COVID-19 Readiness FAQs

Emmaus Bible College plans to offer its Christ-centered undergraduate classes in person for the Spring 2021 semester. Students can expect to continue the protocols from the fall semester including

  • Reassigning classes to larger classrooms to provide adequate space for physical distancing
  • Classroom seating that is spaced 6’ apart
  • Classrooms equipped with technology support for live-streaming to serve students who become ill and/or need to quarantine or isolate

In the case that a student tests positive for Covid-19 or is required to quarantine due to an exposure to Covid-19, academic engagement will be highly flexible in accordance with the student’s physical and mental well-being as well as the safety of the Emmaus community.  Faculty will be prepared to serve students who become ill or need to self-isolate at home or in the dorms via online live streaming from the classroom with support from Schoology. Laptop computers are highly recommended for all students, given the risk of Covid-19 and the possibility for quarantine or required campus-wide remote learning.

The college will work with medically at-risk students on a case-by-case basis to develop an appropriate educational plan for spring. If you are medically at risk, please contact Dean Beatty at

Yes. In order to allow more time to pass between New Year’s gatherings and the start of classes the following changes have been made. 

  • Student Teachers arrive, Sunday, January 3, 2pm-4pm 
  • Athletes arrive on Monday, January 4, 9am-12noon
  • New students arrive on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2pm-4pm (adjusted from Jan. 5)
  • Returning students can arrive Jan. 10, 2pm-6pm and January 11, 9am-4pm
  • Classes will begin on Tuesday, January 12 (adjusted from Jan. 7)
  • Classes will meet on Monday, January 18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)
  • Classes will not meet on Friday, January 29 (Winterfest)
  • Classes will meet on Monday and Tuesday, February 8-9 (CMS will be adjusted this year to provide a safer environment)
  • Classes will not meet on Thursday, February 18 (mid-week break day)
  • Classes will not meet March 8-12 (Spring break)
  • Classes will meet on Thursday, April 1 (Maundy Thursday)
  • Classes will not meet on Friday, April 2 (Good Friday)
  • Classes will meet on Monday, April 5 (Easter Monday)
  • Classes will not meet on Wednesday, April 21 (mid-week break day)
  • Last day of classes is Friday, April 30
  • Finals are Monday through Wednesday, May 3-5

NICC is planning to begin classes as scheduled on Monday, January 11 and follow the published academic calendar. Updates on NICC plans can be found at  Similarly, UD plans to begin classes on Monday, January 11 and follow the published academic calendar.  Updates on UD plans can be found at

Emmaus students enrolled concurrently at NICC and UD should plan to follow the academic calendar of the partner institution until completion of the semester.

Yes, Emmaus housing will reopen after Christmas break using the following dates. Each student should plan to arrive during the designated times for check-in and health screening: 

  • January 3 - Student Teachers 2pm - 4pm
  • January 4 - Move-in for men’s and women’s basketball 9am-12pm
  • January 10 - New students arrive and check-in 2pm-4pm 
  • January 10 - Returning students arrive and check-in 2pm-6pm
  • January 11 - Returning arrive and check-in 9am-4pm

The Residence Life team is working to maintain residence halls as safe living environments, while seeking to uphold the Emmaus experience. We plan to continue to utilize face coverings, increased sanitation, and physical distancing throughout campus, which will include spatial adjustments such as a reduced amount of furniture, maximum occupancy requirements in gathering spaces, and no guests in residence halls. 

We ask and expect all students to exercise the patience, respect, and compassion that will be necessary as the entire Emmaus community lives together in this Covid-19 environment, particularly in Residence Life. Furthermore, all students will be trained in the expected Covid-19 prevention and control strategies upon arrival to campus.

In addition to the basics, students should arrive on campus with a few CDC-approved face coverings, a personal thermometer, and sufficient personal hand sanitizer.

All areas of the Emmaus experience have been adjusted due to Covid-19. We are planning to continue the use of face coverings, increased sanitation, and physical distancing throughout all of campus. Students and their families can expect limited access to the residence halls for family members in order to reduce density and movement on campus during Spring move-in.

We will be asking anyone coming to campus to complete a health screening form prior to arrival. New students should plan to bring no more than two family members to move-in.

Emmaus is working hard to maintain a safe campus and hopes for every student to attend class and engage our community on campus in the spring, but we understand that at-risk students may need additional measures in physical distancing and safety protocol. Contact the Residence Life team with additional concerns and requests about returning to campus for Spring 2021. Contact Hannah Leavitt at

Emmaus Residence Life and Housekeeping will continue enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures for Spring 2021 in an effort to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19.  Students can expect health and safety signage, hand sanitizing stations, and plexiglass protection in many appropriate locations. Cleaning of community bathrooms will be noticeably increased, and students will be expected to keep personal spaces clean and sanitary at all times.

