Planning a Department Chapel

Department chapels will resume once Biola's campus reopens. The information on this page will not pertain until then.

Department chapels are designed and led by faculty for students in their major, creating space for faculty and students to engage with God together over a topic, issue, or concern that the faculty have discerned students in their academic area most need. Department chapels are primarily characterized by a time of prayer, worship and fellowship — bringing the theme/material of the chapel directly to God in prayer.

Departmental chapels are an opportunity for you as faculty to:

  • Discuss and discern the particular needs of your students as you plan the chapel.
  • Make connections between the skills and content of your program and the spiritual implications of these for your students.
  • Deepen the spiritual friendships among the students and staff in your departments.
  • Mentor through faculty stories about their own spiritual lives (successes and failures).
  • Help students discern their vocations in light of God's general and specific callings.

**Departments can offer up to three chapels for credit each semester! Note that department chapels cannot occur during the Monday, Wednesday and Friday “chapel hour” from 9:30 to 10:20 a.m.**

What you need to do:

  1. Email Chapel Accountability ( the following information at least two weeks prior to your chapel so that we can facilitate credit and publicize it on our website — we’ll let you know as soon as your chapel has been approved:
    1. Theme
    2. Date
    3. Time
    4. Location
    5. A brief statement as to how your chapel will meet the outcomes noted above.
  2. Ensure that all marketing/communication about this department chapel uses the language “[Academic Major] Department Chapel.”
  3. Coordinate with chapel accountability a time to pick up the scanners from the Spiritual Development office, located across from the entrance to the gym. The scanner will need to be picked up the day of your chapel and returned immediately after.
    1. Please note that departments are responsible for scanning students in to department chapels (chapel accountability cannot provide the staffing to do so).

Planning tips:

We don’t want to be too prescriptive about what a department chapel entails, but here are a few thoughts:

  • A department chapel would not be a time dominated by
    • Curricular lecture (e.g. visiting lecturer on the integration of psychology and Christianity)
    • Awareness or promotion of particular ministries or clubs on campus
    • Academic or informational orientation or meetings
    • Awards ceremonies
    • Academic advising
  • Department chapels WOULD be characterized by being chiefly a Godward time that has as its end (telos) interaction with, enjoyment, knowledge and worship of God (and with others). This could be facilitated by a number of things:
    • Personal and vocational testimonies and stories from faculty, staff and students that serve to mentor others in the life of faith.
    • Teaching from the Word or from wisdom, including wisdom from the discipline that connects with or expands upon the truths and commands of scripture.
    • Ministry to one another in prayer, encouragement, fellowship.
    • Musical and non-musical worship.
    • Discussion of and reflection on readings or media that turn bring those present into a deeper knowledge and awareness of God.
  • Consider your target audience and your subsequent outcomes for your time together. What God is doing in their lives? How is God working and moving? What are they bringing with them to your chapel? What are their felt and actual needs? How could you minister to, equip, and teach them during this time?
  • Todd Pickett, Lisa Igram or any member of our Spiritual Development staff would be happy to brainstorm with you as you consider what you’d like your department chapels to look like.

We hope that you will enjoy this time with your students.

Blessings to you as you worship together!

Spiritual Development
Spiritual Development
Last Updated:
August 25, 2020
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