Diana Wrisley, Dean of the 2021 Laity Academy, announced Sept. 9 that all classes for the Oct 1-2 academy session will be held online only, using Zoom video-conferencing. Classes intended to be held in-person at various churches are now canceled.
The Part 2, hybrid session follows a weekend session held totally online Aug. 6-7. But only 30 students have registered so far for the next session of 15 courses offered either online or onsite; and the onsite or in-person courses all have only zero to one registrant. The COVID-19 pandemic, made more severe by the unrelenting delta variant and an insufficient public vaccination rate, may be the key reason for low registration for in-person classes.
“It is an obvious indicator when even our Basic course has only one student,” said Wrisley in announcing the change to her planning team and academy instructors after speaking with Conference Lay Leader David Koch. The three courses offered in Spanish are cancelled also.
“Please accept my deepest appreciation for your support of Laity Academy,” the dean wrote to instructors of the now-canceled in-person only classes. “I pray that we will be able to meet again in person (next year) for the fellowship and instruction we all crave. I know you have spent significant time crafting and preparing for your offerings, and we will again call on your skills in 2022.”
Wrisley expressed her disappointed but acknowledged that “we all knew it was a possibility. May we continue to find ways to reach out to those who wish to serve and grow their ministries.”
The following courses are cancelled:
- Basic Course
- Speaking 1
- Christianity, Cults, and Religions
- Finishing Strong
- Making Every Prayer Count
- Practice of Hospitality
- All 3 Spanish courses
Students who selected an online second-choice course will be moved into those classes.