Gordon College logo

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life

CHAPEL MISSION STATEMENT

The Gordon College chapel program seeks to advance the mission of the College by providing programs that contribute to its educational and spiritual formation aims. As a mandatory part of a student’s Gordon education, the chapel program fills a central part of the co-curricular experience. Because of its nature as a public gathering of the entire student body and, on occasion, the entire College community, the chapel program contributes to the institutional, educational, and spiritual formation goals of the community in unique ways. These contributions may be summarized under the headings of Inspirational Objectives, Instructional Objectives and Institutional Objectives.

INSPIRATIONAL OBJECTIVES

Worship That Honors God and Empowers Christian Living

The chapel program seeks to provide community members with experiences of worship which rightly ascribe the glory to God due Him and orients worshipers in proper relationship to God and others through:

  • Worship through a variety of musical styles grounded in God’s Word.
  • The preaching of God’s Word to encourage the process of spiritual transformation of the believer into greater conformity to the image of Christ.
  • Prayer to God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ.
  • Preaching God’s word in creative ways that connect the never changing truth of God’s Word to the ever-changing cultural context.

Exposure to Role Models Worthy of Imitation

The chapel program seeks to provide students with exposure to individuals and groups who are embodying the transformative truth of the Gospel in responsible and relevant ways by:

  • Creating opportunities for Gordon faculty, staff and students to address the community on issues of their personal journey of faith and current steps of obedience.
  • Bringing guests to campus whose testimonies, lives and messages inspire faithful and creative exploration of honoring God in the world.

INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES

Exposure to a Wide Variety of Christian Practices

The chapel program seeks to serve students’ understanding of and appreciation for the diversity of practices of Christian worship as they have found expression throughout history and across cultures and locations by:

  • Introducing, explaining and practicing a variety of worship practices from a wide range of Christian traditions.
  • Offering special worship gatherings employing the format of different Christian traditions.

Teaching in Basic Tenets of the Christian Faith

The chapel program seeks to increase the students’ understanding and appreciation for the basic doctrines of the Christian faith through:

  • Teaching that is consistent with historic Christian orthodoxy and relevant to the contemporary context.
  • Attention to the elements of the College’s Statement of Faith.

Instruction in Personal Integrity and Health

The chapel program seeks to assist the Office of Student Life in addressing issues relevant to students’ maturation as responsible persons of Christian character by:

  • Addressing issues of personal health and integrity through the chapel program.
  • Offering supplemental evening programs on topics such as human sexuality, self-image and spiritual disciplines.

INSTITUTIONAL OBJECTIVES

Mission Interpretation

The chapel program aims to serve the community by articulating and interpreting the mission of Gordon College through:

  • Special worship gatherings which remember, mark and celebrate the nature of our corporate undertaking as a Christian liberal arts institution.
  • Making explicit the coherence which exists among the many diverse programs and activities of the College.
  • Interpreting and contextualizing the College’s mission statement.

Institutional Identity Formation

The chapel program seeks to provide occasions in which the institutional identity of the College is strengthened and affirmed by:

  • Explicitly and symbolically underscoring the values and commitments of the College.
  • Providing for public acknowledgment of the community’s celebrations and concerns.
  • Encouraging participation by a wide range of the College community’s constituents.

Convocation

CONVOCATION MISSION STATEMENT

Each Friday the College’s academic community gathers for convocation, which seeks to enhance the classroom experience through co-curricular academic programming rooted in the liberal arts. Through a variety of speakers and topics, convocation is designed to foster the development and application of a Christian worldview. To that end, its programs provide common experiences to the academic community that will at times reinforce and at times challenge perspectives expressed in the curriculum, encouraging us to listen graciously and learn deeply from those with whom we agree and disagree.

The liberal arts program of Gordon College is accentuated in Friday convocations, where the entire academic community assembles to celebrate God’s good gifts of intellect. The convocation forum provides a unique ceremonial opportunity to celebrate persons whose scholarship, art or public service embodies the ideals of the liberal arts.

The mission of the convocation program is to enhance the academic program of the College by celebrating and honoring academic achievement and presenting programs which enrich the classroom experience (or the formal curriculum). Speakers bring a variety of perspectives on topics and issues drawn from across the spectrum of liberal arts disciplines in the arts, sciences and humanities.

This Gordon College program is intended to promote broad discussion and active response from the academic community, extending beyond the convocation setting to classrooms and residence halls.

The goal is to broaden and deepen our appreciation of creation and culture and to equip us to become discerning agents of redemption. Consistent with the College’s mission, the ultimate goal of convocation is to foster the development and application of a Christian worldview, though individual speakers need not endorse this goal.

Other purposes of convocation include:

  1. To present programs that will reinforce and/or challenge perspectives expressed elsewhere in the academic program.
  2. To encourage students to listen respectfully and learn graciously both from those with whom we agree and disagree.
  3. To have the opportunity to meet and understand those outside the community and to provide them opportunity to meet and understand us (i.e., the purposes of the program extend beyond just the period of formal presentation).
  4. To provide some common experiences as an academic community, which can serve as points of reference for illustration in other academic activities.

Christian Life and Worship Requirement

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT

All full-time students living on campus must receive 30 Christian Life and Worship credits each semester regardless of work schedule. Commuters are required to receive 20 Christian Life and Worship credits. Seniors in their last semester before graduating do not have a Christian Life and Worship requirement, but are encouraged to attend Chapel and Convocation and take advantage of the many Christian Life and Worship events offered.

CHRISTIAN LIFE AND WORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Students receive Christian Life and Worship credit for attendance at any of the following events (see chapel and convocation schedules for details):

  • Chapel gatherings in A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel at 10:25 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday that classes are in session (about 30 per semester). One Monday each month, Morning Chapel is replaced by Evening Chapel at 9:00 p.m.
  • Convocations in A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel at 10:25 a.m. on scheduled Fridays.
  • Alternative Christian Life and Worship credit-bearing events held at various locations around campus, usually in the late afternoon or evening (about 30 per semester).
  • Gordon College Symposium held every April, providing a wide variety of venues for which students may receive up to four Christian Life and Worship credits.

RECORDS AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Records of attendance are kept by the Chapel Office and can be viewed at Go.Gordon. Any missing credits must be reported to the Chapel Office within two weeks of the event. All students are expected to remain in good-standing with their Christian Life and Worship requirement. After one semester of non-compliance, offending students will be placed on probation with Student Life; parents of dependent students will be notified and a record is kept in the student’s file. A second semester of non-compliance may result in suspension from the College for one semester. Following a semester of suspension, students will be eligible to re-apply to the College. Students returning from suspension will be required to meet the chapel requirement each semester until their last semester as a graduating senior. Any attempt to falsely represent one’s attendance record will result in disciplinary action.

SPECIAL CASES

Qualifying students may submit a Christian Life & Worship Credit Reduction Application to the Chapel Office. Forms are located on-line and must be submitted by the third week of classes each semester. See form for more information.

Percent reduced is based on how many times per week students have approved conflicts with Monday, Wednesday, and Friday gatherings at 10:25 a.m. We are unable to approve reductions for on/off-campus employment or personal internships. A new application must be submitted for each semester.

Students who miss a week or more of classes due to a serious illness may file for two credits per each week of missed classes by having a medical notification sent to the Chapel Office within two weeks of illness.

Students who are married, commuting, part-time or approved for graduation should receive their reductions automatically. Please contact the Chapel Office with any questions.