Required chapel in Seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by bobbyd, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. bobbyd

    bobbyd
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    I recently read in a different discussion board that some profs at SBTS are going to require chapel attendance as part of the class requirements. Are there any thoughts on required chapel at the SBC seminaries?
     
  2. Rhetorician

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    Chapel Requirement?

    To all who have an ear:

    I have heard BGray Allision, founding president of Mid America, say on more than one occasion that; it would be hard for him to recommend one of his students to a church if they did not come to chapel.

    Chapel; required NO!

    Chapel; highly recommended YES!

    sdg!:thumbsup:

    rd
     
  3. Lagardo

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    Chapel services are a great thing, but I know that while I was in seminary, I was working full time, taking a full time classs load, volunteering a lot at church, and newly married. I didn't have time for chapel every day. Some more blessed students (who did not seem to have the time constraints I did) often made comments that seem to imply that I was less spiritual. Funny, I thought, I was very active at church.
     
  4. PastorSBC1303

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    I do not think chapel should be required. However I agree that it should be highly recommended.

    I was amazed (or maybe appauled) while in seminary the number of students who went home or to Starbucks, etc during chapel.
     
  5. rbell

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    Amen to that. Same here.

    I'm a bit too adhd-ish to sit for six hours of class every day, the required reading & studying, and another hour of sitting. I went to the chapels I really wanted to see, but that's about it.


    But then again, maybe it's the spiritual thing. :saint: :laugh:
     
  6. baptistteacher

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    I don't know about SBC schools, but while attending Dallas Theological, the requirement was to attend a certain percentage of the chapels for your daytime classes. If you had day classes 3 days a week, I think it was 2/3 of the chapels for the semester. Student picks which ones to attend, was reported on the honor system.

    In Bible College, [in the 70's], the requirement was to attend the weekly chapel every week, or you better have a good reason. Don't know what it is now. We had a regular roll sheet to sign in on, just like for classes.

    I think that some kind of chapel attendance policy is a good idea.
     
  7. Joseph M. Smith

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    A bit off topic, as this does not refer to a seminary ... but back in the day when I was Baptist campus minister at Berea College, the college required attendance at Sunday night chapel, and spent pretty good money to bring in "big names" from the church and academic worlds. But most of the students were brazen in their inattention, propping up books, sleeping, etc. (in the days before they might have brought laptops and cell phones). But on rare occasions the chapel administration would invite me or the Methodist campus minister to preach, and we noticed that the students were very attentive indeed. It had little to do with our oratorical skills; it had more to do with the fact that we were personally connected with numbers of them, and that we lived in their world.

    Maybe that suggests a model for seminary chapel? I know that when I was a student at Southern, I did not feel very pulled to go to chapel when we had a "visiting fireman" (usually because it was all too self-evident that his preaching in chapel was a way of buttering him up because he was a denominational leader or a member of the trustees). But when a faculty member was preaching, particularly one in whose classes I had sat, then I was very eager to attend.
     
  8. RandR

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    I don't have a problem with a prof making chapel attendance a requirement if there is some assingment along with it and it is related to the course material.

    I do have a problem with a handbook policy mandating chapel attendance.

    I also have a problem with a seminary president being patroninizing to his students and talking to them from the platform in a tone that makes one wonder if he's talking to 2nd graders. But I guess that's a discussion for a different thread...
     
  9. StefanM

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    I'd rather have required spiritual formation groups instead of required chapel.
     
  10. NateT

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    Most (if not all) "intro" classes here at SBTS now require chapel attendence for 75% of the chapels. Preaching, missiology, formations of Christian ministry etc.

    It's a bit bothersome, but it sure beats going last year -- this year we've got a lot of faculty preaching as well as CJ Mahaney and John Macarthur both preaching 2X
     
  11. El_Guero

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    m m m m . . .

    If the preachers can actually preach the Word of the Almighty God?

    Why not highly encourage attendance.


     
  12. preachinjesus

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    Requiring chapel at seminary is a troublesome business...partly because as I was leaving my alma mater they began requiring some new students to attend every chapel service. Well that is unless you attended class solely on Mondays and lived in Arkansas. It created a very bothersome system of inequality. Add the fact that seminary chapel services were...well less than desirable it created several problems.

    From a personal standpoint I don't think requiring seminary chapel attednance is a good thing. I couldn't have afforded to attend seminary, much less have gotten out in 3 years if I had been required to attend a chapel service three times a week. I still got to about two chapels a semester, out of principle really, but it spoke volumes to me about the type of service they were holding when you couldn't get more than 100 students to attend regularly.

