APU plans on welcoming students and faculty back to campus on Aug. 24.


On Tuesday, Azusa Pacific announced the changes the university plans on adopting to facilitate a reopening in the fall 2020 semester. 

In an email to the APU community, President Paul Ferguson outlined the safety measures that will be implemented on campus.

The semester is anticipated to begin on August 24, 2020. Azusa and its regional campuses will end their on-site classes by Thanksgiving and will fully conclude by December 11, 2020.

These decisions were made by the APU Return to Campus Task Force which represents “all sectors of the APU Community, guided by commitment to Health and Safety, Academic Standards, Compliance, Collaboration, Agility, Fiscal Responsibility, and Communication, with attention to directives from federal, state, and county public health leaders,” according to the statement.



COVID-19 monitoring, testing and contact tracing will be implemented by the APU Student Health Center (SHC) in the fall 2020 semester. Before the return to campus, students and faculty will also receive health and safety training. 

The APU campus must also “adhere to the COVID-19 physical distancing, sanitation, and personal hygiene recommendations and protocols provided by public health experts and adopted by APU,” Ferguson wrote. This includes wearing a mask in any shared space.

Dr. Todd Emerson will be taking on the role of APU’s SHC Medical Director. The APU community will also have access to a new APU COVID-19 Testing Center funded by $1 million from donors.



According to the statement, the fall 2020 semester will involve COVID-19 modifications within the classroom. These modifications include physical distancing measures and possible alternating between in-person and virtual teaching. 

For those with health concerns, there will be further “learning methods for faculty and/or students who cannot be in any face-to-face classroom settings,” said the statement. 

There will be COVID-19 modifications for students with lab, clinical, and experiential requirements. The statement did not address specifics regarding these alterations.


Shared Spaces

All communal spaces, such as classrooms, offices, residence halls and on-campus dining venues are being adjusted to meet social distancing regulations. Take-out food options will be increased and on-campus housing will be decreased. To prevent crowding in walkways, the APU campus will be marked. 

To further the safety of APU students and faculty, “cleaning and sanitation of buildings, classes, and public spaces will be done frequently and according to strict protocols and health and safety guidelines,” according to the statement. 


Spiritual Life

The cornerstone of Christ will continue on the APU campus even amidst COVID-19.

“Focus on the spiritual development of our students will continue through chapel, discipleship groups, mentoring, devotional resources, and service opportunities, among other options,” Ferguson wrote.

APU is currently investigating various ways to offer chapel and ministry services. 



When it comes to sports, APU is siding with the overall consensus on safety. 

The statement said, “APU will comply with forthcoming federal, state, and county health directives and Conference decisions on fall sports, including the timing of games and structure of practices as designed by governing coaches’ associations.”


New Students

Welcome Week will still take place for incoming students who will have the option to participate either in person or in a virtual setting. 

“Our Transitions team will work closely with Residence Life and Commuter Life to design the welcome experience around APU’s return to campus guidelines,” said Ferguson.

Further updates can be found on the Welcome Week website and will be sent to students.


Future Plans

The fall 2020 commencement and all future plans are contingent on health orders. 

According to the statement, email updates will be sent. You can also visit the APU COVID-19 portion of the website and click on the APU Return to Campus section for updates.