are praying fervently for revival. In addition, about half of our student body participate in small groups through the Chaplain’s Office Discipleship Ministries (DM).  It is through these groups that we seek to mentor and teach more about Bible study, accountability, and mutual prayer support. And it is through these groups that many are beginning to experience the liberating power of the Holy Spirit at work in Christ-centered community. My wife Chris and I were students at Wheaton during a campus revival in the early ‘70s that led to the founding of World Christian Fellowship (WCF). I sense that the things happening today are consistent with what we experienced then.

So, we urge you to pray for us at Wheaton College. We face the same challenges that local churches face. At the same time, we sense that a movement of the Spirit is afoot. May it all be to God’s glory.

How to Pray for Wheaton in February

  • that students will pursue Bible study, accountability, and mutual prayer support.
  • that students who have strongholds and unhealthy patterns in their lives will find freedom.
  • for wisdom for students leading Discipleship Ministries small groups.
  • praise for the 25+ student-led Kingdom Prayer Gatherings occurring weekly.
  • for President Ryken, the Senior Administrative Cabinet, Deans, faculty, and staff as they further the work of Wheaton College.

With thanks for your involvement and prayers, 

The Wheaton College Parent Engagement Team

 Blanchard Hall in the snow