The Office of Spiritual Formation introduced new guidelines for small group Chapels as well as automatic exemptions starting in the Fall 2019 semester.
For a group to qualify as a Chapel for credit, it must go through an approval process listed out in the vision document curated by the Spiritual Formation office.
The steps for approval are listed as: fill out a form, review and feedback by spiritual formation coordinator, connection with graduate assistant for small groups and regular communication by the Spiritual Formation team.
“We want SGCs to put spiritual formation at the core of what they are doing,” said David Gasatura graduate student in Christian ministry and graduate assistant for small group Chapels. “If you like to meet because the group has something in common, something that is important to them or ACU but doesn’t focus on spiritual formation does not qualify as a small group.”
However, current small group chapels that do not qualify under the vision document will not be disbanded.
The goal for the Spiritual Formation Office is to form these small group Chapels around its mission: “To create spaces for spiritual formation that cultivates a deep hunger to serve and lead like Jesus Christ through small group relationships and community.”
Gasatura said the Office of Spiritual Formation wants students to disconnect the goal of spiritual formation from achieving credits by creating an environment where students desire to be spiritually formed.
Chapel exemptions have been automatically initiated depending on each student’s class schedule.
If a student does not have a class from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday on a particular day, then they are exempt on those days.
With these exemptions dependent on class schedules, some students are automatically exempt from more credits than others.
Spiritual formation coordinator Makayla Jones said she believes these credits will make student’s life simpler.
Jones said the Office of Spiritual Formation special circumstances and additional exemptions outside of working and volunteering will be taken into consideration.
“If there is a special circumstance, we would love to work with you on how to get complete your credit requirement,” Jones said.
Students will be able to monitor their spiritual formation credits and opportunities on the ACU Connect app and can apply for exemptions on the Student Life website.