The word BETHEL comes from the Scriptures.  One of the first times the word is mentioned is in Genesis 28.  A young man, Jacob, leaves home for the first time. He stops for the night and has an encounter with the living God of his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac.  When he awakes in the morning he says, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”  He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is no other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”  Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.  He called that place Bethel. Genesis 28:10-19

So the word Bethel actually means House of God!

Mission Statement

The mission of Bethel University is to create opportunities for members of the learning community to develop to their highest potential as whole persons – intellectually, spiritually, socially, and physically – in a Christian environment. 

We will strive to help you develop to your highest potential spiritually in several ways.  First, you will berequired to take two of three available courses:  Old Testament, New Testament, and Christian Theology. The Bible is the primary way that the Lord speaks to us today. We believe it is also important because the Bible is the most influential piece of literature in Western civilization.

Tuesday morning at 11am Chapel services are a place where we gather together to lift the name of Christ on high in the Bouldin Auditorium of the Dickey Fine Arts Building.  In the weekly Chapel service you will hear preachers from different denominations all within mainline Christendom:  one week you may hear a National Baptist preach, followed by a United Methodist, a Cumberland Presbyterian (the home team) or possibly a Roman Catholic Priest. The music is provided by the talented people in the Renaissance Department, so you know it has to be good! 

Like a more traditional service?  You are welcome to join us for a liturgical Holy Communion service everyThursday morning at 11am on the third floor of Campbell Hall.  Everyone is welcome to participate, but no one is required to partake in the elements.

Students have the opportunity to attend Communion Service instead of coming to Chapel. They are also welcome to contact the Missions Coordinator Candace Sumner at 731-352–6380 or missions@bethelu.eduto identify community service opportunities that put the love of Christ into action, rather than attendingChapel.

In extreme hardship cases the Dean of Student Life, James Stewart will grant exemptions from attendingchapel on a case by case basis.

If you are not a Christian and/or you have questions about the faith we ask you to come, observe and please be respectful as we worship. Both the Senior Chaplain and the Chaplain of Athletics are available after services or during office hours to answer your questions.

Freshmen and sophomores are required to attend these worship opportunities. Entering freshmen will attend as part of their COE class requirements. Second semester freshmen are required to attend 12 services or give 12 hours of community service through the missions program or pay $10 for each required worship opportunity missed, each semester.  Sophomores are required to attend 6 services, give 6 hours of community service or pay $10 for each required worship opportunity missed, each semester.

$10 for each required worship opportunity missed will be the default option for not attending. All money collected will go to the BU Missions Program. The Missions Program allows students (maybe even you) to go on a mission team to work in many different countries or wherever there is a need.  The possibilities are endless. 

 All chapel services will revolve around the basic, orthodox teachings of the church found in the Apostle's Creed  This very old Creedal Statement summarizes the basic beliefs of the Christian faith.

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth

And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord  Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virginia Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (universal) church, the communion of the saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.  Amen

Still have questions?  You are welcome to contact either Dr. Anne Hames, Senior Chaplain at 731-352-4066or Coach Cliff   Barna, Chaplain of Athletics at 731-352-6777.

Grace and Shalom!


Senior Chaplain, Dr. Anne Hames

113, Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment


and /or

Sandy Louden

L116 Vera Low Center for Student Enrichment