SFTS Classes Back in Session on 11/26


November 24, 2018

Dear SFTS Community,

We are pleased to announced that classes will be back in session, and our library will be open on Monday, November 26th. See our website for library hours during the holiday season, and check for regular email updates from Rev. Scott Clark regarding the Worship Schedule.

Grace and Peace

San Francisco Theological Seminary


November 19, 2018

Dear SFTS Community,

I write to confirm that the SFTS campus will remain closed through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. While the air quality forecast calls for some improvement tomorrow, levels are expected to continue to be in the “unhealthy” range. Given the strain the last several days has put on all our bodies, it seems prudent to close—and to urge folks to continue to take precautions for a bit longer. Rain is hoped for on Wednesday—so perhaps by Monday, when we are all back on campus together, we will be ‘breathing easier’.

Faculty members will be in touch with their students about the reconfiguration of class assignments and schedules between now and the end of the semester. Students enrolled in classes at the GTU should check the school website or email the class instructor. The GTU library is open until 2 Wednesday, but each school of the GTU is making its own decision about whether to open or close.

As always, do let us know if the Dean’s office may provide more information or support.

With every good wish – for clearer skies and bountiful tables for all.

Jana Childers, PhD
Dean of the Seminary
Vice-President of Academic Affairs


Dear SFTS Community,

The SFTS campus will remain closed tomorrow, Monday November 19,  due to poor air quality. According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the National Weather Service unhealthy levels (between 150 and 200 on the Air Quality Index) are forecast for tomorrow.   Students, faculty and staff are urged to take appropriate precautionary measures – including staying indoors and avoiding strenuous exercise. If you have questions about how to best protect yourself from the effects of wildfire smoke, please see the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html.

A decision about Tuesday classes will be announced by 3pm tomorrow, Monday. Please check your email. Tomorrow we will also provide information on how students and faculty will be able to compensate for class time lost over the last week. Some classes may find it necessary to continue meetings into Finals Week, for example. Students should bear such possibilities in mind as they begin to make end of semester plans.

Staff who have questions about managing work flow should be in contact with their supervisor.

Students scheduled to attend GTU classes should check with their professors; some GTU schools have already announced that they will close and at least one (CDSP) will be open and holding classes.

Let us continue to hold those who are most drastically affected by the Camp Fire in prayer. For those interested in lending a hand, the State of California website provides information about volunteer organizations working in the fire area: https://californiavolunteers.ca.gov/current-disasters/. As we hear news from local presbyteries and churches about service opportunities we will pass those along as well.

In the meantime, do take care of yourselves and of each other. There are a number of folks in our community who are suffering with respiratory issues and other reactions to this disaster. Let us reach out to our neighbors as we are able. And let us look to the Spirit for guidance for the days ahead, for wisdom about how best to respond to others’ needs and for peace. For all.

Jana Childers, PhD
Dean of the Seminary
Vice-President of Academic Affairs


Dear Members of the SFTS Community,

In Butte County, the Camp Fire that started Nov. 8, has burned 140,000 acres, killed 56 people and destroyed 8,650 homes as of this morning, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. As of this morning, the fire is only 40 percent contained. The Camp Fire is now considered to be the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. The Woolsey Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties is causing similar devastation. We are holding in prayer all those impacted by the enormous devastation of these fires.

As we are also well aware, the air quality in our region has been adversely impacted. The Air Quality Index for our area (San Rafael) was reported to be 171, in the Unhealthy range, which means that everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects. The health and safety of our students is our highest priority and to that end, we are cancelling classes today and tomorrow, November 15 and 16, beginning now.

Due to the air quality, SFTS will close operations through the weekend, except for essential services. SFTS faculty should consult with Dean Childers if they have any questions. SFTS staff should consult with their supervisors regarding their work schedule in order to determine what constitutes essential services in their area of work.

All campus events through the weekend are cancelled as well.

No determination has been made about classes or campus operations for this coming Monday and beyond. We will continue to monitor the situation and post updates on the SFTS website.

Grace and peace,

Rev. Dr. James L. McDonald
President and Professor of Faith and Public Life