Melinda Frank – Copy Editor & Katherine Bell – Staff Writer
Filling the chapel credit requirement just became a little easier for upperclassmen.
In the past, students were required to earn 36 chapel credits every semester. That condition still applies to freshmen and sophomores, but the credit requirement for upperclassmen has been lowered to 26.
Campus ministries officials said the changes were implemented to help juniors and seniors who often have trouble completing their chapel credits because of commitments to their academics, jobs or internships and other activities.
Interviews with current students and recent graduates revealed that student time conflicts significantly increase from freshmen to senior year.
That’s why the new credit requirements are tied to students’ academic classification, chaplain assistant Kendra Lambert explained.
“We have looked at how life is different from freshmen to senior years and made adjustments,” she said.
However, the new requirements also make chapel exemptions stricter, Lambert said. That’s so students get the most out of their MVNU education, she said.
Officials want all students “engaged in the spiritual life experience at MVNU,” Lambert said. “Just like the academic and social experiences of what MVNU offers to its students, we also see the spiritual life experience a vital part of who we are as a faith community.”
Along with these changes come several new opportunities for students to earn chapel credits.
For example, upperclassmen can participate in two weekend spiritual formation retreats each semester and can now engage in mentoring relationships with faculty and staff members, all of which contribute toward the chapel credit requirement.
Research showed the “need for a student to journey with an older mature adult as a mentor,” Lambert said, noting that many students speak of “the significance of having a faculty or staff member speaking into their lives while earning their degree.”
All students will be able to earn credit by engaging in CoSMO groups, evening Word and Table services, Critical Conversations, and Praise and Worship nights.
Freshmen small group involvement also will continue to count for chapel credit, although it has been removed as an option for other students.
The new terms have received mixed reviews from students.
Upperclassmen, naturally, are pleased with the decision.
“It’s a good move forward to allow students to make their own decisions,” junior Tedroy Jackson said.
Senior Kayleigh Ziegenhagen, a commuter, also likes the changes.
“In general, chapel is a good idea, but it’s not always doable,” she said.
But sophomore Nikki Henderson wishes the changes were applicable for all students.
“I think everyone should have 26 credits to give us more time to get our work done,” Henderson said.