21 February 2022

Welcome to Laidlaw College in 2022

Kia ora e te whānau 

Nau mai haere mai – welcome to Laidlaw College in 2022! 

You’re joining this community, or continuing your studies, at a particularly significant time in Laidaw’s history. One hundred years ago, the New Zealand Bible Training Institute was formed out of a vision to see students equipped to spread the Gospel across Aotearoa and around the world. It’s a story of courage, faithfulness, and decades of impact as graduates have taken what they have learned and responded to God’s call on their lives. 

We begin 2022 with Aotearoa New Zealand still responding to the pandemic. There’s some uncertainty as to how the year will unfold. We know that, for some, two years of challenge is weighing heavily. For others, there’s a sense of excitement and anticipation about the opportunities ahead. Whatever this means for you, we’re grateful that you have made the decision to study with Laidlaw College and we want to support you as much as we can. 

Late last year the College made the call that under the Red setting, we would do whatever we could to sustain in-person learning at Laidlaw. We value face-to-face learning, we value formation in community, and we value the shared experiences we all gain by doing life and study on campus. We recognise that due to the current restrictions not everyone who would prefer to study on campus is able to do so. We will continue to support your online learning as much as possible, and look forward to a time when we are not faced with these restrictions.

To enable and protect in-person learning, we’ve sacrificed some gatherings during Orientation Week. We’re limiting the numbers of lecturers who come together so that we can keep classes going if Omicron cases emerge. We’ll be managing class sizes so that we have appropriate spacing, masks are required and we’re asking everyone to always scan into each class. Your programme teams will share detailed information about how we’ll handle contact tracing, should the need arise. 

In Ōtautahi Christchurch and Manukau, staff will inform you about access, classes and gatherings. At our Henderson campus, we’ll be issuing all students with an access fob. To manage access to the site the front doors will be locked, and you’ll need to use your fob to enter. Vaccine passes have either been verified during the enrolment process or will be during the issuing of fobs, so we do not plan to scan passes every day.  However, from time-to-time you may be asked to present your vaccine pass for a spot check. We ask for your grace at this time of navigating additional protocols to help us keep our campuses open to deliver the in-person learning we all value so much. 

As I have reflected on the courage of Laidlaw’s founders and the faithfulness of God over the last one hundred years, I am reminded of the Lord’s words to Joshua as he took on the mantle of leadership: “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9. 

I pray that you will know God’s strength and that you will have courage throughout this year. As you turn the pages and write your story with this community of Christ in 2022, remember those who have gone before you. We are hopeful and expectant to see how He will work through you and your story in the years to come. 

Ngā mihi nui 

Phil Newman