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Spiritual Formation credits overestimate student involvement

By Optimist Editorial Board
Posted on October 12, 2015 | Editorials,Opinion | 1 comment

We are looking at our spiritual formation points and we are scared. And after talking to our classmates, we realize we’re not alone.

Whether they’re late being processed or we’ve really missed that many Chapel sessions, the credits are just not showing up on our countdown.

To set the record straight, we’re more than pleased at the new opportunities to earn spiritual formation credits outside of the 11 a.m. sessions. We just wish the Chapel Office would have kept all the old opportunities to get credit, too.

In years past, Summit was a godsend (pun intended) for many students, offering two credits per each hourlong session. This year, the Chapel Office offered just one credit per session in Moody. And several of us astute editorial board members didn’t even get those credits because we went to the select classes that didn’t offer credit.

The supplemental credit opportunities such as letting students get credit for Bible studies and church events help, yes, but only so much. These opportunities require a faculty member to sign off on them.

On one hand, this change allows a lot of students get credit for Bible studies they’ve been attending since year one of college. On the other hand, students that may not know faculty members well enough to ask them to sign off on the credit, or go to any of the churches many faculty members frequent, might not get credit.

Our biggest problem, though, is how these spiritual formation credits have the potential to turn into a chore. Similar to when our parents asked us to do the dishes, do the laundry or clean our rooms, we’ve found that once the Chapel Office told us to get credit for these extracurricular Chapel sessions, if you will, we lost motivation to go to them.

The number of credits left dwindles and we are left searching for places besides Moody to swipe in. On top of going to school, work and regular Chapel sessions, students are now being encouraged to not only go to outside biblically-based activities, but to remember to get the credit for them.

Furthermore, we as an editorial board are not sure that students, ourselves included, are ready to take this responsibility into our hands.

We’re just saying, taking a look at our current credits, something is amiss.

The Chapel Office had a great idea to make getting credits more accessible to students, but the execution has been a little questionable. Could we not have kept the old system, with its multiple-credit forums and abundance of credit opportunities, yet still added the chance for events outside of 11 a.m. in Moody to count? We like to think so.

Lastly, though, please change the name back to Chapel credits. Spiritual formation credits is too long for headlines and subject lines.

avatar Posted by Optimist Editorial Board on Oct 12th, 2015 and filed under Editorials, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 6158 times.

1 Response for “Spiritual Formation credits overestimate student involvement”

  1. avatar Allison Barksdale says:

    I’m going to have to politely disagree with some of the statements in this editorial. As most students know, the mission of ACU is “To educate students for Christian Service and Leadership throughout the world.” If the university wants to prepare students to be Christ-like and spiritually-minded, it must enable them to be responsible in church and and church-related activity attendance. I think our previous system of only having chapel M-F at 11:00 did not really accomplish this. When you said that the new system might make spiritual formation like a chore or mundane routine, I have to disagree. I believe only having chapel at 11:00 weekdays made it a routine rather than an authentic experience where students can choose and explore bible lessons on their own.
    If students are, like you said, unfamiliar with some faculty members and afraid to ask them to sign off on a credit, then they should be old enough to get out of their shell and get to know more professors. It should be good practice of going to church/bible studies frequently and it should give students the right habits in term of spirituality. Especially at this stage in our lives. If going to chapel and church-related activities bothers a student, then that student should not have chosen to enroll at an authentic Christian university.

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