Coronavirus Information



Coronavirus Information

Updated March 8, 2021

Governor Greg Abbott has issued Executive Order GA-34 related to the opening of Texas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This order goes into effect Wednesday, March 10 and includes lifting operating limits and the mandated use of face coverings. Under the order, face coverings are still strongly recommended when social distancing cannot take place.

With the health and safety of our campus community as a top priority, Southwestern Adventist University will maintain its existing COVID-19 protocols through the end of spring semester. Protocols, including face covering requirements, have been effective in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and have allowed the campus to remain open.  Continued adherence to protocols is appreciated.  
Updated November 17, 2020

Throughout this semester Southwestern Adventist University has implemented the preparedness plan in all areas on campus to mitigate risks associated with the spread of COVID-19. Our campus has operated at Level Yellow: Precautious, with minimal community transmission. Over the past two weeks, an increase in community transmission and positive student cases has created a heightened level of concern and out of an abundance of caution, our administrative team has made the decision to move to Level Red: Pro-Active.

Beginning Tuesday, November 17th, the following changes will go into effect:

  • Academic classes will move to an online format, except disciplines that require in-person components or in-person finals for completion
  • All in-person, group activities (such as SA or social gatherings) will be postponed
  • Athletics and extra-curricular activities are on pause for the remainder of this semester
  • Visitors to campus will be restricted
  • Residence hall students will have the option to return home beginning Tuesday, November 17th. For those students needing to stay on campus, the residence halls and cafeteria will remain open.

The health and wellbeing of everyone on our campus is a top priority. All current campus protocols will remain in place, including required face coverings, capacity limits, daily health screenings and temperature checks. Student Health Services continues to monitor all symptoms of illnesses daily. Students who suspect COVID-19 illness or exposure should follow the sickness protocol availabe here. For additional guidance and to access COVID-19 testing, students can contact Health Services at or (817) 202-6425 or Student Services at (817) 202-6219. 

We value each of our students and it is our goal to continually serve them during this time. We want our students to succeed academically and complete the semester in good health. All students are encouraged to reach out to professors, deans or other staff members if they need assistance. Specific questions or concerns regarding COVID-19, can be sent to

Updated October 30, 2020

To view a report for Institutional portion of HEERF Expenditures, click here.

Updated September 29, 2020

On September 17, 2020, Executive Order GA 30 by the Governor of the State of Texas was issued “relating to a continued response to the COVID-19 disaster as Texas reopens”. This order went into effect on September 21, 2020 and reflects a “steady and significant” decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since late July. Provisions in this order remove occupancy limits for specific establishments including but not limited to religious services conducted in churches, congregations and houses of worship and private institutions of higher education. 

In line with the provisions provided by the order, classrooms, transportation services and public spaces will have the option to operate at 75% capacity when it is deemed beneficial and can be done safely. Safe practices, in accordance to CDC recommendations and the campus preparedness plan remain in place to protect students, faculty, staff and guests. Daily screenings, social distancing, proper hygiene and consistent use of face coverings will continue to be standard procedures. 


Updated July 6, 2020

Updated Campus Face Covering Guidelines    

On July the 2nd Executive Order No. GA-29 was issued by The Governor of the State of Texas outlining updated requirements for face coverings.  In conjunction with this order, face coverings (cloth face mask, surgical mask, etc.) must be worn by all individuals while on campus. Face coverings are required indoors under all circumstances except for an employee working alone in a private office. When outdoors, face coverings are required when physical distancing of 6 ft cannot be maintained. 


Updated June 29, 2020

In a changing world, our mission remains the same. We are committed to inspire the pursuit of Knowledge, Faith and Service. Our campus family is important to us and as we prepare for the start of the fall 2020 semester on August 24th, we have carefully considered how to open our campus to provide a safe and healthy environment.

As a reminder (see May 22nd update), the complete plan is designed with three implementation levels. The current plan is to begin fall semester at LEVEL YELLOW. Recognizing the ever changing nature of the pandemic, we are actively monitoring the situation and will respond to community spread of COVID - 19 accordingly.

The preparedness plan includes additional guidelines for all aspects of campus life. This will require us to be flexible, understanding and willing to adapt. You can find general information regarding our plan by visiting Prepared to Pursue.


Updated June 12, 2020 (figures updated based on date below)

Southwestern Adventist University entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education and received $400,581 under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.  As of November 24, 2020, the University has distributed $400,581 to 494 students of the estimated 494 eligible students. The University evaluated eligible students based on estimated housing, transportation, food, miscellaneous costs, and EFC related to the transition to distance learning in determining the allocation to each student.  The University also provided students a way to request additional funds if the previous funds did not cover their expenses as reflected in the May 22, 2020 president’s letter to current students.

