Campus Pastor's Office Chapel Attendance
The foundational belief of Westmont College is that “Christ is pre-eminent in all things.”
For this reason, the college community gathers three times a week to worship and enjoy God.
Chapel Attendance Information
Chapel attendance is mandatory for all class levels to maintain enrollment. Students are encouraged to attend every Chapel, but are allowed to miss no more than 12 Chapels per semester. Chapel attendance is counted for every student, including second semester seniors.
Please note that the purpose of Chapel misses is for the occasional "as needed" basis and should be managed as a bank account; to cover a student in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
How Chapel Attendance Works:
When you enter the gym for Chapel, you are handed a Chapel Attendance Card by a Chapel Greeter, on which you will fill in your name and Student I.D. number. Please note that if your writing is not legible, you will not receive Chapel credit. To receive Chapel credit, you MUST do the following:
- Enter the Gym BEFORE 10:30am. Chapel begins and doors close at precisely 10:30am, and Chapel Cards stop being handed out at 10:30am. If you do not receive a Chapel Card from a Chapel Greeter, you will not receive a Chapel Card.
- Turn in YOUR OWN Chapel Card and not another student's to a Chapel Greeter who collects the cards. If you turn in someone else's card for them or along with your card, you will not receive credit.
- You must be in Chapel the entire duration of the service. If you leave to take a phone call, or leave for any reason, you will not receive credit.
- Respect others by not talking to others around you, doing homework, or being on your phone in Chapel. You may be asked to turn in your card and not receive credit.
- Turn in your Chapel Card AS you exit the gym to a Chapel Greeter. If you turn in your card after you have already exited the gym, you will not receive credit.
With this in mind, the only excused absences are:
- Severe medical conditions which temporarily affects Chapel attendance, such as hospitalization and/or going to student's family home to recouperate. 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) ;
- 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 web-pages.
- Athletes, attending away games on recognized intercollegiate sports teams. Please note: You will not be cleared if the department has not notified us.
Chapel attendance is mandatory.
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.
What constitutes missing a chapel? The following are the most frequent circumstances:
- Being physically absent.
Others may be:
- Arriving late. Chapel starts at 10:30 AM; students who arrive at 10:30 or later are late.
- Writing your name and student ID illegibly. Obviously, we cannot know if you were in attendance if we can’t read what you wrote on your attendance card.
- PARTIAL ATTENDANCE: Leaving chapel early or attending only a portion of chapel.
- DISHONESTY: Submitting a chapel card for someone else, or seeking to submit your chapel card when you did not attend. In either case, chapel credit will be denied, and the Student Life Office will be informed of the dishonesty.
- BODY ONLY: Being physically present, but doing things like studying, talking, sleeping or using electronic devices during chapel. In other words, merely having your body present in a chapel service does not mean you are actually in chapel. This may be the most egregious and damaging kind of chapel miss, for it not only distracts people around you, but shows crass disrespect for the worship of God.
- If any of these fraudulent misses occur, you may be asked to surrender your chapel card to the Campus Pastor’s staff, or someone else in leadership. This may include faculty, staff, RD’s or RA’s. In these cases, chapel credit will be denied.
While students are encouraged to attend every Chapel, each student is allowed 12 Chapel Misses per semester. If a student exceeds the allotted 12 Chapel Misses, the following occurs:
The student will need to fill out a Chapel Appeal form with their rationale for going over their misses and turn it in to the Campus Pastor's Office by the last day of classes. Below is the process of how Chapel Probation works at Westmont.
1. Chapel Warning - 1st time going over 12 misses. Must turn in appeal form and meet with Campus Pastor.
2. Chapel Probation - 2nd time going over 12 misses. Must turn in appeal form and meet with Campus Pastor and Dean of Students.
3. Chapel Suspension - 3rd time going over 12 misses. Student will not be allowed to register for the next semester. Must turn in appeal and meet with Campus Pastor and Dean of Students. They will decide if the student will be allowed to come back to Westmont the following semester.
If a student exceeds their 12 Chapel misses for the third time, they will not be able to return to Westmont (or attend a Westmont-related program) for one semester. If, after sitting out a semester, a student wishes to return, he or she will be required to reapply for admission. Because of full-enrollment, it is crucial that the admissions office be contacted for information regarding procedures and deadlines, and that these procedures and deadlines be met in a timely manner.