Spiritual Formation Policy

Spiritual Formation Event Credit Requirement

The University desires that students engage in Spiritual Formation experiences as a significant mission-focused aspect of their education while attending ACU. An approved menu of spiritual formation opportunities is offered on the SFE Calendar to guide students in meeting ACU’s required spiritual formation credits.
Student Life, and specifically the Spiritual Formation/Chapel Office are charged with the responsibility to honor and maintain the integrity of this
requirement.

Credit Requirements

Undergraduate students under the age of 25 are required to earn 55  spiritual formation event credits each semester of full-time enrollment (12 or more hours). Exemptions may be granted for student teaching or for some work-related reasons. However, with multiple opportunities to earn credits at various times during each week of the semester, exemptions are not common.

A typical student would need to earn an average of 4 credits per week for 14 weeks of the semester to complete his/her requirement.

  • The 11-11:30 am time slot is reserved for daily chapel experiences M-F at ACU. Many students choose to attend Moody Chapel three days per week at 11 am to earn most of their credits. If a student chooses to attend one (1) small group chapel each week in addition to attending Moody Chapels, meeting the requirement is simple.
  • Other approved spiritual formation events are offered during each week at times other than 11-11:30 am. These programs are approved in advance by the Spiritual Formation/Chapel Office and are listed on the SFE Calendar


Events that Qualify for Credit

Students are required to earn 55 credits through attendance at approved spiritual formation events each semester. Each regularly-scheduled event counts toward the 55 credits. Spiritual formation credit can be earned through these scheduled events:

1. Moody Chapel on MWF at 11 am
2. Small Group Experiences on T or TH at 11 am
3. Approved events throughout the week
4. Small group Bible study, prayer groups, worship experiences
5. Weekly Faith in Action community service
6. Approved events during the semester
7. Spiritual Formation Series events on various topics
8. One-time events with special speakers on faith, calling, service,
and/or discipleship

Approved events may be found on the SFE Calendar

Exemption Requests

Spiritual formation event credits are offered each semester at many different times and locations, so the minimum number of credits can be earned even if a student is required to work during the 11:00 a.m. hour each day of the week. Exemption requests are handled on an individual basis.

Important reminders:

1. The process and required forms for exemptions are available on the Spiritual Formation web site and in the Spiritual Formation/Chapel Office.
2. Students requesting an exemption must submit a new Exemption Request each semester.
3. In order to receive the full number of exemptions, the exemption must be processed within the first two weeks of any semester, or within two weeks from the beginning date of any reason given for the exemption (new employment, diagnosed chronic illness, etc.). Students must submit evidence of the reason for the exemption; e.g., letter from new employer on company letterhead, doctor’s note, etc.
4. Failure to submit an exemption request by the appropriate deadline may result in a student’s failure to earn enough credits for the semester. Exemption requests received after the first two weeks of the semester will be prorated (to a reduced number of credits) if they are approved.
5. A student who is approved for a 5 day-per-week exemption will still be required to earn 5 credits.

Daily Spiritual Formation Events at ACU

The university desires that students engage in regular spiritual formation events as a significant experience in their education while attending ACU. ACU’s Board of Trustees has prioritized daily opportunities for students:

"Because chapel is important to the institutional identity and Christ-centered focus of the university, the President will not operate without required daily chapel activities for full-time undergraduate students." (Board Policy Manual 2.8)

Spiritual Formation Event Schedule and Attendance Procedures

Moody Chapel meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. during the fall and spring semesters, except on university-approved holidays (Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Spring Break, and Good Friday). Chapel on the first day of classes during the fall semester is the official Opening Assembly for the university.

Attendance for Chapel in Moody Coliseum is registered by sliding a student ID through one of the card readers between 10:45 and 11:03 a.m. and again within 10 minutes after Chapel is dismissed.

Small Group Chapels of all sizes and interests meet on Tuesday and Thursdays from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m. A detailed list of these events can be found on the SFE Calendar.

Attendance for small group chapels is taken by signing in on an attendance form, or sliding a student ID through a card reader before the event begins. Faculty/staff sponsor or the designated event contact can provide additional onsite details for successful check-in.

Service Experiences

Students who serve regularly (once per week) in a local non-profit may apply for Faith in Action credit and receive one credit per week for their service experience. Faith in Action applications must be submitted within the first two weeks of the semester in order to receive the full 15 hours of credit.
One time service experiences may count for credit, but only if they are approved as spiritual formation events. A faculty/staff sponsor must submit the online spiritual formation event application at least 7 days in advance of the event to be considered for approval.

Guidelines for Registering Your Attendance at Spiritual Formation Events

Moody Coliseum

For Chapel events located in Moody Coliseum, a student must slide his or her card at the beginning and again at the end of Chapel in order to be counted present. Attendance is not registered for any student sliding in late or sliding out early.

In Moody Coliseum, an official from the Spiritual Formation/Chapel Office slides an administrative ID card through a card reader after the closing prayer. Any student who slides his or her card before this official time stamp will not receive attendance credit.

All other Spiritual Formation Event locations

Attendance for approved events (including Departmental Chapels) that meet outside of Moody Coliseum, Cullen Auditorium or Chapel on the Hill is registered by signing in on an attendance form.

Consequences for Failure to Fulfill Spiritual Formation Event Credit Requirements

Students are responsible for monitoring their credits online.

The Spiritual Formation/Chapel Office strongly recommends that students check their credit balance on a weekly basis.

Students who have questions or concerns regarding their credit balance are encouraged to contact the Spiritual Formation/Chapel Office by phone
(325-674-2867), email (chapel@acu.edu), or in person. The office is located in the lower level of the Campus Center rm. 42.

Upon the completion of any semester, students who did not attain sufficient credits will be placed on Chapel probation and notified by email to their ACU email account during finals week. Students placed on Chapel probation may contact the Spiritual Formation/Chapel Office with any questions. This process is outlined in the email..

Chapel Attendance Probation

Failure to meet the credit requirement may result in Chapel Probation. When a student is placed on Chapel probation, this status is in effect for the following full semester. During the semester of probation a student will be restricted from participation in certain extracurricular activities, including but not limited to all student productions, intramurals, leadership positions, and/or award nominations.

Deferred Chapel Probation

Failure to meet the credit requirement may result in Deferred Chapel Probation. Deferred Probation may be offered to a student who (1) has earned at least 80% of his/her required credits and (2) is not already on Chapel Probation or Deferred Chapel Probation.

Chapel Integrity Violations

Students are not permitted to slide someone else’s card to indicate attendance, slide their own cards and not attend all of Chapel, sign-in on attendance forms and leave the chapel, or sign-in for someone else who is not in attendance. A “slide and glide” first offense will result in a mandatory meeting with the Spiritual Formation/Chapel Office and may result in being placed on conduct probation. Upon a second occurrence a student will be placed on conduct probation and required to meet with the Dean of Students.

Special Requests for Spiritual Formation Event Credit

Any curriculum-based, special, or non-small group requests for spiritual formation credit must be submitted online by a faculty or staff member using the Spiritual Formation Event Credit application.