Attendance Policy

Why We Gather! (a.k.a. “Why Chapel?”)

 PLNU gathers for worship at least four times per week. We often get questions like; “Why chapel?” or “Why is attending worship required?” This answer may just be discovered within a Christ-centered community.

 We are a Christian university that truly desires to invest in the spiritual growth and maturation of each student, as expressed in PLNU’s Spiritual Development’s mission:

 “To invite the university community into a deeper experience of God’s love and to support students in their spiritual journey by creating opportunities for growth in Christ through reflection, discovery, and practice of our faith in Christ.”

 Therefore, we provide opportunities for growth in Christ through four main avenues of expression: prayer, corporate worship, service and discipleship.

 Gathering corporately for worship is a time honored practice since our foundation as a university. Chapel is one of our intentional spaces we create for Christ-centered communal growth and worship. We value the act of gathering together for worship like we value academic excellence. Because of this commitment, we make worship a high priority in our weekly schedule. This is a witness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and is central to who we are. We do take seriously the equipping of one another to love and serve the world in His name.

 We are a Christ-centered community in the art of becoming disciples of Jesus. That’s why we intentionally pause from the busyness of life. This rhythm of rest and practice of gathering is essential to our growing lives of discipleship. Here, we are invited to gather as neighbors, praising God in all circumstances in corporate worship. These are specific times to cultivate our hearts, minds and spirits and to be challenged in discipleship to trust and follow Christ.

 PLNU is home to a diverse body of students where we seek to honor and respect one another while discovering what it means to live lives of faith together. Ultimately, we long to encounter the Triune God’s love, presence and transforming work in us. So we may go from this gathering as a people shaped by the Holy Spirit, and in His presence to live, love and serve through faith in Christ.

 You may discover more about Who We Are within Spiritual Development and our mission, vision, and guiding principles here.

Chapel Attendance Policy

Gathering as a worship body is critical to who we are as the body of Christ universal and therefore, extremely important to our Christian university community. We value the holistic development of one another and chapel is therefore, a requirement just like a class. We desire and expect that students as part of this community participate in this area of spiritual development by attending their respective chapel requirements each semester.
Students have the opportunity to gather at a minimum of 4 times per week. There are usually 40-41 chapels and 13-14 Time Out services for a total possible 54 chapel credits per semester. Additional chapel credits may also be granted through special events, forums and/or chapels, like our Prayer Path and Riposo Retreat each year. We do encourage everyone to attend all chapel and Time Out services. Yet, there are a minimum number of chapel credits a student must acquire each semester based on enrollment status. 
Procedure
  • Chapel begins at 9:45 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and is held in Brown Chapel. Time Out begins at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Brown Chapel.
  • To earn chapel credit, students must scan in and out of chapel using their ID card at the entrance doors. They must scan in no later than 9:55 and remain in chapel for the entire chapel service. A one-way scan will not be counted as a chapel credit.
  • Manual scans are available for those students who don’t have their ID card with them, but are limited to three manual scans per semester. Manual scans recorded after three in a semester will not receive credit.
  • Students chapel attendance may be viewed through your portal account located on the Web site (my.pointloma.edu). On your student account screen, select BIO Information from the menu, then select Chapel Attendance. If a discrepancy is noted, it is the responsibility of the student to bring this discrepancy to the attention of chapelattendance@pointloma.edu. This account information is managed by the Office of Student Development in partnership with the Office of Spiritual Development.
 Attendance
 Students enrolled in 12 or more units and all residential students (Despite the number of units enrolled)
  • Freshman & Sophomore students must acquire 32/54* chapel credits per semester
  • Juniors & Seniors must acquire 25/54* chapel credits per semesterStudents age 26 and over must acquire 12/54* chapel credits per semester.
 *Note: Totals may vary slightly each semester, yet they do include our current morning, evening and alternative chapel credit opportunities.
Based on these requirements students should plan and manage their schedules accordingly. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of their chapel attendance on the portal. (Students chapel attendance may be viewed through your portal account located on the Web site (my.pointloma.edu). On your student account screen, select BIO Information from the menu, then select Chapel Attendance. If a discrepancy is noted, it is the responsibility of the student to bring this discrepancy to the attention of chapelattendance@pointloma.edu. This account information is managed by the Office of Student Development in partnership with the Office of Spiritual Development.)
 Failure to meet the minimum requirements will result in chapel fines:
  • 1-4 excessive chapel absences will result in a fine of $5 for each absence
  • 5 or more excessive chapel absences will result in a fine of $10 for each absence in excess of 4
Accountability/Exemptions 
Students qualifying for a chapel reduction or exemption must submit a petition per semester using the online application through the student portal (my.pointloma.edu) under Student Services as well as all necessary documentation/forms. All students are expected to attend chapel as required until their petition results are posted online on the student portal or communicated via PLNU e-mail. Petitions must be submitted and approved each semester; exemptions will only be considered on a per semester basis. A petition received after the deadline (within the first six weeks of the semester and/or within two weeks of any reason for filing a petition) will most likely not receive the full exemption requested. Please note that if your class schedule should change before the Chapel Petition deadline affecting the total number of units enrolled, your Chapel requirements are subject to change.
 
Note: An appeal process is allowed. Therefore, if you've received a response from the Chapel Policy Committee that you would like to appeal, that is perfectly welcomed. You may appeal this decision by sending an email to chapelattendance@pointloma.edu. You'll need to however, include additional detailed information explaining your desire for the appeal given your specific circumstances. Please then be patient with the committee as they will have to review the new petitions along with your appeal. Their answer of a yes, no, or modification will be processed in as timely a manner as possible.  
 
Exemptions that can be petitioned are:
  1. Chronic or extended illness and/or hospitalization with verification (e.g., documentation)
  2. Verifiable PLNU course required involvement. Note: Students enrolled in PLNU classes which necessitate absence during the chapel hour to fulfill the course requirements may receive exemption with verification. PLNU students taking courses at other institutions must substantiate that the class is a graduation requirement and/or that the class is unavailable at PLNU. Prior request and approval is required via the chapel petition process for this consideration.
  3. Commuting (see Commuter section below)
  4. Employment of sorts (see Employment section below)
Commuter Students…
  • Freshman & Sophomore students commuting 20 miles one way or more and without classes before 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday or attending only Tuesday/Thursday classes may request an exemption to lower required attendance to 17/54* chapels by submitting a chapel petition per semester.
  • Junior & Senior students without classes before 1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or attending only Tuesday/Thursday classes may request an exemption to lower required attendance to 11/54* chapels by submitting a chapel petition per semester.
 *Note: Totals may vary slightly each semester, yet they do include our current morning, evening and alternative chapel credit opportunities.

Employment
Exemptions may be granted for upper-class students (57 cumulative units and above) for verifiable and necessary employment during chapel. Verbal verification is required from the employer within four weeks of submission of the petition. The lack of satisfactory verification will result in a delayed petition approval or denial. On-campus employment must be certified as essential by a Cabinet Officer prior to the submission of a chapel petition. And the respective Cabinet Officer must sign the appropriate form. (Find form here in the Student Handbook)Students must make arrangements to attend a minimum of one chapel per week regardless of work commitments.

 Misrepresentation
Dishonest petitions will automatically be deniedMisuse of an ID card when scanning in or out of chapel (including either manual or electronic scans) will result in an automatic $25 fine for each participating party. Each participant in violation of this policy will not receive credit for the chapel in question, and may be subject to other discipline, as deemed appropriate.