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North Park University Embraces Faith during COVID-19

Posted: 23rd July 2020 11:38

As higher education institutions across the country make decisions in support of slowing the spread of the coronavirus, North Park University (North Park) is also encouraging its campus community to continue to practice holistic healthy living.

In addition to implementing CDC-recommended and individually adopted precautions—hand sanitizing and respiratory health stations, work-from-home, paid sick leave, prolonging study abroad programs, frequent and thorough disinfecting high touch-point surfaces—maintaining emotional and spiritual well-being is and continues to be part of overall wellness of the campus community.

Mary K. Surridge, President, North Park University, reminds students, faculty, and staff to care for the entire self—mind, body, and soul.

"It's important to eat well, sleep well, and exercise well," Surridge said. "I like running and walking. I also think that, during a sustained crisis, it is normal to be anxious, to be easily distracted, and not to concentrate as well as usual. So, acknowledge that and practice grace with yourself and others."

In order to stay cognitively and emotionally healthy, Dr. Elizabeth Gray, North Park Psychology Professor encourages, "choosing a reliable source of information about COVID-19."

Dr. Gray suggests taking a break from screens and connecting with others. "To respond well to this community stressor, engage in regular self-care, even add an extra care routine like exercise or meditating, and seek social support," added Dr. Gray.

With deep roots in the Christian faith, North Park's University Ministries remains connected to the campus community by offering virtual daily devotionals. In addition to daily devotionals, there's virtual weekly chapel worship and staff available for spiritual counseling and support via phone and video conferencing.

"I have found a very apt scripture for this time that has helped me and that I have shared with our campus community," added Surridge. "It is a portion of Paul's letter to the Romans: 'Be joyful in hope. Be patient in affliction. Be faithful in prayer.'"

While following social distancing, "staying physically active and connecting to our emotional and spiritual selves are areas to nurture while we as a community follow the precautions to stay healthy," said Surridge.


North Park University is a city-centered, intercultural, and Christian university located in Chicago.

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