Students can expect and prepare for measures to be taken in order to prevent and control the spread of the virus, as well as protocols for health screenings and isolating students who test positive for Covid-19 or who have a confirmed exposure.

As an additional measure of safety, access to resident areas will only be permitted for resident students, Student Life staff, and maintenance staff. Guests will not be allowed in residential spaces (dorm rooms, residence halls, floor lounges, laundry room, group gathering spaces and common areas).

All members of the Emmaus community are expected to comply with and respect the protocol and guidelines that will be in place for Spring 2021. We understand that there may be differing opinions and reactions to Covid-19 and the adjustments that will be made for the Emmaus residential community, but we expect students sharing close living spaces to respect, care, and support one another during the upcoming semester.

Students in isolation and or quarantine will have meals delivered by designated, protected members of the Student Life team.

As we continue to maintain a safe living environment in our residence halls, guests (including non-resident students) will not be allowed in the residence halls as we begin this semester. We are allowing individual guests in outdoor spaces only. Each guest will need to be approved through your Resident Director using the following form: Guest Health Screening Form.

In order to comply with proper physical distancing measures, Spring 2021 chapel services will continue to be offered in several locations on campus. We plan to return to chapel four days a week; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday will be corporate chapels and Thursdays will be floor devotions. You will have the opportunity to sign up for your chapel group over the Christmas break.

Resident students will continue to enjoy the variety and quality of Emmaus dining services during the Spring 2021 semester.  All food and beverages will continue to be served by employees in a “grab and go” fashion, table arrangements and meal times will support the 6-feet physical distancing requirement, and plexiglass dividers will remain in place for protection between guests and employees in the dining hall.

Generally, students can expect for each gathering space to be different than normal, with reduced furniture, maximum occupancy limitations, no guests permitted (non-resident students will continue to be welcomed in these public spaces) and sanitation requirements.  We will be asking students, faculty, and staff to refrain from moving or adjusting furniture in all common spaces and classrooms.

We look forward to the Christ-centered community, engaging academic environments, student-professor relationships, and lifelong memories and relationships that will be created in the spring semester, as we overcome the challenges of this global pandemic together. 

Physical distancing of 6 feet, the wearing of face coverings, increased hand washing and sanitation, as well as limited group gatherings are all part of the reality of our world during this unprecedented season.  As representatives of Christ and co-laborers in the work of the Gospel, we are asking the Emmaus community to respect all protocol and guidelines.  We will also encourage and expect all members in our community to keep a heavenward focus as we sacrifice personal opinions and views concerning the virus, and pursue the safety and well-being of our community and our neighbors.  We are reminded from Philippians 2:3-4 (ESV), Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Resident students will continue to enjoy the variety and quality of Emmaus dining services during the fall 2020. Nevertheless, dining services and the use of Pile Dining Hall will experience changes. All food and beverages will be served by employees in a “grab and go” fashion, table arrangements and meal times will support the 6 feet physical distancing requirement, and plexiglass dividers will be installed for protection between guests and employees in the dining hall. Additional details concerning dining services will be communicated to students in the coming weeks.

These gathering spaces pose challenges to the coronavirus-safe campus that Emmaus is seeking to create.  We are working through options as we understand the distinct environment and community-building nature of hangout spaces at Emmaus.  Generally students can expect for each gathering space to be different than normal, with reduced furniture, maximum occupancy limitations, no guests permitted (non-resident students will continue to be welcome in these public spaces) and sanitation requirements.  We will be asking students, faculty, and staff to refrain from moving or adjusting furniture in all common spaces and classrooms.

Emmaus will be contacting all international students concerning specific cases of travel and their return to campus for the Spring 2021.

As we anticipate students arriving to campus after holiday travels and gatherings and in order to prevent illness or exposures at the beginning of the semester, we are strongly urging each student to be tested for Covid-19 prior to their return to campus. We are not requiring the test at this time, however, because we value your partnership in keeping Emmaus healthy to start the semester, each student that completes a Covid-19 test will receive a $20 gift card to the Coffee Bean. Your test must be taken between the dates of January 6 and January 12 to receive the $20 gift card. If you have a previously documented positive test within 90 days prior to arrival, you do not need to be tested, provided you are not exhibiting any symptoms. (If you are a men's or women's basketball player, please see Coach McHugh for your required testing details.)

