“The primary purpose of chapel is worship. In chapel, we come together three-times a week as a community of Christians to affirm our faith, to be encouraged in the Christian life, to pray for ourselves and the world, and to give praise and thanksgiving to our triune God. Since chapel is the only occasion that allows the entire student body to gather in one place, community-building is a secondary purpose of chapel. Thirdly, there is an educational dimension of chapel worship as an informal yet intentional curriculum allows for the consideration of a spectrum of theological, social, ethical, psychological, and political issues from a distinctively Christian and biblical perspective.” - Chaplain Stephen Kellough
Chapel attendance is required for all 2,400 undergraduate students. While attendance is mandatory, the spirit in chapel has been positive and upbeat. Some members of the faculty and staff regularly attend chapel, and there may be off-campus guests in attendance, although the number of visitors is usually small because of seating limitations. Chapel programming is oriented toward an audience of 18-22 year-old college students. Wheaton is truly interdenominational as students represent a variety of church traditions and denominations. The student body is geographically diverse with students coming from all 50 states and many foreign countries.
Chapel attendance is overseen by the Student Development Office. The attendance policy is designed to provide connection and dialogue around real life issues – personal and community. At each level of the policy a personal meeting is conducted. Nine unexcused absences are permitted each semester. Unexcused absences may be used to sleep, study, recover from illness, non-school related trips, irregular work schedules, interviews, car trouble and trips to the airport, etc. Unused unexcused absences do not carry over to future semesters.