Coronavirus Preparedness

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is taking preventative measures to protect the well-being of our community as the coronavirus outbreak continues to be a rapidly changing situation. 

Here you'll see several campus communications regarding the coronavirus and related resources.

You'll find the COVID-19 campus visit questionnaire, required for all visitors, employees, and students here:

Sept., 24, 2020

PTS Community,

It’s now been more than six months that the Seminary community has been dealing with the coronavirus and its implications for our campus—emergency shift to online learning, working remotely, phased reopening, wearing masks on campus, and keeping our physical distance from one another, among other changes in our daily lives. Thank you for your ongoing patience, cooperation, and prayers for our institution and our neighbors around the globe during this time.

COVID Alert PA App Now Available

COVID Alert PA is the official mobile app by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. We strongly encourage all members of the Seminary community to download the app to help stop the spread of the virus. Search “COVID alert” or “COVID PA” in your App Store or Play Store or use these direct links:

After you download COVID Alert PA to your smartphone, you can opt-in to receive alerts if you have had a potential exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Downloading the app is voluntary, but the more Pennsylvanians that use this app, the more successful our efforts will be to stop the spread of COVID-19. Getting timely alerts can help you get advice on how to help yourself and protect others as well as determine when to get testing. It can help reduce your risk of unknowingly spreading the virus to your friends, family, and larger community. This app uses the Exposure Notification System provided by Apple and Google.

No worries—the COVID Alert PA protects your privacy and personal information. The app detects if users are in close contact with another app user using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. It is the same technology that your phone uses to connect to wireless headphones or your car. The app does not use GPS, location services, or any movement or geographical information. Note: The app will never collect, transmit, or store your personal information and is completely anonymous. Learn more online:

J-Term Courses Offered Remotely

All courses—master’s, DMin, and CP&R—will be delivered remotely during the Seminary’s 2021 January Term. Though we will offer our Intercultural Experiential Learning course, no international travel will occur at this time. More information about specific courses will be available soon. As previously noted, decisions regarding the Spring Semester will be made by early November.

David Esterline, President

Previous Messages

Pittsburgh Seminary Health and Safety Plan

The is committed to the health and wellbeing of our community—students, staff, faculty, and neighbors. To that end and in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Seminary has written as set of protocols which constitute our COVID-19 health and safety plan. This document provides guidance regarding the Seminary’s Phased Reopening Plan, Campus Safety—Physical and Operations; Human Resources and Work Policies; Health Monitoring and Support; Academic Programs; Tenants; Groups, Meetings, Gatherings and Events; Food Service; and Communications. Additional information is included in the appendices. Read the Plan

Health-Screening Questionnaire and Return to Campus Video

Before returning to campus for the first time, faculty, staff, students, and visitors are asked to watch the video below and complete the health screening questionnaire, found here:

Seminary Hours of Operations

  • The Seminary welcomes visitors to campus (through the Long Hall front entrance) Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • The Business Office is open Monday, 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-6:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-4:00 p.m.; and Thursday 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-4:00 p.m. (Closed Wednesday and Friday)
  • At this time, faculty, staff, and current students are able to use the library. The hours of operation are posted on the library's website
  • Most employees are working from home during this time. It's suggested that you call or e-mail them directly with questions or to schedule a virtual meeting. 

Health Care Tips

  • Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, and make sure you wash your thumbs, wrists, and in-between your fingers. This is the best defense against the spread of all viruses.
  • Stay home when you are ill. A day or two of rest will assure quicker recovery and decrease the spread of infectious illness on campus.
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue or the crook of your arm, and then promptly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
  • Get plenty of rest/sleep.
  • Get the seasonal flu vaccine. Though not protective against coronavirus, the seasonal vaccine may prevent against flu, which is known to cause possible severe respiratory illness.

Symptoms for Coronavirus May Include

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • A general feeling of being ill

Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities

Protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like coronavirus. Everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy. Check resources from the CDC about best ways to prevent the spread of diseases like COVID-19 in your community. 


PTS signed and returned certification with the U.S. government allowing access to funding to help students fund COVID-19 related expenses. PTS received a total of $40,736 of which regulation requires at least 50 percent be given directly to students. PTS decided the entire $40,736 will go to students in the form of emergency grants. 

PTS has approximately 175 students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965. However, only 37 students applied for COVID-19 emergency funding. To solicit applications PTS directly e-mailed all current students and invited application.To determine award amounts students self-reported their need and were awarded accordingly. Thirty-three students were awarded grants from the $40,736. We will continue to update this information every 45 days per federal regulation.