It is 9:55 a.m. as hundreds of students stumble into Zurcher Auditorium for yet another chapel. Some students are rubbing the sleep out of their eyes and hope that chapel credit number 10 will be an exciting experience.
After Joyful Noise concludes the music portion of the service, another speaker from Fort Wayne takes the stage.
“Good morning, Huntington University,” the speaker says.
The student body quietly responds.
“Oh, come on, you can do better than that!” the speaker replies.
With a student chapel committee, we can do better than that. As of right now, campus ministry coordinators only conduct the Ekklesia chapels on Wednesday nights. Usually, they consist of a half hour service run mostly by students. The Tuesday and Thursday morning core chapels, however, are mainly run by the campus ministry department.
With a student chapel committee, there can be more variety to the 30 chapels students are required to go to. This could potentially make students more excited to attend, knowing that the service was planned by their own peers, and it is a core credit. Rather than various speakers from Fort Wayne, services can include student-run skits, videos and testimonies.
The chapel committee can hear student concerns with chapel as well, specifically the speaker and topic selection or the volume of Joyful Noise (Yes, we’ve heard several complaints about it). The student committee can also choose themes for each month that reflect the student body’s interest or concerns. For example, the month of March can discuss living abundantly and April’s speakers can address dealing with bullying from a Christian perspective.
The committee could consist of nine students of all grades and backgrounds. They do not need to be paid, but it would be a great opportunity to bulk up the resumes of ministry or business majors or any students interested in a leadership role on campus. For starters, the committee could plan three to five core chapels out of the roughly twelve a month. That is plenty of time to gather students for a skit or reach out to a speaker with student connections.
Arthur Wilson, campus pastor, has expressed interest in implementing more student involvement in chapels. We support this effort and believe that a student chapel committee can make getting those 30 chapel credits less monotonous.