Greetings Southwestern Adventist University Students,

For many of you, you received funds from the University on Wednesday.  You may be asking why.  The U.S. Department of Education made funds available for emergency cash grants for higher education students to assist with expenses related to the disruption of campus operations.  Southwestern Adventist University submitted a proposal for these funds and received $400,581.  Funds have now been distributed to students based on specific guidelines.  The guidelines restrict the funding to only students who are eligible to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA).  F1, DACA, and students who were exclusively enrolled online are not eligible for these grants.  

If you were eligible to receive these funds, you either received a direct deposit into your checking account or will receive an actual check within the next few days.  

We have distributed approximately 90% of the funds to students based on a formula that includes the student’s estimated family contribution (EFC).  The remaining 10% of the funds will be distributed to students who have had extraordinary challenges as a result of the coronavirus. 

If the funds you have received did not cover your expenses and you have had extraordinary challenges due to the coronavirus, please complete this application (application has closed) by 5 p.m on Friday, June 5.  A timely and thorough review of applications will take place and the remainder of the funds will be distributed soon thereafter.  
If you were not eligible to receive these emergency cash grants and have been adversely affected by the coronavirus, I encourage you to complete this same application as we are raising private donations to assist you.

If you have any questions regarding this correspondence, please contact Duane Valencia, Assistant VP for Student Financial Services ( or call (817) 202-6533. 

For those students not graduating, our plan is to begin fall semester on time with face-to-face classes.  We will closely monitor the coronavirus situation throughout the summer and will ensure we have appropriate precautionary measures in place to safeguard our students, staff, and faculty as we start school in the August.  I look forward to seeing you this fall.

Congratulations to all our graduates!!  We are very proud of each of you!  I look forward to celebrating with you on Sunday, August 9, at 10 a.m. at your graduation ceremony.  

I hope all of you have a wonderful summer.

Blessings to you and your families,

Ken Shaw, Ed.D.

Updated May 22, 2020 (12:00 PM)


On May 8th, Southwestern Adventist University announced its intent to re-open campus for fall semester 2020. Detailed planning to ensure the continued health and safety of our campus family is a top priority.

A Medical Taskforce team has been established to provide guidance on policies and procedures to help ensure the best start possible, along with best practices for continued campus monitoring and evaluation. The team includes community health experts and University representatives. The University appreciates the commitment, knowledge and service provided by the following community professionals serving on this team:  

  • Michelle Beeson, MD, FACEP Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine TX Health SW, EMS Medical Director Johnson County, Local Health Authority for DSHS City of Cleburne
  • Dennis Haslam, MD, Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine TX Health Huguley
  • Tammy Ellis, RN, CNAA, BC, FACHE Vice President and CNO TX Health Huguley


In addition, six taskforce teams made up of administrators, faculty and staff, are working to identify specific needs and develop campus-wide processes. Over the next few weeks, finalized plans will be completed to establish detailed policies, protocols, and monitoring/evaluation mechanisms to maximize health and safety for all areas of academic and student life. 


Every aspect of the plan is being designed with three levels of implementation (outlined below) to ensure the University is prepared regardless of the local status of COVID 19 this fall. The University anticipates starting the school year at Level Yellow


Level Green:  Prepared 

  • No community transmission (Johnson County)
  • No reports of positive cases affecting campus
  • Focus on practices that promote overall prevention of infectious disease


Level Yellow:Precautious

  • Minimal community Transmission
  • No reports of positive cases affecting campus
  • Focus on mitigation of transmission risk


Level Red:Pro-Active

  • Moderate/Substantial Community Transmission or positive case of COVID-19 affecting campus
  • Focus on coordinated response with local health officials
  • Consider temporary or extended suspension of in-person instruction


Southwestern Adventist University is working diligently to be prepared and ready to provide students with the Christian education and experience we all value. Even with new procedures, we look forward to welcoming students on campus! Thank you to our extended community for your continued support and prayers for our administrators, faculty, staff and students.    


Updated May 8, 2020 (12:00 PM)

Dear SWAU Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff,

I am excited to announce that Southwestern Adventist University intends to safely open its campus beginning fall semester 2020.  I look forward to having a more traditional fall semester which will include residential living, face-to-face and hybrid classes, and campus activities that are representative of the Christian environment we all cherish.  These plans will be influenced by ongoing recommendations from local, state, and federal public health officials and the decline of COVID-19 cases.  As we move forward, ensuring the continued health and safety of our University family is a top priority.

In order to facilitate and implement plans for the fall semester, the decision has been made to offer all summer classes online.  In the upcoming months, the University will establish policies, social distancing strategies, cleaning protocols, cafeteria operations, academic transitions, etc. to ensure a healthy start to the school year.   

This pandemic has been marked by uncertainty and the transition to online learning was unexpected.  I want to thank you for your creativity and patience to the changing university environment.  Your quick adaptation has been noted and greatly appreciated.  As I have spoken with many students over the past six weeks, I have learned that they all greatly miss the interactions with their friends and with their faculty and staff.  

