Beginning Monday, Jan. 24, Abilene Christian University offices will close at 11 a.m. on each first school day of the week so faculty and staff can join students in Chapel in Moody Coliseum.
ACU students are required to attend daily Chapel – and have been for more than a century – but faculty and staff attended as time allowed. A Jan. 12 email from president Dr. Phil Schubert (’91) directs university offices to close on Mondays so the Abilene Christian family can be together. An excerpt:
“Since 1906, daily Chapel has been one of the unique and identifying Christian traditions here at ACU. Chapel offers the opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to experience Christian community and spiritual transformation through worship, prayer, the reading of God’s Word, and spiritually-focused teaching.
“Each fall at the Faculty Blessing Luncheon for freshmen, the following statement is read to our new students:
‘As ACU faculty and staff members, we accept the challenge to demonstrate intellectual, Christian and social leadership that can be imitated as we support and participate in Chapel and various campus, community and church activities.’
“As faculty and staff at a faith-based university, our presence is needed in Chapel if we are to live up to this important challenge. We believe there is significant value in our gathering as community as we begin each work week. We are convinced that a time of worship together will glorify our Creator while encouraging each of us and our students on our Christian journeys.”
A Jan. 13 story in the print edition of the Abilene Reporter-News made it appear that only students were required to attend, but an updated story in an online edition clarified the university’s new stance.