Chapel Requirement

Chapel is an essential part of your APU experience. Gathering for a consistent rhythm of corporate worship builds our sense of community, and creates an opportunity to grow together as disciples and scholars.

APU selects speakers and presenters who communicate useful messages rooted in Scripture, who speak practically and challenge our assumptions about what it means to be Christ followers in the world today. These include some of our own staff and faculty, local church pastors, and authors, speakers, and recording artists from around the world.

Attendance Requirements

Track your attendance on your home.apu.edu account.

3 Chapels per Week

Full-time undergraduate students (residents and commuters) are required to attend three chapels a week.

10 Allowable Absences per Semester

Each semester, students are allowed 10 personal absences (i.e., chapels they can miss). These are meant to provide cover for any unforeseen personal circumstances that would cause a student to miss a chapel unexpectedly. Brief illnesses, personal travel days, job or grad school interviews, study groups, and tardiness are examples of personal absences.

If a student uses all of their personal absences before the semester ends, the next unexcused absence in that semester will result in a chapel noncompliance notification.

Excused Absences

An excused absence is an absence that is not taken from a student’s total number of allowable absences for the semester. Students must submit verification of their absence to Spiritual Life within two weeks of the date of the absence. Examples of excused absences include (but are not limited to):

  • Hospitalization
  • Funeral
  • Extended illness
  • Mandatory court appearance
  • Faculty-sponsored activity or class trip (an approved field trip/off-campus activity notice from the provost must include the time and date of the event, and the name and ID number of each student attending)

Student Health Center

An excusable absence may be granted by the medical doctor or lead nurse practitioner at the Student Health Center if there is an extended or contagious illness diagnosed. In this case, the absence begins the day of the student’s visit to the Student Health Center (i.e., consultation with the medical doctor or lead nurse practitioner).

Note: “Confirmation of Visit” notices from the Student Health Center are not acceptable forms of excusal. The Spiritual Life office requires documentation from the Student Health Center’s medical doctor or lead nurse practitioner that specifies the exact days the student is required to miss class and/or chapel. This must be submitted within two weeks of the student’s visit to the Student Health Center. The student is responsible for submitting this paperwork on time and must request documentation at the time of their visit. Excusable absences are not retroactive.

Questions?

For health-related questions, call the Student Health Center at (626) 815-2100.

Request for Online/Asynchronous Chapel Attendance

Online/asynchronous chapel requests are processed after the drop period and may take up to three weeks to be approved/denied.

Students are responsible for accrued absences if the request is not approved. Requests are due by the last day of the drop period each semester. Any request received after that date may be subject to a $50 fine.

  • If a job is acquired after the drop date, the student may still submit a request within two weeks of the start date of employment to avoid the fine.
  • All documentation will be required, along with verification of employment start date.
  • Requests are not automatically approved. Requests are valid for one semester only. When submitting your request via Formstack, keep a record of the submission confirmation email.

Reasons for Requests

If you meet the following criteria, you may complete a request for online/asynchronous chapel attendance (requests are subject to approval/verification) via the request form:

  • Commuters: All full-time undergraduate students who live within 7 miles of the Azusa campus are required to attend in-person chapel each semester. Commuters who live outside the 7-mile radius with no class before or after chapel, or outside a 25-mile radius with no class before chapel, may submit a request for the semester (address verification may be required). Include your residential address (if the address is different from the one listed on your home.apu.edu account, submit the most recent proof of address (e.g., utility bill, lease agreement) in the space provided on the request form.
  • Work: If you are unable to attend in-person chapel due to work during the chapel hour, provide an explanation for each day, the name of your business/organization/employer, the name of your supervisor, and their phone number and email.
  • Class-required internships: If you are unable to attend in-person chapel due to a class-required internship during the chapel hour, submit documentation from your professor and place of internship in order for your request to be processed. Voluntary (nonpaid) work or internships not required for class do not qualify for online chapel attendance.
  • Health reasons/disability: If you are unable to attend in-person chapel due to a health reason or disability, contact Accessibility and Disability Resources at [email protected] to request an accommodation.
  • Other: If you are completing the request for online/asynchronous chapel attendance for an extenuating circumstance, include any documentation to support your request in the space provided on the request form.

Chapel Noncompliance

If a student exceeds their allotted number of personal absences for the semester, they will be placed on chapel noncompliance status. A student on chapel noncompliance status will not be permitted any further unexcused absences and must complete noncompliance sanctions.

Sanctions

  • You must complete, sign, and adhere to a noncompliance contract, which includes a written reflection and commitment to attend chapel moving forward.
  • Failure to comply with the terms of the contract will result in a $200 noncompliance fine.

Appeals

  • If a student wishes to appeal chapel noncompliance, contact Spiritual Life at [email protected].

Student Conduct Noncompliance

Three consecutive semesters on chapel noncompliance will result in a student being placed in a student conduct noncompliance process, which may result in suspension from the university for an entire semester. In addition to all of the above aspects of chapel noncompliance, the results of student conduct noncompliance are as outlined below:

  • A $500 fine and a hold on your student account.
  • The hold will remain on your student account until the fine is paid. This may affect your graduation date.
  • If you are placed on student conduct noncompliance for three consecutive semesters, it may result in suspension from the university for an entire semester.
  • A student conduct noncompliance letter may be recorded on your student record.

Frequently Asked Questions

Requests for Online/Asynchronous Chapel Attendance

I don’t receive mail where I live, so how can I submit proof of address with my request for online chapel?

