by McKayla Bane, correspondent
Moody Bible Institute went through many changes last semester. Among these changes, the student body was told that the Spokane campus would be shutting down and the students residing there would be given the option to continue their studies here in Chicago.
George Mosher, registrar and director of academic records, explained that Spokane students should not be considered transfer students, but rather transition students, saying, “They didn’t have to apply. All they had to do was submit an intent to transfer to Chicago and it was taken care of. They are not considered transfer students because they’re coming to Chicago to complete a degree program that Moody offers.”
Mosher explained that the process was simple, academically speaking. “Some students have chosen to change majors into a major that we offer here in Chicago—majors that we didn’t offer in Spokane—and all of the credits they completed would just come right over.” After the news of the closing came out, Mosher traveled to Spokane to meet with the students.
“They are a really close-knit community there,” he said, “and they have deep relationships there, that there’s pockets of here — but here it’s not as widespread.” Not only will the community change, but the physical environment will be an adjustment as well.
“There’s a lot of students that love [the city environment] but there’s a lot of them that come from small midwestern/western towns —the Spokane environment is very comfortable for them and they are fearful of coming here,” Mosher explained. “As of right now, there are around 50 to 60 students registered. There are probably another 20 that have made their intent to come but they haven’t done anything yet.”
Mosher encouraged the Chicago students make the Spokane students feel welcome. “Some of the students are fearful of the city life, so help them find places to go, even if it’s the lakefront,” he said. “Be understanding because this isn’t just business for them, there’s a lot of deep hurt. Be sensitive and love them because love conquers all.”
Rachel Monfette, associate dean of students, offers another way to encourage the Spokane students in their transition.“On May 3rd, we are going to be having a plaza party for chapel. It will kind of be similar to Vespers, but just to end the year,” she said. “We will have a banner that the continuing students can sign for the incoming Spokane students. That will be one very practical way—put some thoughts and prayers on there.”
Monfette also explained some of the planned events for the transitioning students when they arrive on campus next fall. “They will arrive on Thursday, after the new students come on Wednesday, and we’ll have some special programming for them — a welcome banquet of sorts,” she said. “Then, throughout the day on Friday, we will introduce them to different service providers around campus. With some student leaders, we’ll have them go out in the city and get used to navigating here. They’ll meet Public Safety and see the infamous elevator video, then we’ll pray and worship together.”