Christian Life Common Questions
Do you have weekly Sunday morning Worship Services on campus?
No, we do not. As members of the larger Christian Community, it is important that we do not isolate ourselves from the world. We don’t want to create a Bethel Christian Bubble. It’s important that we reach out to and worship with the local community. The area churches are excited to work with our students and the University. Several churches have created special programs especially for our students such as the “adopt a student” program. This is an opportunity for students to be paired with local families that can assist and share with students who choose to participate. Most churches will gladly provide transportation to students who do not have a car on campus. These churches also have an opportunity to introduce themselves at the beginning of the fall semester each year. For a list of local Christian denominations CLICK HERE.
Like many Christian Colleges or Universities, do you have required Chapel?
First semester freshmen are required to attend a weekly chapel service as part of their College Orientation. After the first semester, attendance is not required but highly recommended for spiritual growth and nurture.
Why do we require Chapel attendance?
As a Christian institution, Bethel believes that the spiritual life is a big part of what it means to be a human being. In fact, it is part of the Bethel mission statement: "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”. Intellectually, our students take a wide range of classes. Most students enjoy certain subjects more than they enjoy others. The core curriculum is designed to give our students a broad education base. Socially, the University creates a wide range of opportunities for interaction with their peers through the Student Life Department, dorm life and every day encounters on campus. Physically, sports and exercise facilities are provided and PE classes are a required part of the curriculum. All of these elements are here because we believe they are part of a well-rounded person.
Chapel is a very large part of the spiritual element of the mission statement. In our culture, the physical and spiritual dimensions of the person tend to be neglected, and so, like the PE classes that are required for the physical being, we require some basic biblical studies classes and chapel attendance for a single semester for the development of the spiritual component. We do this because we see worship and biblical literacy as a kind of minimum commitment for a student’s spiritual development in a Christian environment.
We know and recognize the fact that every student is of great value as a child of the living God. Therefore, all aspects of a being - physical, mental, social and spiritual - are of worth. We are and will continue to give our students all the ingredients necessary for them to reach their full potential in a Christian environment, and we believe chapel is a part of that. The words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin have withstood the test of time, "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience