Abandon Chapel at Christian Colleges and Seminaries

Tuesday is for Preaching

Calvin College ChapelWe might as well abandon chapel at our Christian Colleges and Seminaries. We fill them with drivel. Announcements about campus thing this, or denominational thing that, or district thing this, or student/faculty thing that. We let speakers speak who seem to be interested in entertaining or promoting rather than exalting the Risen Savior.


John Piper puts it well:

“Our people need to hear God-entranced preaching. They need someone, at least once a week, to lift up his voice and magnify the supremacy of God. . . . most of our people have no one in the world to tell them, week in and week out, about the supreme beauty and majesty of God.”

John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching, p. 11-12.

I can’t say Amen loud enough on this brilliant observation by Dr. Piper. This is one of my main beefs with almost every Christian College and Seminary chapel in America.

Stop allowing chapel to be boring.

Stop making chapel at our Christian colleges and Seminaries something that has to be endured with your endless announcements and politically correct list of speakers. Don’t let just anyone preach there. Only let those communicators who can enthrall the heart of our brightest minds with an intoxicating vision of Jesus.

Make chapel a “can’t miss” experience for every student. Inspire them with a vision of Jesus that makes them go out the door saying,

“I will do anything, I will go anywhere, I will endure anything for the glorious Lord and Savior I just saw in the message of that chapel speaker.”

And pastors, do that every Sunday. Make that your goal every Sunday. Some will hate you. Do it anyway because Jesus is worth it.

School is out for the summer. If you are a Christian College Alum and you think this post is anywhere close to the mark, send the link to whoever it is at your alma mater who organizes chapel and challenge them to plan on something different and more challenging for the fall.

I was due a good rant.

6 thoughts on “Abandon Chapel at Christian Colleges and Seminaries

  1. I can especially remember two times when the preacher’s message was so passionate, so on fire in preaching about our glorious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that those two experiences have been burned into my memory more clearly than all others – not that I remember the text of the messages, but I remember very clearly experiencing my glorious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


  2. It is depressing that the two respondents who went to Christians Colleges (Rusty and Stephen) both have similar stories to tell about their chapel experience.

    Paul, my prayer is that not only you but more church attenders everywhere would have those two experiences you wrote of on a regular basis in their corporate worship times where the word is preached.


  3. My chapel experience at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Louisville, Ky, was part of the great blessing in my time there. We just lost one of the worship leaders, professor Chip Stam, who was very influential to my family. Those who preached there always challenged us, theologically, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I am very grateful that SBTS live streams and archives their chapel services, so I can still be blessed from 400 miles away!



    1. Tracy, Praising God for your experience at SBTS. It is heartening to hear. may God change the experience of many to approximate yours in the myriad of Bible Colleges and Christian Liberal Arts Colleges around the country.


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