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 to worship is critical to who we are as the body of Christ universal and therefore, extremely important for the Point Loma Nazarene University community. We value the holistic development of one another and therefore, Chapel is an intentional space for community to be nurtured together.
We have the opportunity to gather at a minimum of 4 times per week. There are usually 40-41 chapels and 13-14 Time Out chapel services which provide our students approximately 54 Chapel credit opportunities per semester. Additional Chapel credits may also be granted through special events, forums and/or programs. We do encourage everyone to attend all chapel services. There are a minimum number of Chapel credits a student must acquire each semester based on enrollment status.
- Chapel begins at 9:45 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and is held in Brown Chapel for all three and at Liberty Station on Monday and Wednesday. 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 9:50 am (Time Out 9:35pm) 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 portal accounts located on the Web site (my.pointloma.edu). On the 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 the staff who maintains attendance records. You can communicate concerns by email to email@example.com. This account information is managed by the Office of Student Development in partnership with the Office of Spiritual Development.
Students enrolled in 12 or more units and all residential students (despite the number of units enrolled) have the following requirements:
• Freshman & Sophomores 30/54* chapel credits per semester
• Juniors & Seniors 23/54* chapel credits per semester
Commuter Students will receive an automatic reduction to their Chapel requirements
• Freshman & Sophomore students without classes before 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday or attending only Tuesday/Thursday classes are required to attend 20/54* Chapels per semester.
• Junior & Senior students without classes before 1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday or attending only Tuesday/Thursday classes are required to attend 14/54* Chapels per semester.
26 Years of age or older There is no required attendance. All students are welcomed and encouraged to come to all Chapels.
Failure to meet the minimum requirements will result in Chapel fines
• 1-5 excessive chapel absences will result in a fine of $5 for each absence
• 6 or more excessive chapel absences will result in a fine of $20 for each absence in excess of 5
It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of their chapel attendance on the portal.
All students are expected to attend chapel as required. Requirements are communicated through the student portal or via PLNU email. Requirements are always on a per semester basis.
Misuse of an ID card when scanning in or out of chapel (including either manual or electronic scans) will result in an automatic $75 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.
*Note: The available amount totals may vary slightly each semester, yet they do include our current morning, evening and alternative chapel credit opportunities.