As the Office of Spiritual Development processes 700 Chapel exemption forms, some students remain hopeful while others wonder how they can meet Quest requirements.
For nursing students, Chapel credits pose a problem because they have day-long clinicals, sometimes off-campus, three times per week. With 14 weeks of Chapel, nursing students would be able to get credits at 11 a.m. only 28 times. Leanne Porter, senior nursing major from the Woodlands, said last year she and other nursing students had to get only 5-25 credits because of a mistake in the Chapel office.
This year, Porter and her fellow nursing students applied for Chapel exemptions for the three days they would have clinicals. While waiting for the exemptions to be processed, the nursing students received an email from Margot Binion, assistant to the dean of the School of Nursing, stating they would receive only 10 exemptions and would be required to get 45 credits. This means they would have to get more than three credits each week.
“There are over 140 opportunities for chapel credits this semester and you should be able to easily obtain 45 including with clinical days,” Binion said in an email to senior nursing students. “I know that last semester many of you had only a handful of chapel credits required but the university did not approve of this and wants the nursing students to be involved in chapel as much as possible so the Dean has adjusted the clinical schedule and our chapel schedule to accommodate this requirement.”
Porter still received all the exemptions she applied for through the Chapel office, so now she only has to get 25 credits.
“People have work after school, we have homework, and I have a night class,” Porter said. “For me, it is the 11 o’clock slot that I have. That leaves me with two days. I feel like the system is so complicated that it ends up to be more work than it should be for me to get my Chapel credits.”
Megan Lavallee, sophomore speech pathology major from Tuscola, said last year as a freshman she was anxious about getting all 55 credits, especially when some credits wouldn’t show on myACU.
“With the Quest credits it will be a lot easier to keep track of,” Lavallee said. “I won’t have to guess how many credits I have.”
Graham Mask, senior management major from Brownwood, said the changes to Chapel in the last two years haven’t affected him personally. He said he prefers Immersed chapel with instrumental worship. Although some semesters he did not get all 55 credits, he said it had to do with his own commitment, not the Chapel system.
“In a way it’s good that they changed the name, because I feel like it’s less of a requirement,” Mask said. “It’s kind of like they’re putting some depth behind it and encouraging students to get an experience out of it.”
Courtney Barton, junior biology major from Abilene, also said Quest credits seems to emphasize spiritual formation more than just getting credits. She attends Honor’s chapel and Missions chapel.
Philomena DeHoyos, senior criminal justice major from Marion, said although the Chapel office claims students have 150-200 opportunities to get credits, many of those opportunities happen at the same time or are exclusive to certain clubs or organizations.
“I’m just still bitter that Summit lectures aren’t worth two credits anymore, and those are only at 11 a.m.” DeHoyos said.
In her freshman and sophomore year, getting two credits for Summit events helped her get all 55 credits. Last year she was required to go to some Summit events for classes, but said she was frustrated that she couldn’t get Chapel credit for those.
“With all these changes, people are just getting irritated,” DeHoyos said. “It was definitely hard to carve out time. I was still rushing around at the end trying to get them.”
Austin Riley, senior management major from Lubbock, has Faith-in-Action credits for World’s Backyard, which means he automatically gets 15 credits to account for serving in the organization for 15 weeks. Faith-in-Action credits were offered last year, but Riley didn’t know about them until another student explained the credit option.
“To me it’s just another name,” Mask said about Quest. “I guess there’s more opportunities but to me it’s just another name.”