Southern Nazarene University seeks to create and nurture a distinctive community based on Christian ideals. As the only activity for which the total University community meets together regularly, Chapel contributes significantly to this end. Due to this, Chapel is viewed as an integral part of the SNU experience. The University’s purpose is to aid in the development of every aspect of Christian personhood, spirit, mind, and body. In accordance with this understanding of the significance of Chapel, all students carrying (7) seven hours or more of University credit are automatically enrolled in Chapel. In order to fulfill chapel requirements, students must obtain twenty-seven (27) attendance credits per semester.
Chapel Services and Attendance
Services are planned and directed by the University Pastors and the Office of Spiritual Development. These services are held on Tuesday and Thursday of each week during the first and second semesters of the academic year. In addition to these Chapel services, there will be approximately 15 additional pre-approved worship opportunities which may be used as chapel credits. In total, there will be between 45-50 chapel services each semester through which students may acquire their 27 required credits. By meeting this attendance expectation, the students pass chapel for that semester. Credit for chapel attendance is obtained by scanning students’ ID cards at the conclusion of the Chapel service.
All students are required to attend chapel; however, in rare cases, a semester exemption may be requested. Students who carry “non-typical” enrollment patterns (such as graduate students and part-time students with less than 7 hours), students who have successfully completed eight (8) semesters of Chapel (by attending at least 27 chapels each semester), and student teachers are exempt from required Chapel attendance. All requests for any type of exemptions (including these listed above) must be approved by the Office of Student Development. It is the responsibility of the student seeking exemption to submit an exemption request by the 10th day of classes each semester.
The granting of an exemption is finalized when a student receives written confirmation from the Office of Student Development. An exemption for one (1) semester is not automatically granted for each succeeding semester. Records of the number of Chapels that a student has attended at a given point may be determined by consulting their student portal on my.snu.edu. Students are responsible for monitoring their chapel attendance record.
Promoting an environment that is conducive to worship, listening, and community celebration is vital. In general, students should avoid behaviors which distract others or disrupt worship. Certain activities, while appropriate in another setting, are considered inappropriate for Chapel. Examples of such activities include:
- eating and/or drinking
- wearing headphones
- use of laptop computers
- use of cell phones (including text-messaging)
- use of gaming devices
- any activities which may be distracting or disruptive
Students engaging in such activity will be subject to loss of credit for their attendance that day. Students who continue to behave in ways disruptive to the goals of Chapel willl be subject to disciplinary action. Any student attempting to gain credit for chapel when they have not attended the chapel service or attempting to gain credit for someone else who did not attend the chapel service will not receive credit and will be subject to disciplinary action.
Students who do not meet the required 27 chapels for the semester will be fined $20 for each chapel that they are deficient. These fines will accumulate for each chapel that a student is below the required 27 credits. For example, a student who acquires 20 chapel credits for the semester will receive a fine of $140. ($20 for each of the 7 chapels below the standard of 27) The maximum fine is $240, in which case the student had only received 15 chapel credits. Any student who attends fewer than 15 chapel opportunities will be fined $240 and will not be allowed to return to SNU the next semester. These students may apply to return to the University after their one semester of suspension. To request permission to re-enroll, a student must submit a written appeal, which will then be considered by Student Development/Spiritual Development administration or a designated committee.
If students fail to fulfill Chapel requirements, they will be notified of their fine or semester suspension. However, it is the student’s responsibility to track their chapel credits. Students who are short of the meeting the 27 required chapels may have their grades and/or transcript withheld until the Chapel deficiency is fulfilled. Students with a Chapel deficiency in the semester of graduation will be permitted to receive their diploma only after the deficiency is corrected.
If you need assistance with a learning, physical, or psychological disability that may affect your participation in chapel, please contact the Center for Student Success, Disability Services at 405-717-6272. All students are encouraged to seek assistance from the Center for Student Success (office 114C).
In addition, specialized services are available for first-generation (neither parent earned a bachelor’s degree), low-income, disability and international students.