Prepared by the Chapel and Spiritual Life Committee
Anderson University School of Theology
Definition and Purpose of Worship
Corporate worship is a designed celebration which expresses the church's covenantal responsiveness to the Triune God.
Its shape is influenced by the relationship that each Christian fellowship has to Scripture, to the church's liturgical tradition and practice, to its own cultural context, and to its resources.
We, the Anderson University School of Theology, gather to worship in Miller Chapel regularly to the end that . . .
|we share in corporate adoration, praise, and thanksgiving to the Triune God;||(GOD)|
|we unite in prayers of gratitude, repentance, petition, intercession, and commitment in response to what God has done in Christ;||(PRAYER)|
|we are instructed, strengthened, judged, forgiven, and healed by Jesus Christ as his Gospel is proclaimed in Word and Deed by the power of the Holy Spirit;||(GOSPEL)|
|we are being formed into a community of the Lord Jesus Christ — a community of devotion to God, love for others, and disciplined involvement in the divine mission;||(COMMUNITY)|
|we are nurtured as persons-within-community, each contributing his or her gifts to the well-being of the whole seminary community and the community contributing to the well-being of each member;||(NURTURE)|
|we increase our appreciation of the richness of the Christian heritage in worship — a heritage with a long history and many diverse expressions including those church traditions and perspectives that are represented in our seminary community;||(HERITAGE)|
|we are renewed in our commitment to the Christian ministry within a seminary setting that includes the disciplines of study, analysis, spiritual formation, reflection, and service;||(MINISTRY)|
|we hold the beauty of God's holiness and beauty of God's work in creation, history, and redemption;||(BEAUTY)|
|we grow in appreciation of a variety of artistic expressions and symbols of the Christian faith.||(SYMBOLS)|
Working Principles of the Chapel and Spiritual Life Committee
- We view regular chapel attendance as a discipline that is essential to the spiritual, intellectual, and missional character of our life together.
- We seek to develop appreciation for corporate worship forms and resources new to us.
- We desire to stay in touch with our own church heritage as a seminary.
- We pray that we will be intentionally sensitive to the Holy Spirit's development of new forms of corporate worship that are unique for us.
- We hold that Christian worship should lead to Christian mission and mission should lead to worship.
- We work on the assumption that the worship of a community of faith is most creative when there is a balance between regularized elements and occasional elements, between the familiar and unfamiliar, between the traditional and the non-traditional.
- We seek to maintain an openness to the suggestions, criticisms, and observations of the whole community.
- As we plan and lead worship we have the responsibility to think in terms of ministry to every person in the community.
- We recognize that no one type or mode of worship can satisfy the diverse preferences of our community.
- We intentionally introduce diverse and creative worship expressions and resources that will be helpful to students' current and future ministries.
- We work toward both the increase of congregational participation in worship and the decrease of performance aspects.
- As a seminary community, we desire to learn about worship and to develop skills in facilitating meaningful worship, even as we plan and lead chapel services.
- We seek for breadth in perspectives and variety in leadership when designing the chapel schedule. Our intention is to be inclusive as "we reach our hands in fellowship."
- We intend to participate in the Lord's Supper at least once a month.
We understand our work to be in harmony with the statement in the Student Handbook:
"Worship is at the heart of preparation for ministry; thus, it is at the center of life in the School of Theology. The community worships together. . . in Adam W. Miller Chapel. . . . All students and faculty are expected to attend regularly. During these chapel hours, sermons are given by ministers-in-residence, faculty members, local church leaders, other guests and students. Faculty and students share worship leadership. Creative forms of worship bring new ways to experience God and Christian community. . . . The Chapel and Spiritual Life Committee plans and maintains oversight of chapel programming and other events and concerns which may be developed for the regular cultivation of the spiritual life of all who comprise the seminary community. This committee is composed of both students and faculty."
(This document was originally developed and published by the Chapel and Spiritual Life Committee, 1985; and was adopted and revised by the Chapel and Spiritual Life Committee, 1999.)