Spiritual Development reduces chapel requirements

After an evaluation of previous chapel attendance and makeups, students now have a reduced amount of chapels and conferences to attend each semester.

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Spiritual Development reduces chapel requirements

John Uy/THE CHIMES

John Uy/THE CHIMES

John Patrick Uy

John Uy/THE CHIMES

John Patrick Uy

John Patrick Uy

John Uy/THE CHIMES

Alondra Urizar, Writer

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Updated: September 9 at 4:36 P.M.

After two years of gathering data, Spiritual Development revised chapel and conference requirements from 30 chapels and eight conferences to 20 and five, effective this fall 2015.

Under the previous requirement of 30 and eight, students only needed to attend half of those in person while the other half could be completed through written makeups. Spiritual Development found it would be ineffective to increase the physical attendance requirement without decreasing the overall chapel requirement because the change would prove difficult for students with busy schedules.

THE REASONS BEHIND THE DECREASE

“We started playing around with the idea of makeups and reductions and we also knew that we couldn’t suddenly increase the physical presence requirement to thirty for all students because those students are busy,” said Lisa Igram, associate dean of Spiritual Development.

With students who have internships and jobs to pay for college, Igram said these realizations were even more of an indication to not require 30 chapels.

“So as we started to play around with the numbers, we looked at attendance records and makeups and reductions and what was going on and we realized about 85 percent of the student body goes to twenty chapels and about 89 percent of the student body goes to five conferences,” Igram said. “The rest had either been reduced or makeups.”

DEFEATING THE PURPOSE

With each semester, Spiritual Development would receive 18,000 to 19,000 chapel and conference makeups. After comparing Biola’s previous requirements with policies of other schools in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Spiritual Development concluded that the old chapel requirements were educationally ineffective. Makeups were removed because they discovered the majority of students connected more with the community when physically present in chapels, Igram said.

“We highly value students being present together in a worship community in chapels,” Igram said. “We highly value a once a week or twice a week attendance so that it becomes a rhythm of connecting to God on a regular basis with the Biola community and chapel makeups were kind of defeating the purpose.”

STUDENT OPINIONS

Brooke Sander, sophomore English secondary education major, heard about the changes in August from one of her friends. She appreciates students no longer have to do makeups because she feels it is their responsibility to go to chapels.

“I really appreciate that they’re not letting us do makeups because we are at a Bible school and I feel like since we’re at a Bible school we should be going to a chapel,” Sander said.

Angelina Lee, sophomore communication disorders major believes students could have gone to all thirty and the reduction was not necessary.

“I’m glad they took away Chapel makeups because I feel that was just people’s way of not going to chapel and I personally didn’t think it was necessary to reduce it but it’s nice knowing that I don’t have to do as much,” Lee said.