Campus Pastor's Office Chapel Attendance
Chapel is required for all students as a part of our college curriculum and commitment to spiritual life.
Chapel is required and twelve chapel absences are permitted each semester. These twelve absences may be used to sleep, study, recover from illness, for doctor's appointments, non-school related tripos, irregular work schedules, interviews, car trouble, and any trips to the airport, etc. Students are expected to manage their chapel attendance wisely over the course of each semester and communicate proactively. Chapel attendance is overseen by the Campus Pastor's Office.
"Manage yourself so that nobody else has to." -Coach John Wooden
At Westmont College, the formation of the life of the mind is inseparable from the life of the heart and soul. Chapel is therefore an essential component of your education at Westmont College. We come together for worship three times a week because gathering in the presence of the living God transforms how we think, act, live and love.
Chapel Attendance Information
1. Chapel is 3 times a week and is a requirement for all students. All students are allowed 12 skips per semester. These skips can be used for whatever personal reasons, including doctor's appointments, rest, study, travel, etc. Contrary to popular myth, second semester seniors are not automatically dismissed from all chapels.
2. Chapel begins at 10:30 am and ends at 11:20 am. Doors close at 10:30 am, so please get to the gym and have your ID card scanned before 10:30 am to ensure you receive Chapel credit. Late students after 10:30 am are still scanned (for security purposes) but will not receive credit. If you have extenuating circumstances, please reach out to email@example.com.
3. In order to obtain Chapel credit, you must have your ID card scanned by one of the Chapel Greeters at the doors of the gym as you enter Chapel before 10:30 am.
4. If you leave Chapel before Chapel is excused, you will be scanned out and not receive credit for that Chapel.
5. Communication is key. Don't wait until the end of the semester to raise concerns about any of your chapel attendance questions or issues. Communicate. We'll work with you.
1. Is Chapel participation required for all students?
Simply put, "Yes!" If you are a student on campus, regardless of your class year, Chapel participation is a requirement.
2. How do I check into Chapel?
Each student gets up to 12 excused absences each semester. You can use and manage those for any reason (sleep, study, travel, illness, appointments, etc.) and no communication is necessary to use your excused skips.
3. How do I check into Chapel?
Just like you use your student ID card to scan into your residence hall and the Dining Commons, our Chapel Attendance System now works with the swipe of your ID card.
4. How do I check my Chapel Attendance?
To keep track of your attendance and manage your excused absences: If you have an iPhone and the Westmont College app, simply go to the "Check Chapel Attendance" page. For Android users and all students, you always have access through the Chapel Attendance link on our website, or you can check HERE. Make sure when entering your student ID, that you include the Zero in front.
5. What if I am enrolled for an internship class this semester and my internship is during Chapel? What if I have special circumstances that will make it difficult for me to attend Chapel?
Please fill out this Proactive Appeals Form and alert the Campus Pastor's Office. You must be enrolled in an internship/practicum class in order to have this excusal. Depending upon your class year and how often your internship causes you to miss Chapel, the number of your allowed absences will be adjusted. You will work this out with the Campus Pastor's Office.
6. I have gone over my misses, what do I do?
Fill out this Chapel Appeal Form (after the fact) with your reasoning for going over your misses and your extenuating circumstance, if there are any. *Appeals are due the last day of each semester's classes at 5 pm. It is much better to communicate ahead of time than afterwards.
7. I have an extenuating circumstance. What should I do?
We work with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) to ensure that all students with extenuating circumstances (medical emergencies, mental health crises, disabilities, special circumstances that make it difficult to attend Chapel, etc.) are helped both by the ODS team and the Campus Pastor's Office. If you have an extenuating circumstance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment. If requesting accommodations for the first time and you are not currently registered with ODS, please follow these procedures. We work with ODS to form a plan.
8. What happens if I have too many unexcused absences, once all appeal processes are complete?
Our Chapel Status policy and procedure can be found here on our website.
9. What are elective chapels? How do they apply to my chapel attendance?
Elective chapels are special sessions that are created around specific topics or groups. They are not mandatory, but for each elective chapel you attend, it reduces a skipped chapel.
While students are encouraged to attend every Chapel, each student is allowed 12 Chapel misses per semester. Students who have gone over their 12 misses will need to fill out this appeal form with the reasoning for going over the allowed skips.
Students who exceed 12 unexcused absences in any given semester may jeopardize their future involvement in student leadership positions or enrollment at Westmont, depending upon their status. All students who exceed 12 unexcused absences will be required to meet with the Campus Pastor (and/or designee) to discuss their situation. Students with extenuating circumstances may submit an appeal describing their circumstances, in lieu of a meeting; however the Campus Pastor may still choose to require a meeting following an appeal being submitted. After meeting with the Campus Pastor, students will be assigned (at the sole discretion of the Campus Pastor) to one of the following status for the following semester:
Good: Good participation
Warning: Student is warned that failure to sufficiently attend chapel would result in further action which could include a semester suspension from the college
Probation: Student is advised that failure to sufficiently attend chapel would likely result in a semester suspension from the college
Suspension: Not able to attend Westmont
If you miss an extraordinary number of chapels, or have other chapel behavior issues, you may be placed directly to the Probation status. Students who do not meet with either the Campus Pastor or Dean of Students to resolve their misses may be suspended from Westmont for the following semester.
You must be fully present and engaged to receive Chapel credit. Studying, reading, being on your phone, listening to music, having headphones or air pods on, leaving the gym, taking a phone call, and talking to others during Chapel will disqualify you from receiving Chapel credit.
- Severe medical conditions which temporarily affects Chapel attendance, such as hospitalization and/or going to student's family home to recuperate. Condition must be verified in writing by an attending physician or by an email to our office from the campus physician;
- Other extenuating circumstances, such as family emergencies. To be excused a student will need to submit an appeal, along with supporting documentation, to the Campus Pastor’s Office within 2 weeks of the missed Chapel(s) ;
- Quarantining in room or off campus for health reasons or COVID (students can watch online and submit a paragraph about the service to email@example.com);
- Students with children;
- Students away from campus on an authorized academic field trip. Please note: You will not be cleared if the professor has not notified us;
- Jury duty
- Students cleared by the education department to fulfill student teaching or observation assignments. Please note: You will not be cleared if the department has not given us prior notification;
- Students participating in internships that are approved by a professor and the Internship Office. Please note: You will not be cleared until a student fills out, along with the approving faculty member, an internship form that can be found on our website.
- Athletes, attending away games on recognized intercollegiate sports teams. Please note: You will not be cleared if the department has not notified us. Leaving for practice is not excused.
Note: Work conflicts, medical/dental/physical therapy appointments, and illnesses such as colds and the flu do not qualify as excused absences and are to be considered as part of students allowable 12 Chapel misses.
Remember, communication is key, and it is your responsibility.
If you have gone over your 12 Chapel misses, please fill out this Chapel Attendance Appeal form.
If you have an internship or practicum that interferes with chapel, please fill out this Proactive Chapel Appeals Form.