Does My Heart Beat with the ‘Heartbeat of Campus’?

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June 14, 2021 by

It was a really busy time. Amid a really hectic semester, I was trying to prepare to travel back home for my older sister’s wedding. I was feeling the crunch and was super stressed on how I was going to get it all done. On that particular day, I needed just a little bit extra time to get it all done, so I wouldn’t have to stay up late that evening. So, I made the decision that in my mind was the best solution: skip chapel. The thought of having an entire hour of my morning used up going to chapel just seemed to be more than I could bear. So, I skipped. Only to find out later that day that Dr. Estes, my personal favorite Bible professor, had shared an amazingly powerful message. I continued to hear how amazing that message was weeks later. After hearing all the amazing feedback, I was super sad that I had decided to skip chapel that day. Sure, I could go back and watch it online (which I did eventually do) but it wasn’t the same. I missed out on what some people said to be “the best chapel of the year.”

Before you even step foot on campus, you are likely to hear that chapel is the “heartbeat of campus.” And as a junior at Cedarville University, can I just say, this statement is 100% accurate. Chapel is the unifying bow on top that ties Cedarville closer to Christ. As you prepare to move on campus in August, you should know what to expect from chapel. 

Chapel meets every Monday through Friday in the Jeremiah Chapel, located in the DMC (Dixon Ministry Center). Chapel meets from 10-10:50 a.m., and it is required. As a student enrolled at Cedarville University, you are permitted up to eight skips per semester. After your eighth skip, you begin to get tally marks on your chapel records. After every fifth tally, you are issued a fine. But don’t let that scare you; eight skips should be more than enough to get you through a semester. It may also be helpful to note that you will scan into the chapel when you arrive. By scanning in, the Chapel Records Office will be able to note that you are present. 

You never know when a particular message will speak to you. And it will be different for every person, so let that encouragement be enough for you to want to go to chapel. Believe me, there are certainly times when I don’t have a burning desire to go to chapel, but I am always glad that I do. 

Now you may be freaking out, thinking how do I get the most out of that hour every day? Below are just a few strategies for getting the most out of your daily chapel experience. 

  • Go into chapel in a spirit of prayer and worship
  • Sit somewhere that will help mitigate distractions
  • Take notes
  • Talk about how God spoke to you at chapel with a friend/mentor 
  • Fight to stay awake during chapel
  • Go!

That last point may sound like a “no duh” moment. But it is so true. You will be tempted to skip chapel. Ask any student on campus at Cedarville University, and they will agree. There are times that they are tempted to skip chapel. But if you attend chapel, you will never regret it. Daily chapel is the heartbeat of campus. And yes, your heart will still beat if you decide to skip the heartbeat of campus, but it will beat a little differently. When you feel like skipping chapel, I encourage you to ask yourself one question: Does my heart beat with the heartbeat of campus? 

It was a really busy time amid a crazy COVID semester. Due to COVID safety protocols, we students had to sit on the floor in the field house. And on that particular day, sitting on the hard ground for an hour was not super appealing to me. Nevertheless, I decided not to skip chapel that day. And that Wednesday was a day of worship. The songs and scriptures shared during that hour was so uplifting for me. It was a beautiful time of worshiping the Lord alongside my Cedarville family. Walking out of the field house that day, I felt a peace come over me. Yes, there was still a stressful semester to finish up, but chapel uplifted my spirits and gave me a renewed strength for the day. 

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