If you do not receive official mail at your place of residence, you must submit a rental agreement or lease document that indicates you reside at the address. If the latter is not applicable, submit a utility bill and a letter from the person you are renting from for verification of residency (be sure the letter has contact information for verification).

Can I submit a request to watch chapel online if I do volunteer work or a volunteer internship?

Students do not have the option to watch chapel online for volunteer work or a volunteer internship. To be approved for virtual chapel, internships must be course-required.

How long is the approved request for online/asynchronous chapel valid for?

Approved requests are valid for one semester only. If needed, submit a new request by the drop date of each semester.

When is the last day to submit a request for online/asynchronous chapel attendance without having to pay a fine?

Requests for online/asynchronous chapel attendance must be turned in by the drop date of each semester to avoid a late-request fine. For newly acquired jobs after the drop date, requests must be submitted within two weeks of the date of hire. Documentation/verification will be required.

I just got a job and need to request online chapel attendance but don’t want to pay the late fine. What can I do?

If a student acquires employment after the drop date, they may submit a request along with a work letter on company letterhead within two weeks of the date of hire. The work letter must specify date of hire and work schedule.

What if my employer doesn’t have company letterhead?

Under certain circumstances, a letter from the employer along with a wet signature and contact information may be acceptable. A pay stub may also be required. The employer will be contacted for work verification.

My job hours vary, so my work letter cannot be specific. What can I do?

Students must follow the online chapel request process for work-related excusal. In addition, students with varying work hours must submit an official work schedule on a biweekly basis in order to be excused for the specific days worked.

I turned in my request at the beginning of the semester and I still haven’t heard back. How long is it going to take?

All requests for online/asynchronous chapel attendance are processed after the drop date (when class schedules have been confirmed); this process takes 3-4 weeks from the drop date. It is the student’s responsibility to follow up on the status of their request. Students may contact the Office of Spiritual Life Administration and Operations to verify their status at any time after the drop date.

Do I need to attend chapel while my request for online/asynchronous chapel is being processed?

Ultimately, chapel attendance is each student’s responsibility. Upon approval of a request, absences will be retroactively excused. If the request is denied, the student will be responsible for absences accrued.

Absences

There is an absence discrepancy reflected on my home.apu.edu account. What should I do?

It’s important to know that home.apu.edu takes 24-48 hours to update. You may, however, contact the Office of Spiritual Life Administration and Operations at [email protected] to verify your attendance record at any time. For technical difficulties, contact IT at [email protected].

Chapel Engagement

I missed chapel because I got sick but didn’t go to the doctor. What can I do?

This would be a time in which you may attend an optional chapel to make up the absence (must attend within the same week). You may also choose to use one of your 10 allowable absences.

I am upset over what a chapel speaker said. Whom can I email?

Chapel speakers are selected by the Chapel Executive Committee, and each chapel speaker signs a statement of agreement affirming APU’s doctrinal statement. Concerns about specific chapel speakers should be sent to the director of the Office of Chapel and Pastoral Care at [email protected].

How can I join a chapel band?

Auditions for interested worship leaders, vocalists, and instrumentalists are held each spring semester for the chapel band teams serving in the following academic year. Students may apply to audition for chapel bands at the beginning of each spring semester. The Office of Chapel and Pastoral Care will make announcements in chapel with the specific dates to sign up, so be on the lookout!

I arrived to chapel at 10:41 a.m. Why wasn’t I scanned in?

Chapel begins at 10:30 a.m. There is a grace period for students to arrive until 10:40 a.m. Anyone arriving after that time is welcome to attend but will not receive chapel credit.

Chapel Requirement

Do I have to go to chapel if I am a part-time student?

If you have 11 or fewer units, you are considered part-time and do not have a chapel requirement. You do not have to attend chapel but are always welcome. If you decide to attend, you do not need to scan in.

Can my chapel attendances roll over to the following week for credit?

Attending more than the required chapels in a given week cannot be rolled over for additional chapel credit. The three-chapel requirement must be met within the same week.

Special Circumstances

Can I be excused for a job interview or an audition?

Job interviews and auditions are not reasons for an excusable absence. Students must attend an optional chapel to make up for such an absence or use one of their 10 allowable absences for events such as these.

I am an older student; do I need to go to chapel?

All full-time undergraduate students must attend chapel regardless of age. Review the criteria for online/asynchronous chapel attendance requests. Graduate students do not have a chapel requirement.

A close relative passed away and I need to miss chapel to be with my family and attend the funeral service. What can I do?

The death of a family member is considered a reason for chapel excusal. You will need to provide documentation within two weeks of the date of the absence(s) in order for the absence(s) to be excused. Accepted forms of documentation are a memorial card or funeral program.

My car broke down on my way to chapel and I had to miss. Can I be excused?

Each student has allowable absences to use each semester. This would be a time in which allowable absences would be used. You may also choose to attend an alternate chapel to make up for the absence (must attend within the same week).

My parents surprised me with a trip during the school semester and have purchased flight tickets. Can I be excused if I bring in the itinerary?

Each student has 10 allowable absences to use each semester. This would be a time in which allowable absences would be used. You may also choose an alternate chapel to make up for the absence(s) (must be attended in the same week).

I was in a car accident on my way to chapel. Can I be excused?

With medical documentation, an absence for a morning chapel may be excused.

I missed chapel because I am on an APU sports team. Why haven’t I been excused yet?

These types of excusals must be submitted for processing to the Office of Spiritual Life Administration and Operations by the athletics director. It is the student’s responsibility to follow up with his or her coach regarding any delays.

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