Coronavirus response brings online learning, lessons from God

CIU freshman Dzana Cisic studies online.
April 14, 2020

By Bob Holmes

As Columbia International University undergraduate students head into the home stretch of the spring semester, they are becoming more comfortable with learning online, and learning from God about living in an unusual moment in history brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“God has really been teaching me trust lately,” George Huff, a junior, and Business Administration major wrote in an email interview. “With so much uncertainty in the world, I've found trusting God can be the one consistent thing I can do. Life is full of twists and turns, so I have been practicing trusting in a God who never changes; He always stays the same no matter what.”

All CIU learning went online after the March spring break in response to the pandemic, offering a new learning experience for many of the undergraduate students.

“I think this will be a great base for every possible online job I could do in the future,” wrote Dzana Cisic, a freshman, and Digital Media and Cinema major from Bosnia and Herzegovina. “We live in ‘the online world,’ and as much as we can learn about working online is very helpful.”

Another CIU international student, Mercy Munyanya of Kenya agrees.

“I think online learning has taught me that learning can happen no matter what's going on and I think this will be incredibly helpful in the future for me as I continue with higher education,” wrote Munyanya, a Psychology major.

Christina Brown, a double major in Bible and Business, noted that some professors have gotten creative in their online approach to teaching.

“Dr. (Mike) Naylor, my Romans professor, even filmed a lecture while running, as he discussed the race metaphor (the Apostle) Paul uses in Romans!” Brown wrote.

While CIU students miss hanging out with friends and the many on-campus activities that would normally be taking place during the spring, they are also using technology to stay in touch with each other.

“I have found a lot of creative ways to still socialize with my friends,” Huff wrote. “Whether we all play an online board game together, play a movie at the same time so we can watch it together, or even when we use Instagram stories to tag each other in challenges, regardless of the circumstances, the CIU family always finds a way to still connect.”

But for Brown, there is still something missing.

“I never thought I would say this, but I miss the library,” Brown noted. “Not just the ease of learning somewhere I like to call ‘my second home,’ but also being able to work on projects and homework with fellow classmates and friends who make the process much easier.”

Meanwhile, the channel of listening to God through the new experiences is helping students grow spiritually.

“He is teaching me to be flexible, hard-working, and patient,” wrote Cisic. “I know that everything is in His hands, and I just have to give my best to do whatever I can to help prevent myself and others from the virus.”

As for Munyanya, she says the Lord has been teaching her what trusting in Him looks like.

“In circumstances where it would be easier to worry, I am learning to look to Him as my source of not just material needs but of everything,” Munyanya wrote. “That He is my peace, my provider, my defender, my Father and my very present help. He has been teaching me that His faithfulness stands from everlasting to everlasting and that I am not on my own. I am getting a new perspective of the Lord, and the more I experience His presence, the more I see His grace over my life.”

BestColleges.com ranks Columbia International University the 2020 Best Online College in South Carolina, and CIU is #2 in the state for Best College Campus. CIU also consistently ranks among the Top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Excitement is growing on campus with increased enrollment and new academic programs. Request information on enrollment at CIU and Columbia Biblical Seminary or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.