You may know that there is a Chapel attendance requirement for students at Grove City College, but you may not know its purpose.
Full time students at Grove City College are required to attend a minimum of 16 Chapel events per semester. There are many opportunities to attend these events, but the most popular ones are on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:25-9:50. There are no classes at this time. For more information on the basic requirements or to see the current Chapel schedule take a look at the Grove City College web page about the Chapel Program.
Why this requirement, though? Chapel is one of the things that makes Grove City College unique. It provides a consistent opportunity to come together as a school and worship Christ together. Students often attend more than their required 16 for the semester, because nobody wants to miss the great speakers and programs that are put on. The requirement ensures that all students experience the Christian community at Grove City in a formal way, because there is something to be gained from a formal Christian community in addition to the genuine Christian attitudes of faculty, staff, and other students.
New to the Chapel program this year is a themed schedule – this past fall semester Tuesday chapels all revolved around loving and knowing God and Thursday chapels revolved around loving our neighbor. These messages often created conversations that stemmed beyond the 25-minute chapel presentation and lasted for several weeks – they gave the campus community a shared lesson to learn about, grow from, and debate about. They contribute to the well-rounded education we receive at Grove City College in and out of the classroom.
My favorite Chapel event of the year has always been All-Campus Worship at the beginning of the fall semester. During the first week of classes Orientation Board hosts a worship night on the quad, and there is always a huge turn out. It is a time to praise God and come together to start off the year right in worship of Him. This event has always showed me what it means to be part of a greater community, and though the weather at Grove City is known to be unpredictable it has been beautiful for this event in each year of my time here.
This year I was “on duty” in my residence hall during all campus worship (I am an RA, and being on duty means that I must remain in the building for the duration of the night to check for facility concerns and to maintain safety and community standards), so I watched from a second floor window in my residence hall. Watching the campus sing together on the quad was beautiful, and even from within my building I could feel God’s presence. I was reminded of why our Chapel program is put in place – to encourage us to worship and grow together.