Parent Newsletter - September, 2019

September 2019

From the President 

Philip G. Ryken President Wheaton College IL

Dear Parents,

The 2019-2020 school year at Wheaton began on August 28 in Edman Chapel with community worship at an academic convocation, when new and returning students glimpsed their faculty in full academic regalia. In my monthly chapel talks this year, I will share God's Word from eight Psalms, beginning with "The ABC's of Faith and Learning" from Psalm 111.

We believe that Christ-centered kingdom diversity is so central to the purposes of God that we needed to write down an action–oriented commitment for our campus community. Please pray for your student and for all of us as we lean into our Diversity Commitment.

As we begin a new year, we value your prayers for your student, and their professors, mentors and coaches, and for our common life together in this living–learning community.

In Christ’s service,

Philip Ryken
Philip Ryken

Family Weekend November 8-9, 2019

Family Weekend

Mark your calendars for Family Weekend!

Parent Engagement and the Parent Council look forward to welcoming you to campus on November 8-9, 2019. You're invited to attend a class, the Talent Show or the President's Prayer Breakfast. Take a look at the Family Weekend webpages for a full list of weekend events and links to area activities and hotels.

Register your family's attendance today!

Chapel at Wheaton

The chapel program at Wheaton seeks to nurture the spiritual life of students in an academic environment. The chapel curriculum exposes students to nearly the entire Bible over their four years at Wheaton. Now in our fourth year, we continue moving forward with our chapel curriculum, following the liturgical rhythm of reading a gospel on Mondays (this year the Gospel of Matthew), a passage from the New Testament on Wednesdays, and a Psalm on Fridays. Parents are invited to watch Chapel services live every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 10:40 a.m. central time.

This year, the College's year verse is 1 John 3:1-2 — "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is." Chaplain Blackmon shared a special message based on this passage of scripture with parents during the Closing Program of Parent Orientation, as well with all undergraduate students at his first chapel message of the year.

One of the College's current strategic initiatives is creating a comprehensive framework for spiritual formation across campus. Chaplain Blackmon is co-leading a task force to develop this program, which has already led to the creation of a new position, the Ministry Associate for Spiritual Formation. The Chaplain's Office continues to work with the Conservatory in the search for an Associate Professor of Music and Associate Chaplain for Worship Arts. Please join us in praying for the work of the Chaplain's Office and for each member of the Wheaton College community to grow in their faith, hope and love.

Watch Chaplain Blackmon's first chapel message of the year

Residence Life

The purpose of the Residence Life department at Wheaton College is to create physically and relationally supportive environments where students are challenged to live out the body of Christ and grow in His likeness.

Having a roommate, floormates, and a brother or sister floor can be one of the great joys of your student's college years. Friendships, adventures, late night talks, sharing joys and sorrows, meeting people from all over the world are enormous opportunities that students can take advantage of. They can also be points of conflict, misunderstanding and distress. It is critical to understand that community, both intimate and extended, is the workshop of your student's relationship with God. It is not by chance that Jesus said, “If you love me, love your neighbor.”

And it is not by chance that Wheaton College has "Campus Living" as one of its four pillars of education (along with academic, co-curricular, and chapel.) For eight months of the year, students are intentionally living with roommates and floormates in all their glory and mess. There are challenges of communication, expectations, teamwork, reconciliation, conflict management, and the working out of 1 Corinthians 13 within a real life scenario. Students are not only building mental muscles while they attend Wheaton, they are putting their faith into practice with real people in a real community. That is why we do not simply change up housing situations within the school year when things feel uncomfortable, challenging or overwhelming. The Residence Life staff walks alongside students, giving them both support and challenge, and helps walk them through the practices of the Christian life as it pertains to their living situation.

Residence Directors (live-in professional staff) and Resident Assistants (student leaders on each floor) are some of the first staff members students know. If your student mentions any concerns with roommates, academics, emotional care, or simply adjusting to living with a large group of new people, please don't hesitate to have them connect directly with their residence life staff member for encouragement and assistance.

For a starting point to the full range of available resources, view Life at Wheaton.

Student Health Services

Student Health Services (SHS) is a primary care clinic on campus for all students. Appointments with one of our two doctors and nurse practitioner are available Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm and Fridays 8am-4pm. Other services provided include laboratory testing, an in-house pharmacy with over-the-counter and prescription medication, allergy desensitization, massage therapy, and a travel clinic.