If you receive a test, you can bring a copy of your negative test results with you when you check-in. Non-resident students, you can email your test to prior to your first day on campus. Students who have had an exposure or who have tested positive for Covid-19 within 10 days of check-in should not come to campus and should contact Hannah Leavitt at for further instructions.

If you are not able to obtain a test prior to arriving on campus, you can use the link below to schedule a test in Dubuque on January 11-12.

Click here for test options in Dubuque

It is requested that any student who experiences any of the following symptoms should notify their Resident Director immediately to begin protocols designed to keep the student and the greater Emmaus community safe, which will include an isolation protocol as recommended by the CDC. You will be asked to obtain a Covid-19 test prior to returning to class or activities. 

Symptoms include: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

We are asking all students who have symptoms or who receive a positive test to notify a member of the ResLife team immediately. Emmaus will adhere to the recommendations of the CDC in the case that a student tests positive for Covid-19 which includes a 10 day isolation period. Students will either return home if feasible or isolate in an isolation hall on campus.

The student will have assigned authorized personnel remaining in contact and providing necessary care to the student. Emmaus will monitor the student’s symptoms, deliver meals, provide academic flexibility and assistance.  The student must wear a mask upon leaving his/her room to visit the restroom facility.  The student will not be allowed re-entry into the community until the student has been 24 hours with no fever, symptoms are improving, and 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, per CDC guidelines.

Emmaus will practice careful contact tracing for all students who have been exposed to or tested positive for Covid-19.  We may enlist the help of the Visiting Nurse Association in Dubuque in this process. Students who have been in close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 patient will be monitored for symptoms and quarantined for 10 days, as recommended by the CDC, given the risk of asymptomatic cases. Receiving a negative test on day 5 or later will provide a release from quarantine after day 7.

Students will receive all meals via delivery to their room and adapt a remote learning method of academic work. Students will be expected to monitor for symptoms upon release and should continue good mitigation strategies (i.e. handwashing, social distancing, etc.).

According to the CDCPeople who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease within the last three months and show no symptoms.

We would ask you to show proof of vaccination at the point of an exposure. Should you develop symptoms, you will be required to self-isolate and receive a test.

Emmaus hopes that all members of the community will demonstrate humility and respect for the entire community by abiding by the campus procedures.  Distancing oneself, monitoring symptoms, and seeking a Covid-19 test are part of caring for oneself and showing love to the community at large.  However, we recognize that these adjustments will require a commitment and spirit of charity that may not be shared by all members.  If a member of the Emmaus community demonstrates symptoms, yet is failing to follow proper and respectful protocol, please notify a member of the Student Life team (RA, RD, Ray Guerra, Hannah Leavitt, Dean Chavez).

According to the CDC, wearing cloth face coverings helps lessen the spread and prevent the transmission of Covid-19 (source control).  Thus, face coverings, which cover the nose and mouth, will be a necessary part of Emmaus’ protocol, and all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the Emmaus Bible College campus will be required to wear face coverings in all indoor spaces with the following exceptions:

  • When alone in your private office or dorm room
  • For a documented medical condition preventing wearing a covering  (A clear face shield will be substituted in these cases. A face shield will not prevent a quarantine in the event of an exposure.)
  • When eating in dining hall or other common space
  • Athletic practices/competition where not advised 

In outdoor campus spaces it is expected that face coverings will be worn

  • when social distancing is not possible (e.g. leisure activities like spike ball),
  • when in groups larger than 25,
  • during approved student life events as requested, and
  • when singing in any group size (e.g. floor devos, campfire fellowship, etc.) with the exception of supervised choral rehearsals.

All face covering designs should appropriately reflect the tenets of the Emmaus Student Handbook and Faith and Lifestyle Commitment. See the full policy here.

Given the exponential growth rate and ease of spread of Covid-19, all members of the Emmaus community will adhere to the same control and prevention protocol. The Emmaus Covid-19 TaskForce will re-evaluate this protocol on a regular basis.  Students who are unable to wear a face covering due to a documented, diagnosed medical condition should contact Disability Services,

In order to preserve your health and the health of the Emmaus community you can notify ResLife when you experience symptoms, test positive, or believe you have had an exposure. You can also take the following measures:

  • Wash your hands often according to CDC guidelines
  • Wear your mask 
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Stay away from others when you are sick
  • Cover your cough
  • Avoid touching your face throughout the day
  • Use a face covering when you are away from campus
  • Limit your travel away from campus

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people with the following conditions are considered high-risk for serious infection should they contract the virus:

  • People 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:
    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have serious heart conditions
    • People who are immunocompromised
      • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
    • People with a body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher
    • People with diabetes
    • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • People with liver disease

Emmaus recommends that students with one or more of these conditions consult with a health care provider to determine whether or not they should return to campus for the spring semester under the conditions of Covid-19.