For the students who are graduating, congratulations!!  We look forward to having you and your families back on campus Sunday, August 9, for the graduation commencement ceremony when we can properly celebrate with you.  Welcome to the alumni of Southwestern Adventist University!

For students who are not graduating, we miss you.  On behalf of all of your SWAU family, we can’t wait to have you back on campus in the fall.  

I pray that you will “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  Have a good and safe summer.  

Blessings to you,

Ken Shaw, Ed.D.

Updated April 22, 2020 (5:00 PM)

During the COVID-19 crisis, Adventist colleges and universities have had to redefine their academic strategies to meet the needs of their students. The Association of Adventist Colleges and Universities has issued a statement on the future of Adventist Higher Education. Click here to read the article.


Updated April 3, 2020 (1:00 PM)

The Financial Aid office will be providing refunds to students who decided to move out of the residence halls and who are no longer using our dining services.  The refunds are based on the days students stopped using these services.  Refunds will be credited to students’ accounts.  If there is no account balance the refund will be credited to the student’s account for next year or if requested, a check will be issued to the student.


Updated April 3, 2020 (12:00 PM)

The following summer 2020 classes will be offered fully online via Zoom during the following dates:

  • Theology Department
    • RELL 340 Intermediate New Testament Greek
    • RELP 425 Field Evangelism

Offered May 11 - June 19, 2020 (6-week session)

  • Education/Psychology Department

Offered June 8 - July 31, 2020 (8-week session)

Updated March 27, 2020 (5:00 PM)

Due to Johnson County's Stay Safe at Home orders which go into effect at 11:59 PM on Friday, March 27, 2020, we have made the decision to close the University's facilities to the public beginning Monday, March 30.  Regardless, the public is welcomed to connect with university departments via phone by calling 817-645-3921. 


Updated March 23, 2020 (5:00 PM)

Our various campus teams are actively exploring and planning ways to engage and support our students academically, socially, and spiritually. During a time when we must all alter our activities to help flatten the curve, it is our priority that social distancing does not cause social disengagement.

Please note the following updates:


  • All students who live in places where there is a shelter-in-place order will need to complete the semester online and should not return to campus.
  • The library is closed until further notice.
  • Students needing access to academic buildings will need to be accompanied by a faculty or staff member.
  • Graduation has been postponed until 10 a.m. Sunday, August 9, 2020.  The Nursing Pinning Ceremony will take place that Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m.  More details to follow.



Updated March 19, 2020 (4:00 PM)


Our Crisis Management Team met today for several hours to review the comments from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, review the latest updates from the CDC and sharpen contingency plans.  We discussed and formulated processes on how to deal with campus visitors and access to buildings and computer labs.  We noted:

1. Cleaning Services staff are hard at work making things sanitary,  
2. Our faculty are in training today to develop plans to continue to deliver a top-notch Christian Education online, and  
3. Student Services staff are making plans to create a campus life with as much normalcy as possible for our returning students within the current health guidelines and with the ultimate goal of keeping everyone healthy and safe during these uncertain times.  

Pastor Russ Laughlin, VP for Spiritual Development, shared the following relevant message with the SWAU family earlier today.

"Good Afternoon Southwestern Family,

This spring break has certainly turned out to be very different then we planned!  These are interesting, uncharted times.  As I type this email, I am praying that you are healthy.

This week I have been reading and reflecting on two chapters of Scripture.  The first has been Psalm 91.  This Psalm speaks of God’s power to protect His people from plagues and pestilence.  While this was written hundreds of years ago, we still have hope in a powerful, protecting God.   

As I focused on Psalm 91, I also was reminded of Daniel 3 where the three Hebrew men on the plain of Dura told the king that God could save them from the furnace ... but if He did not save them, they would still serve Him.  These men lived their faith!   

It is so easy to talk about faith.  Our tagline is Knowledge, Faith, Service.  I really like our tagline.  It helps define who we are.  When the academic year is running smoothly, faith seems to come naturally.  But, in these interesting, uncharted times, faith, or lack thereof is revealed.  

Today, I am thankful for the powerful God of Psalm 91 and I long for the faith of Daniel 3.  

May God hold the SWAU family as we continue to serve Him.  

Praying for you.  

God bless!"

Updated March 17, 2020 (2:00 PM)


Commitment to Learning

It is our goal to ensure our students are able to complete the courses they started this semester. With an intent to accommodate students to the best of our abilities, the following actions are being taken:


  • After Spring Break, students who choose to return to campus will be able to return to the residence halls upon clearance from Student Services.
  • All courses are moving online effective March 30, 2020.
  • Students may choose to live on campus or stay at home.
  • Gymnasium, Cafeteria and Library will remain open with reduced hours.
  • Professors are actively preparing for the transition to the online format.
  • Students should expect correspondence from their professors regarding next steps.



