Less students fined after chapel reduction

Eliminated make-ups and reduced chapel credits relieves students.


Infographic by Sean Leone/THE CHIMES

Jana Eller, Writer

Since the number of chapel requirements dropped at the beginning of the fall 2015 semester, student chapel attendance has grown.

In spring 2015, about five percent of the student body failed to meet the 30 chapel credit requirement. Last semester, after reducing number to 20, this number decreased to three and a half of students failing to meet this requirement. The Spiritual Development department settled on 20 as the new chapel requirement number because 80 to 85 percent of students who turned in make-ups physically attended at least 20 chapels. Of the ones who failed to meet the 30 requirements, only one percent would have to attend more chapels.


Student Development spent three years researching and interviewing students, faculty, staff and President Barry Corey. They also have conversations with other universities in the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. The decision was announced in mid-August 2015 that the new chapel requirement for the upcoming school year would be reduced to 20 credits with no make-ups.

Lisa Igram, associate dean of Spiritual Development, believes the reduced credit relieved students. It helped the department better uphold their spiritual growth focus, encouraging more time for reflection in increasingly busy lives. It also fostered community among each other.

Sydney Benjamin, sophomore Christian ministry major, likes the flexibility of the new requirement to enjoy the chapels most relevant to her life, instead of going just for credit.

“I really enjoy the reduced chapel credit, it makes you have the ability to choose the chapels you go to instead of being forced to go to 30,” Benjamin said. “Though at 20 I can choose the chapel I enjoy, choose the topics that I like to go hear about rather than being forced to go some chapels that I’m just going to get my chapel credits done.”


Student Development first eliminated make-ups, which had steadily been increasing over the last few years. The department realized that not only did the make-ups decrease spiritual growth, but also took away from the community aspect of going to chapel.

“It’s not really best practices to listen to a talk three times at the speed and write down the sentence that you did it. That’s not going to stick in your mind. We want you to be present,” Igram said.

In the 2014-2015 school year, Spiritual Development received 19,000 chapel make-ups. Igram explains how these make-ups were no longer meeting the goals of the Spiritual Development department.

“The goal of chapel is to have community gather together in person to worship together,” Igram said. “And yet, we see that chapel make-ups are increasing every year to the degree that the prior year we had collected 19000 make-ups — we’re doing something wrong if that’s happening.”


Some students are not happy with the change. Christopher Rondeau, fifth year senior music performance major, prefered incorporating the make-ups into his devotional time and consistency in his church.

“My spiritual development comes from my devotional time and my church, not necessarily from the speakers that come. I prefer consistency when it comes to my spiritual development and my consistency is going to come from my pastor, not from a different speaker every week or so,” Rondeau said.

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