FAQs

Why Chapel?
Gordon's programs in Christian life and worship have been designed to nurture our spirit of community. As part of our life together, we gather as believers to support one another, to share in sorrow and in gratitude, and to call upon the Lord for guidance. We believe that the discipline of regularly convening as a community can strengthen our Christian walk.

As followers of Christ we recognize our calling and privilege to gather for corporate worship: to express to God our dependence, gratitude and adoration, to hear and respond to the Word of God, and to grow in our understanding of the Christian faith. Chapel gatherings provide occasions to honor God, glorify Christ, and reflect upon our relationship to God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. Along with instruction in the basic tenets of the Christian faith, the Chapel program fosters spiritual growth through teaching, exhortation, and the observance of spiritual disciplines.

When and where do Chapel gatherings take place?
Chapel gatherings are usually held in the A.J. Gordon Memorial Chapel every Monday and Wednesday that classes are in session, from 10:25 until 11:10 am. Our services are a mix of contemporary and traditional in format. Special evening chapel gatherings are held on successive Monday and Wednesday evenings three times throughout the semester in place of the normal morning service. See the Schedule of Chapel Events for specific themes and events.

How does Chapel  accommodate different worship traditions?
As a multidenominational liberal arts college, Gordon draws students, staff, and faculty from many Christian traditions. The Chapel program will acquaint you with a range of worship practices. It is our hope that during your time at Gordon you will gain an understanding of the traditions of numerous Christian denominations. Services will display characteristics of contemporary evangelicalism, but they will also reflect the rich heritage of the church over the past two millennia. You will gain an appreciation for that heritage, especially its great creeds, cherished hymns and liturgies, and the major events of the church year.

Chapel gatherings also affirm the diversity within the body of Christ as is evident within our members and across the globe. Through our programs students should discover much about the nature and challenges of global Christianity, including the vitality and character of churches in several regions of the world.

What about Sunday worship?
While the College sponsors Chapel gatherings during the week, participation in Chapel should not replace attendance and involvement in a church. Students are strongly encouraged to find a local church where they can worship and contribute regularly. See the listing of Area Churches.

How can I get the most out of Chapel?

  • Come with an open mind and heart.
  • Be respectful. Chapel gatherings should be approached in a spirit of reverence. Bringing food or drink into the building, doing homework during the services or talking while others are speaking or singing is disrespectful. We ask you, out of reverence for God and respect for others, to avoid such disruptions.
  • Get involved. Students, along with faculty and staff, are eligible to prepare and sponsor an event for Christian Life and Worship credit.

CONVOCATION
What is convocation, and how is it different than chapel?

The liberal arts curriculum of Gordon College is enriched by the Convocation program. In its various forums and presentations, the Convocation program underscores the great traditions of the liberal arts to promote inquiry and the love of learning and to encourage moral reflection and responsible citizenship. Through its Convocations, Gordon helps sustain a community where, in the words of the great Christian writer St. Augustine, "faith seeks understanding."

Convocation speakers offer ideas and interpretations on a variety of topics and issues drawn from across the spectrum of academic disciplines. On occasion, some speakers will advance perspectives that confront the prevailing assumptions of the Gordon community, while others will provide inspiration and challenge from a Christian worldview. The program is intended to promote ample discussion and active response from the academic community.

One of the goals of the Convocation program is to encourage earnest conversations and reflection, where competing ideas are assessed with discernment and civility. Through such dialogues, we hope to broaden and deepen our appreciation of creation and culture, to celebrate God's gifts of the intellect, and to become agents of redemption in our world.

Convocations are held Friday mornings, from 10:25–11:10, in the A.J. Gordon Memorial Chapel. Each semester is generally devoted to a distinctive theme or focus. Questions about the Convocation program can be addressed to the Center for Christian Studies. See Convocation Events.

OTHER CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP PROGRAMS
What else will nourish my life as a Christian while I'm at Gordon?
Additional community events serve the aims of the college and provide opportunities for students to receive credit for their Christian life and worship requirement. Such events include:

  • Gordon College Symposium—The Symposium is an annual event, held each spring, during which a number of presentations and events are sponsored on a common theme. On one day of the Symposium week, classes are not held so that the community can attend many of these special sessions, most of which are planned by students. Up to six credits can be earned during the Symposium week.
    The Symposium is sponsored by Gordon's Center for Christian Studies.
  • Evening Chapel or Convocation Programs—Special evening chapel services are often scheduled as an extension of the Chapel and Convocation programs, as featured speakers from the morning engage students on relevant subjects in an evening forum.
  • Provost's Film Series—Each semester the Provost hosts the showing of films which explore topics relevant to living the Christian life in the contemporary world. Discussions about moral, spiritual and aesthetic themes follow each film viewing. See Calendar of Events for more information.
  • Additional Events—There are also occasional events sponsored by the Center for Student Development, academic divisions, and student organizations, ministries and clubs.To find out more about obtaining attendance credit for your organization's event, see "Sponsoring Programs for Credit." 
Student with a backpack in front of chapel