Spiritual Life Policy

Northwest University Spiritual Life Attendance Policy

As a Christian institution, Northwest University is committed to the enterprise of student development and therefore, is intentional about providing a Christ-centered environment influencing every endeavor and every person at this university. The spiritual, intellectual, social, and physical development of all students is the primary focus of the University. Northwest University encourages all students to be actively growing in their relationship with Jesus Christ and to be living lives worthy of their calling. We believe that sanctification is an on-going process and that students will struggle from time-to-time in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, we believe that there are four components to spiritual formation, and we provide opportunities for students to grow in all four areas:

  • Personal Growth – Facilitated through devotions, Scriptural study, and prayer
  • Relational Connection – Facilitated through Life Groups
  • Corporate Worship – Facilitated through chapel services, Pursuit, and conferences
  • Global Engagement – Facilitated through Local and Global Missions opportunities

At the very core of our spiritual formation is the personal time we spend with God and meditating on His Word. This focus leads to many aspects of personal health, including mental and emotional health and seeing ourselves from God’s perspective. When we understand ourselves and have a positive view of who we are in Christ, then we can begin to build healthy relationships around us, encouraging and building one another up in holiness. When we have strong, Christ-centered relationships with each other, our time in corporate worship can be a time of praying for our community, worshipping as the body of Christ, and growing together as a family. Out of our growth in corporate worship and through relationship building, we develop a desire to serve others and share Jesus Christ in our neighborhoods, our city, and our world.

Spiritual Life Participation as a Core Value of Northwest University

Attendance and participation in the wide variety of Spiritual Life opportunities at Northwest is a required component of attending this university and is integral to students’ development. Through a variety of formats, students, faculty, and staff join together to integrate faith, learning, and living throughout their time at NU. These times challenge, motivate, and encourage the Northwest community through personal devotions, dynamic worship, inspirational messages, fellowship within the body, and service to the community beyond NU. A variety of guests, faculty, administrators, student speakers, and musicians provide opportunities for students to be involved in praise, prayer, preaching/teaching, and putting into practice God’s Word. Spiritual growth as a community fosters a lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ and His Word, builds His church, and reinforces the common bond that the Holy Spirit uses to unify the generations of alumni who pass through Northwest University.

Spiritual Life Requirements and Opportunities

All full-time, traditional undergraduate students are required to attain 35 Spiritual Life credits per semester, unless approval is granted by the Spiritual Life committee for a credit adjustment. Students are expected to arrange their schedule to meet the required credits. Exemptions are not available for homework, busy schedules, lunch, on- or off-campus work schedules, and/or study purposes. As with all other required courses at Northwest, it is the student’s responsibility to do what is needed to meet the attendance requirements. Students must register for one of the two CLIF 1790 Chapel courses during registration.

Spiritual Life credit opportunities are formed in such a way as to encourage students to take ownership of all four components of spiritual formation. Students have choices as to how they will reach their 35 spiritual life credits for the semester through the following opportunities:

Personal Devotions:

Students must use the assigned Campus Ministries devotional for the year they are in, and complete a journal of at least 3 entries guided by the devotional per week of the semester. Journals turned in at the end of the semester to the Campus Ministries office and accepted by the Spiritual Life committee will count for 5 Spiritual Life credits.

Life Groups:

Meet at various times during the week and cover various topics. Students can attain one Life Group credit per week. Students enrolled in UCOR who attend their small group will receive their life group credit this way. More information about Life Groups can be found on the Campus Ministries’ Eagle page under “Life Groups”.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Chapels in Butterfield Chapel:

  • CLIF 1790 Section 01 – 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • CLIF 1790 Section 02 – 11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Monday Night Pursuit in Butterfield Chapel:

  • 8:30-10:00 p.m.

Local Missions:

  • Various opportunities offered weekly, as advertised by the Campus Ministries office. Students can attain one Local Missions credit per week.

Extra opportunities:

  • At least 5 opportunities outside the Campus Ministries office will be approved for Spiritual Life credit each semester. These events are proposed by departments, professors, or students. They may be lectures, interactive events, and/or conferences. Requests for spiritual life credit for an event can be submitted to the Spiritual Life Attendance Committee using the form on Eagle.