Updated March 17, 2020 (8:00 AM)


As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, Southwestern Adventist University remains committed to the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and extended community.  Additional updates will be forthcoming as we prepare for the changes ahead.  We encourage students to stay up to date with detailed announcements through their campus email.        


Commitment to Learning

It is our goal to ensure our students are able to complete the courses they started this semester.  We are discussing and preparing for the best course of action for each area of study.  It is our intent to accommodate students to the best of our abilities.  


Commitment to Services

After spring break, students will be able to return to residence halls upon clearance from student services.  Students are required to complete our campus Travel Log prior to returning from break.  Please monitor campus emails for further details.  


For 30 days, through April 15, all campus facilities will mostly be restricted to current students, faculty and staff.  Certain departments/buildings will operate with limited hours or access.  Please contact departments for specific details.


Through April 15, all public University events, on and off site, are postponed or canceled.  Student assemblies and vespers will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube without a live audience.


  • Alumni Homecoming Weekend is postponed until 2021.
  • Graduation Weekend plans will be announced as soon as they become available.


Commitment to Well-being

Custodial Services is implementing a campus sanitation plan during the two weeks of Spring Break.  This process entails wiping all desks, chairs, doors, and all high touch areas, as well as using an electrostatic sprayer with a chlorine based solution to thoroughly disinfect all areas.


Following the extended Spring Break, these processes will continue regularly.  Additionally, individual departments are being equipped and trained with the resources and information needed to keep their areas sanitized.


Healthcare and counseling services will continue to be offered to our students. 


Commitment to Faith

Please know that your Southwestern Adventist University family is praying daily for our students, employees, and community.  We believe that prayer is our strongest weapon to combat fear and anxiety. As we continue to consider the best course of action, please keep our institution in your prayers as well. Even in this time of uncertainty, as Christians, we cling to the truth of God’s promises and the assurance that He cares for each of us.   


“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 NIV

Updated March 13, 2020 

As of noon today (March 13), the state of Texas has declared a statewide emergency in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). As the situation continues to evolve, Southwestern Adventist University remains committed to the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff, and community. In response to this national crisis, we are taking the following steps to ensure that we continue to safely provide a high quality education for our students. 

  • Spring Break will be extended by one week, with limited on-campus activity resuming March 30.

  • We are working to ensure our students are able to complete the courses they started this semester. This may include delivering selected course content online for the remainder of the term. Further information will soon be available.

  • The following essential services will continue: residence halls, dining services, the Chan Shun Library, and offices. Students are welcome to return to campus and access these facilities.

  • As of March 13, the following events have been cancelled: 

    • the 48-Hour Film Challenge 

    • University Experience 

    • Nursing Transfer Day

    • Adventist Intercollegiate Association Convention

    • Student Association Mimosa Banquet (Postponed)

    • As additional events are cancelled, we will update this list.

The Southwestern Adventist University family announces this news with sadness. We believe in the value of face-to-face education and the personal interactions that occur on our campus. We remain committed to maintaining both academic integrity and student support during these difficult times, and we are working actively to develop plans for course completions. Updates will be provided at Students should also check their emails frequently for additional information.

In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) goals and recommendations, we have taken these actions to help slow the spread of COVID-19, which is vital for protecting the vulnerable and preventing our healthcare infrastructure from being overwhelmed. Though our campus has yet to be affected by COVID-19, we are monitoring the situation with vigilance. For further information on COVID-19 and North Texas, please visit the following CDC links:

What You Should Know




Updated March 12, 2020


Southwestern Adventist University is deeply committed to the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff; this is our first priority.  Administration has been regularly monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation and its potential impact on our campus. The University is following guidelines and recommendations from public health experts, who have the best understanding of how to carefully manage public health risks. 


Currently the risk in North Texas is low and there are no confirmed cases on campus.

  • An Emergency Management Team is activated and has been meeting regularly. The team is communicating with regional and state health officials to ensure Southwestern Adventist University is following proper procedure and creating adequate protocols for planning, preventing, and responding further, if and when needed. The team is monitoring CDC guidelines and recommendations specific to higher education.

  • Measures have been implemented in various spaces on campus to help prevent the spreading of germs.

  • Currently we are planning to continue classes, spring break, and campus events as currently scheduled. As this situation is evolving, updates will be promptly announced.   

  • We are reminding students via written and announced correspondence to take measures to stay healthy.

The following links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide valuable information: 

What You Should Know




Flattening the Curve

Dr. Kerrie Kimbrow, AdventHealth Endowed Chair of Nursing, and Dr. Jared Wood, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, explore principles from Creation Health and share ways individuals can do their part to help flatten the curve. Stay safe and healthy, we will win the war together! Watch the video and click below to learn more.

Read About Creation Health Principles