by MacKenzie Ings
Students are quickly adjusting to Rochester College’s new chapel policy, which requires 35 points this year to earn an “A,”, instead of the previous 25 points.
Chapel coordinator Katelyn Hargrave explains that although more chapel points are now required, more opportunities are available to gain points.
Students now have 50 different experiences in which to earn chapel points, compared to last year where only about 35 opportunities existed throughout the semester to earn points.
Students can now earn points through regularly scheduled Chapel and Convocation events, as well as various small group opportunities and service initiatives. The chapel series offers opportunities for students to participate in events and activities aimed at building Christian faith and community, affirming Christian values and developing the whole person.
Chapel experiences are grouped into seven categories:
Chapel (25 points)
Arts and Culture (4 points)
Service learning (5 points)
Special programing (4 points)
Academic convocation (8 points)
Wellness (4 points)
Mindfulness/spiritual practice- Online (4 points)
Christopher Shields II, assistant dean of spiritual formation, said chapel is an essential part of creating a Christian community on campus. “As a spiritual institution, we have to embody spirituality. If we don’t practice Christianity, we are just talking and there is no doing. Chapel is the doing.”
Students have varying viewpoints about the new chapel requirements.
Melanie Zambrone, a sophomore Mass Communications major, said, “I think that the new chapel changes are too much, especially for commuters…35 [points] is excessive. It becomes too much when a student cannot get all their chapel points from going to chapel alone. There is a difference between spreading the faith and forcing the faith, especially for a grade.”
However, Cameron Bitzer, a sophomore Christian ministry major who serves as an intern for Campus Ministry, said he likes the new chapel credit system. “I hope people do not get mad about the higher requirement of chapel points. I live for God and his glory… following Jesus and loving others as he loved me... to have more opportunities to serve and help others is a blessing. I hope people would see the love of Christ displayed in that,” he said.
Chapel has been required at Rochester College since its beginning in 1959 as North Central Christian College. Then, students attended chapel five days per week, and later chapel was offered twice per week.
In 2010, chapel was reconfigured as a course credit where it is counted toward students’ GPAs. RCC 2001 carries one academic credit with a letter grade assigned to it based on the following scale:
A: 35 points or more
B: 32-34 points
C: 29-31 points
F: 24 or fewer
Chapel credits do not count toward the overall credits required for the completion of a degree, but they are calculated as part of a student’s overall GPA and graduation honors, according to the college’s catalog.
Students can check for chapel opportunities through their student portals. For more information, contact Katelyn Hargrave at firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris Shields at email@example.com.