Chapel Policies & Frequently Asked Questions
University chapels and conferences are intended to bring the Biola community together regularly for biblical teaching, worship, spiritual nurture and wisdom regarding relevant issues facing us in our lives. Chapels are a central part of Biola’s education, training students in the habits and capacities to open to the work of God in their lives. As a part of the educational mission of Biola, chapels, like classes, are required of all undergraduate students.
On this page, we cover topics such as:
General Chapel Policies
Standard Behavioral Statement
As a Christian institution, we are intentional in gathering as the Biola community for corporate worship and the hearing of God's Word outside of the classroom. These times are designed to foster student engagement as a community. Cooperation with these policies and directions of all chapel staff is expected. Students who do not cooperate with Chapel policies or Chapel staff may have chapel credit removed at the discretion of the chapel accountability coordinator.
YOU are a necessary part of the Biola community. And you have an impact on those around you. That's why as we gather together in times of corporate worship during chapel, we need your presence and not just your attendance, for your own sake and the sake of others. Similar to silencing your phone in a movie theater, we ask each student to take the same posture when approaching chapel.
We offer an abundance of chapel credit opportunities each semester; Please choose your chapel attendance at times that you will not be distracted by academic requirements or electronic devices. If you need help scheduling your chapel requirements around your academic schedule, please reach out to Chapel Accountability for assistance.
What is my chapel/conference requirement each semester?
Full Time Undergraduate Student (12+ credits)
- 20 Spiritual Development/Chapel Chapels + 5 Conference credits
Part Time Undergraduate Students (9–11 credits)
- 12 Spiritual Development/Chapel Chapels + 3 Conference credits
8 credits or less
- Encouraged, but not required to attend
- No requirement for graduate students
Remember, “Chapels” are not the only way to fulfill the 20 required Spiritual Development credits. Spiritual Direction, is another option for students to receive up to 6 credits towards their Spiritual Development requirement.
Do seniors have chapel/conference requirements?
Yes, unless your graduation petition for the current semester has been approved. If you have not submitted your grad petition, please contact the Registrar's office and let them know you need to talk to a graduation counselor to ensure you have met all academic requirements and are cleared to graduate. Your student records will be updated when you have met those requirements, and your chapel requirements will become zero. This may take a couple of days so please be patient.
If you are not graduating in the current semester, you will have a chapel and conference requirement even if you are a senior by credits.
Do commuters have a chapel/conference requirement?
Just as commuter students are expected to attend class as scheduled, they are expected to fulfill their chapel requirements.
Do grad students have chapel/conference requirements?
No, you do not. There is no requirement for graduate students. However, given both the caliber of speakers in our teaching chapels, and the space provided for prayer in our short services of guided prayer, we encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to integrate your faith and learning in worship.
I work full time. Do I still have to participate in chapels?
Yes, unless you are financially obligated to work 35+ hours a week and your employment has been verified by our office, you are required to participate in chapels.
If you are financially obligated to work, please contact Chapel Accountability for a Chapel & Conference Requirement Waiver Application.
Chapel & Conference Requirement Waiver Applications are due by the 4th week of the semester. No exceptions can be made. If we are unable to verify your employment, your work waiver cannot be approved.
What if I have an extreme medical or mental health situation?
The chapel/conference requirement is a necessary portion of the curriculum and an integral part of earning a degree from Biola University. Should the occasion arise, we are willing to make accommodations for extenuating circumstances that have been approved by the Learning Center or Student Care.
Students with extreme circumstances should be connected to the Learning Center to receive academic accommodations for classes. Please contact the Learning Center to ensure you are getting the support you need to complete the semester at Biola.
Why do I have to attend chapel?
Learn more about our chapel programs on our "About Chapel" page.
How do I plan a Department Chapel?
Thank you for your interest in holding a Department Chapel!
Please read thoroughly as we have updated our Department Chapel requirements to continue to meet our community standards.
In view of our ongoing need to ensure engagement, accountability and to uphold the integrity of chapels, our office will continue to assign chapel scanners to all department chapels. However with recent constraints in our budget, the cost of our student workers (scanners) will need to be covered by the department requesting a chapel (see costs on the Dept. Chapel Request Application). The size and location of your chapel will determine how many chapel scanners are assigned to your chapel.
The form to submit your request is listed here: Department Chapel Form.
Here are the guidelines to ensure that your event qualifies for chapel credits:
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 fellowship with others. Although the chapel may be geared towards a specific major or vocation, the chapel must be open to the whole student body and Biola community for no cost. Department chapels could be characterized by a number of elements:
- Personal and vocational testimonies from faculty, staff, and students that serve to mentor others in the life of faith.
- Teaching from the Word or on wisdom from the discipline that connects with or expands upon the truths and commands of scripture.
- Musical and non-musical worship.
- Discussion of and reflection on readings or media that bring those present into a deeper knowledge and awareness of God and his kingdom.
- A department chapel should not be a time characterized chiefly by:
- Curricular lecture (e.g. visiting lecturer on some aspect of the discipline apart from a significant integration or implications for faith, wisdom, etc.)
- Awareness or promotion of particular ministries or clubs on campus (we don’t want a club or ministry external to the dept. using a dept. chapel as has happened)
- Exclusively social or fellowship
- Academic or informational orientation or meetings
- Awards ceremonies
- Academic advising
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?
Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions, or would like some assistance ensuring your Department Chapel is a success!
-The Office of Chapel Accountability
Where can I find the chapel schedule?
Students will attend Chapel on their own schedule. The Chapel Schedule is the most accurate source of Chapel offerings.
How can I get a list of the Department chapels around campus?
Check with your Department and check the chapel schedule.
Chapel & Spiritual Direction Credit
Can I check the number of chapels I have participated in?
The most up-to-date number of chapels/conferences you have participated in can be found on your My Account page. Please note that credits may not be uploaded until 24-48 hours after the chapel has occurred.
What if I don’t get credit for a chapel I attended?
Students are responsible for checking their chapel attendance report (found in your My Account profile) on a regular basis.
If a chapel is missing from a student’s chapel report, that student must contact the Office of Chapel Accountability (firstname.lastname@example.org) within 1 week of the date of the chapel.
Any missing chapels that are not reported within 1 week of the missing chapel will not receive credit.
What if I come to chapel after the scanners are gone?
Chapel scanning ends promptly 5 minutes after chapel begins. If you arrive late, you are welcome to participate in chapel, but you will not receive chapel credit.
Does Spiritual Direction count for credit?
Yes, you can receive 1 credit for each time you meet with your Director, up to a maximum of 5 credits per semester.
What if I have to leave chapel early?
If you need to leave chapel before it ends, your chapel credit will be removed.
What happens if I don't go to all my chapels and conferences?
Your student account will be automatically fined $375 if you do not complete your requirement for the semester.
Note: Student loans or grants usually do not cover the chapel requirement fine.
Can I be charged the $375 fine twice in a semester if I fail both my chapels and my conferences?
No, just one $375 fine per semester.
Is it really right to fine people for not going to chapel?
All university educational requirements have some form of accountability. If you don’t meet the minimum requirement of courses, for instance, you are get a non-passing grade. This in some ways, means you have to pay more (like a fine) to make up those classes, and in some cases costs students another semester.