Insurance coverage is strongly recommended for your student during their time at Wheaton, but all students have access to SHS regardless of insurance coverage. As SHS does not bill insurance for services, students or parents are encouraged to submit any SHS charges to your insurance for reimbursement or to apply toward your deductible. New patient visits are $45 and established patient visits are $30, with additional fees for medications or labs if necessary. These charges go directly to your student's Wheaton account so no payment is needed at the time of service.

New this year, students will be able to schedule provider appointments and travel clinic appointments through MyChart, an online interface with SHS's electronic medical record. Your student can establish this account with the unique login code given to them by SHS to use this helpful scheduling feature as well as being able to access their own records and to directly communicate with the doctor or nurse practitioner.

Flu shots are now available! Parents, please encourage your student to protect themselves and others in the Wheaton College community by getting a flu shot this year. The cost of the vaccine is $30 billed directly to the student's account. Students can walk-in or call SHS to schedule an appointment. SHS nurses will also be setting up portable "flu clinics" in lower Beamer or the BCG lobby during the month of October to make the vaccine even more accessible to your student.


Thunder sports for 2019-20 has had a successful start to the season. Wheaton football, women's soccer, and women's cross country each earned national rankings in their respective preseason polls.

Wheaton football shut out Monmouth in its season opener, 38-0. The Thunder women's soccer team started the season 4-0 and won both of its matches at its own Bob Baptista Invitational. The men's soccer team won both of its matches at the season-opening Bob Baptista Invitational, including an exciting victory against No. 25 ranked St. Norbert. The Wheaton volleyball team started the season with a 6-1 record. Women's tennis opened the season 4-0, including a 7-2 win against longtime rival Carthage.

For complete information on Wheaton's 21 varsity athletics teams be sure to visit for schedules, recaps, videos and much more. Sign up for text alerts from Wheaton Athletics. Be sure to follow Thunder Sports on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Thunder fans can watch many home events on the Wheaton Thunder Sports Network at or watch by downloading the Livestream app on iTunes, Google Play or Roku Store.

For information on Wheaton's club sports be sure to visit the club sports website.

Global Programs and Studies

Please join us in thanks and prayer for the 71 Wheaton students studying and interning around the globe this semester! Twenty students are six–month interns through Wheaton's Human Needs & Global Resources (HNGR) program; six senior education majors are student teaching at international locations; and 45 additional students from 22 different majors are studying at approved semester study abroad locations.

Global Programs can complement any major at Wheaton and are offered fall, spring and summer! Students are invited to explore all the opportunities at the Study Abroad Fair on Tuesday, September 17th (from 12:30-4pm in Coray Gym). Applications for spring 2020 study abroad are due October 15th and applications to be part of the fall 2021 cohort of HNGR are due November 26th. Contact for more information on Global Programs and Studies.

Chicago skyline

Wheaton in Chicago

Is your son or daughter looking for an internship in Chicago or do they simply want to know Chicago better? Encourage them to apply for Wheaton in Chicago by Friday, October 18 for spring 2020 (final deadline) or fall 2020 (early action deadline). Wheaton in Chicago students live in Chicago, take classes on site with Wheaton faculty, and intern throughout the city. Learn more about Wheaton in Chicago.

The Wheaton Fund

In an upcoming letter to fellow parents, Jeff '89 and Clarinda Schwenk James '89 invite you to join them in supporting the Wheaton Fund. The parents of five children, including current students Anna '20 and Grace '21, the Jameses are grateful for the many ways in which Wheaton College has blessed and continues to bless their family.

"It is deeply reassuring that Wheaton College remains as distinctively Christian today as it was 30 years ago, they write. "In fact, some of the things we loved most about Wheaton as students have only gotten better."

Please prayerfully consider joining the hundreds of parents each year who invest in the ongoing excellence and affordability of their child's Wheaton experience by supporting the Wheaton Fund. Give online today. Or give by phone when a student Phonathon caller reaches out to explain more about the instrumental impact of the Wheaton Fund on his or her education. Large or small, your gift will make a difference by championing the essential role of the Wheaton Fund in maintaining both the world-class distinction and accessibility of a Wheaton education.

How can you pray for Wheaton this month?


With thanks for your involvement and prayers,

The Wheaton College Parent Engagement team

Blanchard Hall in the spring