The start of a new academic year at Liberty University is always steeped in tradition, from fun Welcome Week events to the first Convocation and Block Party. With much creativity and cooperation among all campus departments, the 2020-21 school year kicked off as planned, inviting the Liberty family to join another year of Training Champions for Christ.
At a time of change, not only in Liberty's leadership but also in the day-to-day operations during a pandemic, the university has taken every precaution to ensure that the campus environment fosters health and wellness yet still cultivates an exciting and spiritually strong atmosphere consistent with its overall mission. And although things may have looked a little different when classes resumed for the first time since March, faculty, staff and students rose to the occasion, supporting one another and building a strong community as they navigated campus with the new health regulations. Many returning students said they feel grateful that Liberty has provided the opportunity to enjoy the campus they call their home away from home.
Before classes began, freshmen and new students were welcomed by President Jerry Prevo during a virtual New Student Convocation. Prevo shared about his family and how he first became connected with the university through a visit from Liberty's founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell. He also shared his favorite Scripture verses, Romans 12:1-2, and used them to encourage Liberty's incoming class to pursue their relationship with the Lord before seeking clarity regarding their futures.
On Aug. 26, the Office of Spiritual Development officially kicked off the Convocation season. Rev. Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor at Thomas Road Baptist Church, encouraged students during the virtual event to start the school year off with the right spiritual focus.
"This place has always been about training young Champions for Christ," Falwell said. "And as you sit there today, whatever you might be studying, don't ever forget that you are one of those Champions for Christ, and the only thing that will keep you from changing the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ is you. Don't allow your journey to get sidetracked. Don't allow your journey and your life to fall victim to the noise and the distraction that is everywhere."
The Spiritual Development team also wasted no time making sure students became involved in service opportunities, another longstanding Liberty tradition. During the second week of classes, LU Serve hosted the Serve Expo, where students could participate in activities structured to educate and raise social awareness for local community causes.
To welcome students back to campus, Liberty's Student Activities team hosted Welcome Week events that included a Back to School Bash, outdoor movie night, a jazz evening and the annual Block Party. Student Activities plans more than 80 events each year, from concerts and movies to bingo and trivia nights, as well as the popular open mic nights and Coffeehouse.
Residential and online students were also greeted by several new degree options that launched this fall. Liberty now offers more than 700 challenging academic programs, both residentially and online. Learn more at Liberty.edu or LUOnline.com.
This article was excerpted from the November issue of Charisma magazine. If you don't subscribe to Charisma, click here to get every issue delivered to your mailbox. During this time of change, your subscription is a vote of confidence for the kind of Spirit-filled content we offer. In the same way you would support a ministry with a donation, subscribing is your way to support Charisma. Also, we encourage you to give gift subscriptions at shop.charismamag.com, and share our articles on social media.
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