Why Chapel?

by Abigail E. Peck

Several times a week a communal pause takes place for the students of Azusa Pacific University. All gather for a campus-wide tradition known as chapel. Crafted from the four cornerstones of Christ, Community, Scholarship, and Service, APU’s chapel services demonstrate the university’s commitment to cultivating disciples and scholars. Chapel provides a built in break allowing for spiritual rest amidst the rigor and demands of college life and the incorporation of faith into a student’s daily routine.

Hosted on both campuses, chapel enables students to participate in corporate worship led and surrounded by their peers. Student leadership teams help coordinate chapel ensuring dynamic and relevant programming. Chapel provides distinct worship experiences that encourage individuals to celebrate their unique faith traditions.

“We help create an experience where fellow students from all walks of life can grasp Scripture and find applicable ways to live it out,” said Hannah Kaiser ’18, English major and service and leadership team (SALT) representative. “We seek to open a space for God to move in ways that will impact college students the most.”

Chapel speakers provide realistic and relatable insight from their own lives and impart wisdom to the next generation of Christ-centered leaders. Faculty, local pastors, and authors encourage students to make their impact on the world. This semester APU has welcomed speakers including Nicholas Yphantides, chief medical officer for San Diego County, Alexander James, spoken word artist and poet, and Cheryl Fletcher, pastor of Christian Assembly in Eagle Rock.

With six chapels to choose from and a worship team particular to each, students can find a chapel that suits them best.

  • Morning chapel held on East and West campus draws the largest gathering of students. Messages emphasize spiritual formation through themes such as diversity, global engagement, and spiritual wellness.
  • Senior chapel on Monday nights gathers seniors together for a special service that celebrates their impending graduation. Topics discussed center around life after college and enjoying the moments left as an undergraduate student.
  • Kaleo is a contemporary chapel on Wednesday nights most known for engaging worship and messages by campus pastor Woody Morwood. This chapel focuses on a different book of the Bible each semester. Kaleo is a Greek word meaning “invited” and “called out” by God’s initiative toward us.
  • Liturgical and prayer chapels on Thursday nights are offered bi weekly. Prayer chapel guides students in meditation and silence. Liturgical chapel offers students a contemplative worship experience that follows the Christian liturgical calendar and Revised Common Lectionary. This chapel teaches corporate prayer, responsive readings, confession of creeds, Scripture readings, hymns, and celebration of the Eucharist.
  • International chapel on Friday mornings invites the APU community to reflect on culturally diverse Christian perspectives. Both American and international students gather for multicultural music worship, small group community building, and teaching. This chapel is available to those with a global pass, easily obtained through the International Office.

“Combining worship and education represent the co curricular tradition in higher education on which APU was founded,” said Tim Peck D.Min., director of chapel programs. “Chapel is the most reliable indicator of the university’s Christian identity demonstrating we are not just a learning community, but a worshiping one, and we believe those go together.”

Related links:

Why Chapel video message

Watch chapel live

Chapel requirements

Upcoming speakers

Abigail E. Peck '18 is a public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a public relations major and leadership minor.