SPIRITUAL FORMATION PROGRAM AND CHAPEL
The Spiritual Formation program at LeTourneau University is designed to complement the total educational experience by integrating spiritual growth concurrent to one’s social, intellectual and emotional development.
Through a variety of chapel programming, including guest and faculty speakers, music and drama programs, and student-led services, an environment is provided which enhances fellowship and worship while encouraging one’s growth in relationship with God. Chapel gatherings are also times where the LeTourneau Community assembles to experience the worship of other cultures, to celebrate our community victories, and to mourn our community losses. Sometimes we gather to do important family business and hear family news relevant to the campus community. Chapel services are typically in the Belcher Chapel and Performance Center Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week from 10:50 to 11:30 am. Additional Tuesday, Thursday, or evening chapel services are held at various times throughout the year, including Spiritual Emphasis Week in the fall and Missions Emphasis Week and Family Life Week in the spring.
There are a variety of other Spiritual Formation opportunities through Life Groups, LeTourneau Student Ministries (LSM) and Chaplain Interns to help you grow in your relationship with God, other believers and the world. Students are also encouraged to find ways to serve in the community and the local church as a part of their spiritual formation.
The Spiritual Formation requirements per semester for each classification are as follows:
Spiritual Formation Credits (SFCs) Required Credits available from the following options:
Spiritual Formation Credits (SFCs) Required
||Other Spiritual Growth Opportunities*
|Freshmen (1-29 hours)
||At least 26
||Up to 7
||Up to 7
|Sophomores (30-59 hours)
||At least 22
||Up to 8
||Up to 8
|Juniors (60-89 hours)
||At least 14
||Up to 10
||Up to 14
Seniors (90-120 hours)
||At least 6
||Up to 20
||Up to 20
All students may simply attend 38 chapels if they desire. The following outlines examples of other spiritual growth opportunities that students may pursue. Additional options will be considered on a case by case basis. Spiritual Formation Credits are given per occurrence and are not necessarily based on the amount of time spent. Any questions should be directed to (and all final decisions about credit rest with) the University Chaplain and should be addressed before ‘credit’ is sought.
- Appropriate service to the local church and/or community (AWANA, worship leaders, youth leader, Sunday school teacher, Chaplain Intern Service Projects) = typically 1 SFC per occurrence
- Fall or Spring Prison Ministry = typically 5 SFCs · One-week LSM missions trips (spring break, summer, or winter) = up to 10 SFCs
- Various other spiritual retreats and conferences deemed appropriate by the Spiritual Life Department (Passion, Marriage and Relationship Enrichment, Urbana…)
- Seniors may also elect to do a Spiritual Formation reflection paper which will be granted 1 – 10 SFCs depending on quality and evaluation according to the assessment rubric.
We recognize that none of these activities guarantees Spiritual Formation in any way. That only happens when our hearts and souls are open to the moving and working of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God and the Body of Christ in our lives. It is our hope that through being involved in the above spiritual formation activities, that every student will actively pursue God, and His church, grow in Him, and find their place in His body.
SPIRITUAL FORMATION CREDIT REQUIREMENTS
- All Residential LeTourneau students (living on or off campus) enrolled in twelve (12) or more credit hours are required to attain 38 Spiritual Formation Credits (SFC)s each semester.
- Because Chapel is a unique and significant gathering of our campus community, all students are required to attend a specified number of corporate chapel programs in person.
- Other Spiritual Formation Credit options are described above.
- Chapel Make-ups will only be allowed under certain circumstances (see below).
- The only students wholly exempt from Spiritual Formation Credits will be those continuously enrolled in eleven (11) or fewer hours.
- Each student is responsible to ensure sufficient progress in obtaining his or her own Spiritual Formation Credits. The official Spiritual Formation Credits records may be found at MyLETU or the LETU Start Page.
- Spiritual Formation Credit requirements do not apply during the semester in which the student has applied and been approved to graduate.
- Spiritual Formation Credit requirements do not apply to 5th year seniors who have completed seven (7) consecutive full-time semesters of successful Spiritual Formation Credit requirements.
CHAPEL BEHAVIORAL EXPECTATIONS
Individual behavior affects the community experience of corporate Chapel.
When attending and participating in corporate Chapel, please remember the following:
- Arrive on time and stay the entire service. Chapels vary in length. Whether 40 minutes or 90 minutes, you must stay for the whole event to receive credit.
- Refrain from conversation with your neighbors when someone is speaking, singing, or presenting from the platform.
- Act in a manner which communicates courtesy and respect.
- Attendance consists of both physical presence and active listening; use of computers, cell phones, MP3 players or any other device that may distract you or others around you is prohibited in Chapel.
- Do not study in Chapel.