Recording Spiritual Life Attendance

Attendance is recorded through scans or manual entry by appointed leadership on the My Attendance site, which can be found on the Campus Ministries’ Eagle page.

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Chapel and Pursuit attendance is taken by each student scanning their card prior to the service and scanning it again when the service is dismissed. Scanning begins 15 minutes before the services, and ends 15 minutes after. Students who arrive more than 10 minutes late will not be scanned. Attendance will be uploaded within 24 hours of a service.
  • Life Group attendance is recorded by Life Group leaders electronically through the MyAttendance site. Updates are visible to group members immediately.
  • Local Missions and Extra Opportunities attendance is recorded by the event organizer and turned into the Campus Ministries’ office. Students’ names and ID numbers are both required. This will be uploaded onto MyAttendance within 24 hours of reception.

If a student scans their ID card at the beginning of chapel, leaves during the service, and returns at the end to re-scan their ID card, in an effort to make it appear that they attended chapel, they will receive an immediate Spiritual Life credit failure for the semester.

Campus Ministries is unable to give credit without a student ID card. Should a student forget or lose their card, they will be encouraged to make up that credit through other opportunities. Lost or forgotten cards may be replaced through Information Technology, found in the Barton Building.

Students are expected to keep track of their spiritual life attendance records on the My Attendance site, and have five days following a service to email slattendance@northwestu.edu if they think they mistakenly did not receive credit for a service or event that they attended.

Spiritual Life Credit Adjustments

Since attendance is the standard and not absenteeism, Northwest does not have a process to excuse absences for personal reasons (e.g., common illnesses, work, appointments). However, a specific chapel session can be excused for participation in athletics or other NU co-curricular activities by request from the faculty advisor and/or coach, if the request is made in advance of the absence and approved through the Provost’s office.

Students must manage their schedule to meet the required 35 credits through the available opportunities. The number of opportunities offered covers all eventualities, including but not limited to illnesses, doctor appointments, field trips, academic meetings, prolonged classes for testing or other activities, family emergencies, court appearances, or other emergencies (traffic, car trouble, late arrival on campus, etc.)

An adjustment of required credits may be considered by the Spiritual Life Attendance committee for students who complete the Spiritual Life Credit Adjustment Request (found under Resources and Forms on the Campus Ministries’ Eagle page), and return it to the Campus Ministries office or email it to slattendance@northwestu.edu. Forms are due two weeks after school begins each semester. Students must fill out the full form and include a screenshot of their class schedule from Self-Service. To be considered for an adjustment, students must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Off-campus students who do not have classes before 1:30 p.m. on chapel days (M, W, F)
  • Student-parents who are responsible for caring for their small child(ren) during the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday chapel hours
  • Students involved in student teaching, nursing clinicals, or other practicum assignments that conflict with the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday chapel hours OR classes they must take during both chapel hours. In these cases, the adjustment request must be signed by their advisor and by the Academic Success and Advising office.
  • Other reason for adjustment (a full explanation must be attached to the request).

All students are expected to participate in Spiritual Life activities regularly until they are notified of the Spiritual Life Attendance committee’s decision regarding their adjustment request.

Spiritual Life Credit Failure

Spiritual Life credit and participation are vital to this Christian community. Therefore, students who choose not to meet the Spiritual Life credit requirement are held accountable through the following process:

All students participating in leadership, music ministries, debate teams, drama, athletic teams, ministry teams, student leadership and/or any extra-curricular activities must maintain a passing Spiritual Life credit record during the semester of participation and the semester immediately prior to participation. Failure to do so will result in immediate suspension from participation, and inability to be considered for future leadership positions at NU.

If, at the end of the semester, a student has less than the required number of Spiritual Life credits, (s)he will be charged $25 per spiritual life credit not attained. This fee will be applied to the student’s account and registration and ability to receive transcripts will be put on hold until the fee is paid. The maximum fee a student can be charged is $500. Students will be notified via email of their failure and the fee applied to their account when the semester concludes.