As we ‘hunker down’ in our homes, it is hard to comprehend the extent to which life has changed in less than three months. But it certainly has changed. The only real constant we have is that God is still in control. He was not surprised by this pandemic nor is he scrambling to hold things together.
I believe God is still calling men and women to serve him cross-culturally. His calling on their lives is not dependent on the economy nor hindered by the spread of a virus. So, Dallas International University’s mission to prepare men and women to cross language and culture boundaries with the Word of God and the Gospel has not changed.
Our classes continue. Before any of this started, we were prepared by God in three unexpected ways:
- Last spring the Hillcrest Foundation gave us funding to upgrade our classroom technology for online classes.
- Several years ago, we received permission by our accreditors to offer every class online. While many schools are scrambling with their technology and seeking temporary permission from accreditors to teach remotely, God had us prepared.
- Last fall we made an appeal for our student benevolent fund. And you responded generously. In my 12 years at DIU, this fund has never had more than $800 in it. Now it has several thousand dollars available to help students who are in financial crisis.
Join us in giving thanks to God for preparing us for this unexpected situation.
Thank you for all the ways you stand with us in this important work. We ask that you continue to stand with us by praying for protection for our faculty, staff, and students from COVID-19. To date, as far as I know, no one in the DIU community has contracted the virus.
We also ask that you continue to partner with us financially. We have cut tuition in half for the May and summer terms to encourage students to continue preparing for their calling, but that hurts our ability to fund the operations of the school. As of the writing of this letter, we have 57 students who have applied for the summer term and half-price tuition. If all of them register for two summer courses, the cost of giving them half-price tuition is about $85,000. Can you help as these students prepare to serve?
If there are ways we can stand with you through prayer, please let us know. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We care about you.
May God provide for you. May he keep you and your family safe and healthy,
Douglas Tiffin, DMin
Little did we all know two months ago just how much our world would change, seemingly overnight. Yet, here we are, and God has been so faithful. We’ve seen Him at work in our school, and we are seeing Him at work in our lives, even now enabling us to continue teaching, continue learning, and continue educating people for cross-cultural service.
Life goes on for us at Dallas Int’l, though life goes on a little differently from how it used to. The method may have changed, but the mission has not. And our staff, faculty, and students have risen to the challenge. Here are a few stories of how God has helped us prepare, grow, adapt, rest, and stay connected.
In preparation for our March accreditation visit, we verified all of the documents that we could share with Distance and Synchronous Learners and made sure we were ready to keep them informed. Since everyone is now in that category under present circumstances, the library was prepared to send out an instruction guide last month for accessing electronic resources remotely.
In December, God prompted another change that paved the way to meet current needs. Library staff transferred files to the Cloud so that staff could access files from home. In addition, several publishers have opened up their resources for extended trial periods for our students and faculty to use. The library was also able to initiate the first order for an institutionally owned eBook to support a specific course. Because of God’s provision and direction, DIU’s library services are still functioning, and we can provide our school community with the resources they need.
Currently, our head librarians alternate on-site visits to pick up mail, service interlibrary loans, provide scans, and deliver materials. Four other library staff members are working exclusively from home.
Our president, Doug Tiffin, is also operating from home, providing leadership to the school remotely. He recently hosted a schoolwide Town Hall meeting via Zoom, during which students, faculty, and staff were all able to connect and ask questions.
Each morning, our staff meets by Zoom to talk about the day and to pray together. Doug echoes the sentiment that working from home can be even busier than working from the office. “We are moving forward,” he said. Click here to view a short message from our president.
Especially in times like these, staying connected spiritually remains a priority at DIU.
Our chapel services continue via Zoom, with weekly worship and speakers, as well as community groups. We have been encouraged to see our community continue to connect and grow.
For a season, a number of our alumni have had to return home from their fields of service. Many are resting, reconnecting with family members, and seeking the Lord for their next steps.
Some are being creative with language learning, Skyping in with their teachers. Others are working digitally to maintain contact with mother tongue translators so that their work can continue.
Our faculty have also risen to the challenge over the past four weeks, learning new skills and becoming creative with ways to share content with students. One instructor tells us, “This week, I’ve been successful in joining two classes—hearing, seeing, and being heard! Tomorrow, I’ll help a team-teaching group with two students to present class. I think it will be great! It has been very stressful for me, but I’m glad I’ve learned so I can help with the education of our students. I’m very grateful for where the Lord has placed me at this time.”
Our Applied Linguistics Department Chair, Michael Boutin, has worked tirelessly to lead his department, teach Field Methods and Linguistic Analysis, and prepare for our program expansion—all from home. In-between classes and meetings, he has been perfecting his cooking skills, taking full advantage of his smoker. “I’ve had to up my cooking game since I moved home to work,” he tells us. “I used to cook once a week, but now that I’m home all the time, Alanna insists that I carry my share of the load.”
We want to hear from you! How are you and your loved ones doing during this season? How can we pray for you? We are so grateful for your encouragement, support, and partnership with us, and we want to connect with you. If we can pray for you, please send us a note at email@example.com. We would be delighted to lift you up just as you do for us.
#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020, as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.
This year, all donations to Dallas International University’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign will go to the Student Benevolent Fund to assist students whose incomes have been impacted by the current crisis.
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Dallas International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Dallas International University.
Dallas International University admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin. All designated gifts (except endowment gifts) are assessed 10% to cover administration and fund-raising expenses.