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Book Chapels

"I invite you to an experience one educator described as the most meaningful experience he had last Spring semester. That is to lead a Book Chapel. We have been experimenting with a model that seems to be particularly attractive to those with a tendency toward the "scholar quadrant" of the Spiritual Formation model. The feedback from these "trial" opportunities has been overwhelmingly positive from both students and faculty." Eldon Fry, Former College Pastor


Q. What is a book chapel?

A. It is an educator led group of students who meet to discuss a particular book selected by the educator.

Q. Do students receive chapel credit?

A. Yes, students receive one chapel credit for each session they attend. Educators will be responsible for maintaining attendance and submitting a final list of student names, ID's and total number of sessions attended to College Ministries—Box 3032. In order for students' attendance files to be updated in a timely manner, this information must be relayed to our office within one week of the last meeting... and no later than the last Common chapel date held during the semester.

Q. How often and when does it meet?

A. Students will receive one chapel credit for each meeting attended. Educators may hold as many as 12 sessions or as few as 4. They can meet any time of the day that works for the educator and participants. It is key that the educator establish the meeting times.

Q. How do I find students to participate?

A. You may recruit students that you know through social networking, by sending a mass email, or other means that seem appropriate to you.  College Ministries may also be able to refer students to you.

Q. How many students should be in a book chapel?

A. Typically 6-12 works well because it gives opportunity for personal involvement and formation.

Q. How do I select the book?

A. Several Book Chapels have been led by authors.  Others are books of interest to the educator, books authored by campus guests, books enjoyed by affinity groups or books of the Bible.

Q. What are my responsibilities as an educator?

A. An educator needs to apply using the Book Chapel form.  Be present for each session (an educator may ask a student to lead the discussion but still needs to be present). Submit a list of participants who have signed up, take attendance, and collect the cost of the book from each student or $10 (whichever is less). Submit money (checks payable to Messiah College) to College Ministries—Box 3032. Complete evaluation/feedback form.

Q. What do I need to do to have a book chapel?

A. Select a book (can be a book of the Bible), complete the Book Chapel form and send it to College Pastor, Don Opitz, Box 3032. Recruit students, set a time and place, collect book fees, send an attendance report to College Ministries and evaluate the experience at the end of the meetings.

Q. How does chapel credit work?

A. We give a chapel credit for each session attended.

Q. Do I have to purchase books?

A. No, students should either pay the cost of the book or $10, whichever is less. College Ministries will order the books for you.  Please allow enough time for the order to be processed and received.  College Ministries can provide scholarships for books, if needed.  Please make note of scholarships granted when forwarding monies to College Ministries.