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Chapel Policies & Frequently Asked Questions

Beginning Monday, September 27, all Chapels are temporarily moving outdoor to Lot F/Fluor Fountain. As usual, scanning will begin 15 minutes before chapel is scheduled to begin and will end 5 minutes after chapel starts. Masks will be required at all times, including while waiting in line.

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

Chapel Etiquette

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.

Tech-Free Zone

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 sessions

Part Time Undergraduate Students (7–11 credits)

  • 15 Spiritual Development/Chapel Chapels + 3 Conference sessions

6 credits or less

  • Encouraged, but not required to attend

Graduate Students

  • 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 an Employment Verification Form.

Employment Verification Forms are due by October 4th, 2021. No exceptions can be made. If we are unable to verify your employment, your work waiver can not 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!

We have updated our Department Chapel requirements to continue to meet our community standards.

In view of our ongoing need to ensure engagement and accountability, our office will now be providing chapel scanners for all department chapels. 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 Request Application

We don’t want to be prescriptive about your chapel, but here are some suggestions:

  • 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. 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 bring those present into a deeper knowledge and awareness of God and his kingdom.
  • A department chapel would not be a time chiefly characterized 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)
    • 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


Chapel Schedules

Where can I find the chapel schedule?

Students will attend Chapel on their own schedule. Canvas will be the most accurate source of Chapel offerings and release dates.

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 (chapel.accountability@biola.edu) 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 10-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?

If you are not receiving Spiritual Direction credit for a class, then Spiritual Direction can count for chapel credit. You can receive 1 credit for each time you meet with your Director, up to a maximum of 6 credits.

What if I have to leave chapel early?

If you need to leave chapel before it ends, your chapel credit will be removed.

Does Spiritual direction count for credit?

Please visit the Spiritual Development office, located in the Student Services building, to pick up the form needed to receive credit for direction. You will need to have it signed by your Spiritual Director and must return it to Spiritual Development before the last day of chapel for the semester.

Please email Chapel Accountability to receive the form needed to receive credit for Spiritual Direction. You will need to have the form signed by your Spiritual Director and returned to Chapel Accountability before the last day of classes (not including exams.) No late forms will be accepted.


Possible Penalties

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.