The Dubuque Community offers several medical facilities to choose from.  We encourage you to make a plan with your family prior to arrival as to which facility best meets your insurance and medical needs. Additionally, the state of Iowa is offering widespread testing capabilities

UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital
350 N Grandview Ave, Dubuque, IA 52001
(563) 582-1881
Mercy Medical Center
250 Mercy Dr, Dubuque, IA 52001
E.R. open 24hrs - (563) 589-8000
Unity Point Urgent Care West
2255 John F Kennedy Rd, Dubuque, IA 52001
Closes 8PM - (563) 589-4960
Medical Associates Acute Care
Acute Care | East Campus
1000 Langworthy, Dubuque, IA 52001
Unity Point Urgent Care East
1550 University Ave
Closes 8PM - (563) 589-4960

Yes, once you arrive on campus students will be able to begin scheduling appointments with our on-campus Licensed Mental Health Counselor. You will have the options for either in-person or telehealth appointments.

The Athletics department is working closely with the Covid-19 Taskforce, the Midwest Christian College Conference, and the NCCAA to assess the best way forward. We are continuing with plans for the men’s and women’s basketball seasons. We will continue to assess the ability to have fans in attendance at home events.

In an effort to maintain physical distancing, as recommended by the CDC, Emmaus will be suspending intramural games to start the spring 2021 semester, with a phased approach to reintroducing campus recreational sports as the semester continues and as conditions improve.

Use of the Pollard Fieldhouse will be allowed using the same guidance from the fall semester. The weight room and gymnasiums will have limited occupancy, physical distancing requirements, and increased sanitation procedures for students and Pollard Staff.  Hours of operation will be adjusted in order to allow for frequent cleaning.  Access to Pollard Fieldhouse will also be restricted to the following:

  • Current full-time Emmaus students
  • Current Emmaus full-time and part-time employees
  • Current BSS and Emmaus International full-time and part-time employees

No additional guests will be permitted in the facilities. Limited equipment from the Pollard desk will be available for use in the Pollard Gymnasiums.

The Emmaus Experience continues and The Student Life team is continuing to consider and re-imagine new ways to connect and provide community building opportunities and activities while maintaining adherence to current best practices for Covid-19 prevention. 

There are many great events in the spring semester and here are some updates to some of the events. We will continue to provide updates to other events throughout the semester.

  • The ESU team with Mr. Guerra continue their planning to provide a safe Winterfest event at the end of January. 
  • We are planning to offer some intramural sporting activities after the first two weeks of school. 
  • Unfortunately, we have decided to cancel our traditional Christian Ministries Seminars (CMS) event. However, we are planning to host several CMS emphasis chapels to encourage our hearts and minds towards Christian Service. Also, because we so value the connections that happen between you and our visiting ministries and organizations, we plan to invite many of them to come to campus throughout the semester to continue building these connections. More information will be coming in January.

You can currently see your tuition, room, and board charges on your estimated tuition worksheet in Empower.  As in the past, charges will be finalized in the beginning of the semester once the add drop period concludes.  You will be receiving a PDF copy of your estimated tuition worksheet in the next week or so, in order to set up payment prior to arriving on campus.

There are 3 options,

  1. Full payment in January; 
  2. Three payment plan of with first payment due by January 12, and the following payment made on February 1, and March 1; or 
  3. A Five payment plan ($75 fee is required) with payment due dates of January 1, February 1, March 1, April 1, and May 1.

Tuition, room, and board will remain at their regular rates for the spring 2021 semester.

Yes. We welcome each of our commuter students to campus to enjoy face-to-face instruction.

No. At this time commuter students will not be able to visit other students in the residence halls. We are limiting the residence halls to resident students and student life staff/facilities staff as needed. (Our full-time employed Resident Directors may entertain non-resident students or other guests in their living spaces).

While we will not be assigning commuter students to a floor, this year we are providing a dedicated floor chapel for commuter students which will be led by two of our Student Chaplains. We are hopeful that this commuter chapel group will also be a place for community to develop through planned events. 

Yes. Each commuter student is invited to continue dining in the Robbie Pile dining hall. You may continue purchasing a meal in the dining hall or bringing your own meal. The food services team is happy to assist you with heating your meal up if needed.

The commuter student lounge by the auditorium will now be used as a storage location for coats, book bags, lunches and the like. There is no longer any seating in this space and there is a 1 person at a time occupancy limit.

Educating and equipping learners to impact the world for Christ.

 2570 Asbury Road
   Dubuque, IA 52001

 (563) 588-8000