Biola’s values are represented by three words: truth, transformation, and testimony. To make room for these things, indeed for God himself, in our lives is a spiritual discipline. That is to say, in requiring you to attend some chapels, we are assisting you in creating a daily rhythm by which you open yourselves to the work of the Spirit in your lives.
This is in response to Paul’s urging in Romans 12:1 “to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Foundationally, this is what worship is—presenting ourselves to God for His work in our lives, something that should ultimately be unceasing, but that begins with intentional rhythms and acts. This training is in line also with Biola’s mission statement, which reads in part, “to equip students in mind and character to impact the world for Jesus Christ.”
Because it is hard for us to present ourselves to God regularly, we help you by requiring it, just as we require you to take courses and do coursework—which are also spiritual disciplines sometimes hard to maintain. Indeed, Chapels and conferences are viewed in the same light as academic requirements.
Of course, we don’t require you to attend chapels as frequently as you do your courses. You can fulfill the chapel requirement by going only twice a week. With up to 9 weekly chapels and various departmental chapels a semester, there are usually +175 choices available to help you present yourself to God for His work in your life.
Is Chapel trying to replace Church?
May it never be! We are an arm of the Church. Biola’s mission statement is equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a training ground for the mind and character of a Christian, and the faculty and staff at Biola University have designed spiritual development curriculums for your spiritual formation. During the 4-5 years a student is here at Biola, he/she has an incredible opportunity to grow in these spiritual disciplines and understandings in order to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ, so that when they leave here they are not just heavy in the head but also shaped in their character. The chapel/conference requirement is an opportunity for students to enter into the disciplines of worship and spiritual formation in order to grow in those areas in which we all need spiritual development.