What is the purpose of Chapel?
The purpose of Chapel is to bring together the entire campus in a shared spiritually enriching hour that allows us collectively to be challenged to explore the depths of God's truth and love. While Chapel is most often structured as a worship service, the purpose of Chapel is somewhat different from the systematic spiritual development students receive from their local church. And thus, Chapel is purposefully designed never to take the place of a local church in a student's life.
Why is Chapel required?
Students' attendance in chapel is required because, within our Christian framework, we believe that all teaching of truth must be built on a foundation of God's truth. Thus, in the same way we require students to study the truth of physical science, the arts, and literature, there is no contradiction in requiring students to study God's truth. As the study of chemistry cannot be completed from a textbook alone, the study of God's truth also needs a "laboratory" for experiencing and understanding, for it is not enough to study the Bible without having exposure to the worship of God and an opportunity to understand the relationship offered to us in Christ.
Satisfactory participation is required of all students for graduation. Chapel is non-academic credit, and an "S" (Satisfactory) or "U" (Unsatisfactory) will be entered on each student's transcript concerning the Chapel requirement. Until the Chapel requirement has been met, diplomas will be held, and the student will not be considered a graduate of Belhaven or be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.
How do I get credit for Chapel?
Chapel is held every Tuesday morning in the Center for the Arts. All students who are not exempt from Chapel are required to attend a minimum of nine (9) sessions each semester they are enrolled at Belhaven.
Which students are required to attend Chapel?
Chapel attendance is required for ALL full-time, traditional students (12 + hours).
Students may also apply for exemption. Exemptions are granted by the Director of Student Leadership and must be completed for each semester. Exemption forms are available to download or in the Office of Student Leadership. Proof of exemption must accompany the Exemption Form and be returned to the Office of Student Leadership. A Chapel exemption form AND proof of the exemption must be completed for each semester. Exemptions from Chapel may be granted for any of the following reasons:
- Employed full-time
Proof: Provide a letter from your employer stating that you "work an average of 35-40 hours per week." (The statement "full-time employment" is not acceptable; the number of hours must be specified and the exemption is for employment of 35-40 hours per week.) The letter must be on company letterhead and must be signed by the employer.
- Taking 51% of classes in the evening
Proof: Provide a copy of your class schedule showing the classes for which you are registered.
- Last term of attendance (Fall/Spring) & academic course conflict
Proof: Provide a copy of your class schedule showing the classes for which you are registered. List the courses in conflict and approval from the Registrar's Office (below):
All questions regarding Chapel credit, both for the current and past semesters, may be submitted electronically by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a substitute requirement if I miss Chapel?
Students who have not attended the required number of Chapels during a semester may receive attendance credit by serving in the community with an approved organization. A list of approved organizations in the Chapel Community Service Packet and in the Office of Student Leadership. Each service session of 2 hours equals one (1) Chapel attendance requirement. The guidelines for community service are as follows:
- Two hours of approved community service fulfills one Chapel attendance credit.
- Community service must take place with an approved organization (list is available in the Office of Student Leadership).
- Community service must be properly documented with a report form.
- Community service is not granted for experiences such as mission trips, academic internships, employment, summer camp staffing and spring break projects
Students may also fulfill their requirement by making a $25 gift to the Chapel Missions Fund per credit. Gifts may be made by:
- Completing a Chapel Mission Fund form in the Office of Student Leadership.
- Making a payment at the Business Office. Payments may be taken by cash or credit/debit cards (convenience fee of 2.55%) and by presenting the Chapel Mission Fund form to the cashier.
- Students will be cleared on a weekly basis once the payments have been processed.
Students are strongly encouraged to complete and submit the community service requirements or make a gift to the Chapel Missions Fund prior to final exams, to be recorded on the current semester’s grade report. All forms for community service and the mission fund are available in the Office of Student Leadership (Cleland Hall; email@example.com; 601.968.8990) and must be approved by the Director of Student Leadership. This process must be followed to have a “U” in Chapel changed to a “S.”