    Seminary should be a time where you get to flourish because of your own choice, not because of requirements and forced submission.
     
  13. TaterTot

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    Goodness, I loved chapel, and even after we moved almost 2 hours away. Sometimes we'd time our trips in to the seminary to coincide with chapel.

    No, it shouldnt be required. But some of my most meaningful worship happened there.
     
  14. MRCoon

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    So let me make sure I understand this....Seminary where most people go to receive a religious degree to help shepherd a flock someday (whether as a pastor, counsellor, etc) are making an issue with sitting under the preaching and teaching of God's Word?? Did I get that right? How do we ever expect our lay people to be faithful when the preachers and teachers (in-training) don't want to be??? It is sad on two counts: 1) That it has to become mandatory! Is this due to a lack of participation? Or campus problems? and 2) These future teachers and preachers should want to be at chapel and making it mandatory should be an insult!!

    That's a funny thing about us Christians, eh?!
     
  15. Lagardo

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    I have never asked my congregation to be faithful to daily worship services.

    I was not making an issue of sitting under preaching and teaching on God's Word. As a seminary student, I was VERY involved in church. As a student, I sat under good deal of teaching. No one is saying that future preachers do not want to be faithful to sitting under preaching.
     
  16. MRCoon

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    Are we reading the same thread? It seems that most commetns in this thread disagree with the mandatory chapel and think it should be highly recommended...seems contrary to what what the focus is for both chapel and seminary...learning more about God!!

    By the way, your church members are not training to be future preachers and teachers so while their daily walk and practice are important...those in seminary that will be future leaders is so much more important!

    But I do encourage my people to have daily communication with God and would expect every pastor and full-time worker in the pastoral/counsellor ministry to have more than this just because our walk with God is so much more important and neccessary to stay true to the course.

    But you guys knew all of this already, right?!
     
  17. StefanM

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    I have no problems with the concept of seminary chapel as long as it isn't "Let's the get the megastar preacher and look at how cool he is."

    I've rarely enjoyed my undergraduate chapel because it tends to be very surface-level or almost evangelistic, but that's because most of the people there aren't religion majors, and some aren't even Christian.

    I can second the notion from J. Smith above that I, as well as my friends, have enjoyed faculty speakers much more than outside speakers.
     
    #17 StefanM, Sep 6, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2006
  18. NateT

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    Actually it has more to do with the fact that a lot of times in chapel you aren't sitting under the "teaching of God's word." One of the last chapels I went to before this rule entered into effect included a sermon that one prof remarked as being "Prereformational Luther." THat is to say, the gentleman spoke for 30 minutes about what we can do to please God. If you just read your Bible daily, you can have God's favor. Sadly, that isn't always that far from what is preached in chapel. That's why I said I was glad we were having a lot of profs preach this semester. And so far, the non-profs that have preached have preached Biblical sermons. In those cases, I don't have a problem going to chapel.

    Another thing to keep in mind with seminary students is that they often sit under biblical teaching more than the average congregant. They of course have Sunday services like most Christians, but I often talk to students who say "I was listening to _____" during the week. For example, "I was just listening to John Piper discuss spiritual gifts last night." Or "I heard a great sermon by David Jeremiah yesterday." I didn't hear that very often among the congregation I came from.

    Additionally, when schools start requiring chapel, it often portrays to the students that the faculty is primarily interested in filling the seats for the trustees (or whoever.)
     
  19. RandR

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    Nate T,

    If the speaker you mentioned is who I am thinking of, I've heard him preach that same sermon elsewhere. He also told the congregation that one of the words for "Favor" in the NT is "charis" (grace). He then proceeded to explain how one can EARN more of God's favor. Earn grace? Hmmm...
     
  20. El_Guero

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    Can I tell someone hasn't gone to enough chapel services?

    Maybe then we would be reading the same thread.

    Some of the best sermons that I have heard (but, nowhere near the best) have been in Chapel services.

    Most of the absolute worst sermons that I have heard have been in Chapel services. The worst Chapel service that I heard was TERRIBLE and the sermon was abusive (IMHO). I won't say that he was a heretic, but he did not know what he was talking about. I almost walked out. I have not wanted to be subjected to that abuse since . . .

    The worst sermons that I have ever heard (I have gotten up and walked out on - they were preaching heresy). BMC (Before My Call or I woulda set that fool straight for preaching heresy . . . )

    As I posted - if they were really good preachers and could preach the Word of God with integrity, power, and the conviction that comes from real faith?

    Why wouldn't everyone go?
     

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