- Your chapel credit for a specific chapel may be revoked without notice or warning for failure to comply with these requirements.
Conflicts with Chapel Attendance
- Student Teaching and official LeTourneau University Internships exempt students from chapel where these activities prevent students from being on campus during chapel.
- Students with flight blocks scheduled by the University are exempt from Chapel only on those days when flight blocks conflict. Other official University conflicts will be determined by the University Chaplain and the department involved.
- On- or off-campus jobs do not exempt students from the Chapel requirement.
- Students with work and other conflicts may petition the Office of the Chaplain at the beginning of the semester to turn in make-ups. It is the student’s responsibility to make these arrangements.
- Students arriving more than five (5) minutes after the beginning of Chapel are considered late and may not receive credit for that date unless they submit a written make-up; students may not leave Chapel early.
- Problems with Chapel attendance records and Spiritual Formation Credits (including counting you absent when you were present or vice versa) must be resolved with the Office of Spiritual Life within two weeks of the Chapel service or Spiritual Formation activity in question.
- There are no regular or automatic Chapel make-up opportunities. Each semester, 50 or more opportunities are given students to attain the required 38 SFCs.
- In unique circumstances, some make-ups may be allowed; prior permission must be given through the Office of the University Chaplain.
- A make-up consists of listening to or watching a Chapel program that you have not attended in person and typing a one-page summary of its content. This one-page summary of content must include: the student’s name, ID number, the date the chapel occurred, and time the chapel occurred (7:00 PM) - all on the same line at the top of the page.
- Chapel recordings are available online at www.letu.edu/chapel, but we do not guarantee that all Chapels will be available online during any given semester.
- Chapel make-ups should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All approved chapel makeups must be turned in by 5:00 PM on the final day of final exams for semester they address.
DISCIPLINARY RESPONSES TO CHAPEL DEFICIENCIES
- 38 Spiritual Formation Credits must be completed by the end of each semester.
- In the event that a student does not complete the required 38 Spiritual Formation Credits by the end of exam week for a semester in question, an SFC hold will be placed on that student’s registration for the following semester. SFC Holds may be cleared by doing makeups as described above. All makeups must be submitted to the Office of the Chaplain by August 1st/ January 1st to remain in good standing and maintain registration in classes.
- Students with an SFC Hold will not participate in intercollegiate athletics or university academic competitions.
If you have a conflict or a problem meeting the chapel attendance requirement, please do not wait until the end of the semester. Please see the Chaplain immediately.
There are many groups and organizations that desire to make their own verbal announcements in Chapel, and we desire to facilitate this announcement medium for as many groups as possible. The following guidelines are designed to provide clarity and consistency within the Chapel announcement procedures.
- Please know that certain circumstances may occur that will prevent us from offering announcement time during a particular week. During those weeks, all announcements will be offered by Power Point only, or in an abbreviated format by one person.
- Please consult the chapel announcement schedule to know which days there will be chapel announcements.
- Because circumstances can change, please check with the Belcher Assistant Technical Director, Ben McClish (ext. 3074) two days before announcements are scheduled to take place.
- Chapel announcements need to pertain to events, activities, or opportunities for the entire student body. Individual club or organization event announcements will need to be made in another forum.
- Appropriate examples include: an LSM event; a YAC event; the game of a university athletic team.
- Inappropriate examples include: Flooders Bible Study; service project for KZX members; Marketing Club meeting location change; new campus club announcement.
- It is important to be above reproach and avoid even the “appearance of evil” when providing campus announcements. Humor is great, but we need to refrain from distasteful jokes, sexual innuendo, dishonoring speech, or inappropriate costumes/apparel in our announcements. Failure to do so will result in the loss of the organization’s privilege to provide Chapel announcements.
- Due to the volume of announcements–and the universal guidelines of effective announcement-making–announcement times are always limited to 60 seconds or less. Please be concise. Choose carefully the things you need to communicate.
- To help us plan well and keep this time organized, all requests for Chapel announcements must come by email (Chapel@letu.edu) two days before the announcement is to take place. (Wednesday by 10:50 for a Friday at 10:50 announcement)
- All audio/visual announcements or presentations have the same deadline, in order to be approved for display
- Once approved, you should provide the announcement to the Belcher Center technical staff by 4 pm on the day before the announcement is to be given, to insure they have time to plan and prepare the necessary equipment.
- Power Point Announcements:
- All Power Point Announcements must be attached and submitted to Chapel@letu.edu by 10:50 AM the day before you would like them to appear in the Chapel Power Point.
- Announcements should be in the form of 1 (one) Power Point slide (4:3 ratio) and include only very basic information (Who, What, When, Where, and Why). We want to serve you well! Please help us by communicating early and clearly so we can get your organization’s information out to the LeTourneau community.