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Alternative chapels help students complete chapel requirement

Students gathered for department chapels on Wednesday, Dec. 7, in fellowship with peers and professors, during some of the last chapels offered before finals week.

Departments hold chapel of their own

Instead of the traditional chapel that convenes in the gym, departments held their own service in various locations, including Sutherland, Calvary Chapel, the Production Center and Theatre 21. Professors from each department gave individual messages, catering to the students and their discipline.

Several departments merged, resulting in a total of seven specified chapels. Conjoined departments included history and political science. Students who have yet to declare a major and any others who did not have a chapel to go to crowded into Sutherland Auditorium. Other departments that combined were math and computer science as well as communications science and communication disorders. The English, journalism and music departments held separate chapels.

Jonathan Wyatt, the head of Chapel Accountability, credited Lisa Ishihara, director of Chapel Programs, in implementing the distinct chapels.

“Departments usually do their own chapels but I think this was the first time we did it university-wide,” Wyatt said.

However, some departments have more than one exclusive chapel. The department of science and religion has at most three department chapels per semester, according to John Bloom, the department head.

Department chapels build community between students and faculty

The department chapels were a good chance for students to get to know their faculty, and a “prime opportunity to integrate [students’] discipline with faith,” Bloom said.

He was pleased with the 170 students who attended his department’s chapel in Mayers Auditorium.

The first week of the fall 2010 semester, approximately 1,500 students attended chapel, while only about half the number of students attended the last week of chapel according to the fall 2010 chapel record.

Decreased chapel attendance toward end of semester

At Monday’s Christmas chapel, an estimated 1,400 were in attendance, similar to the 1,300-1,700 range chapel accountability gaged were present during the first week of school.

“There’s definitely a lot more people at the beginning of the semester because they are excited for the school year to start and there’s more at the end because people need chapel credit,” said Keaton Tyndall, a sophomore who scans students in for Singspo on Sunday nights.

She explained that there is a lag once classes and work start piling up.

Chapel schedules available online

There have been 230 chapels available to students as of Dec. 8, and now only five remain.

Biola also has a list of alternative chapels that have been offered throughout the semester, which can be found online. On Thursday Dec. 8 at 9 p.m., there will be a chapel titled “When Homosexuality Hits Home” in Business 220.

The Coalition for Student Action also holds alternative chapels once a month during the semester in Calvary Chapel. Speakers have addressed topics specifically relating to social justice in services like “Rethinking Social Justice: What is Poverty?” and “Root Causes of Injustice.”

Despite the many opportunities to obtain credit, some students still fall short of completing the 30 chapel requirements.

“I have four chapels left and I plan on going to Afterdark tonight, chapel on Friday, Singspo on Sunday and doing a chapel makeup,” freshman Morgan McGannon said.

However, she’s not stressed, even though she feels as though she is rushing to get them all done.

New chapel policy does away with probation, adds fee

Students who fail to fulfill these requirements will be affected by the new chapel policy implemented earlier this year.

“If you fall short of your 30 units for chapel and eight conference makeups, there is a fee of $375 automatically charged to your account each semester you fall short,” as it is explained on the Student Development chapel website.

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