Each Wednesday and Friday morning, ENC students listen to a sermon given by one of the many diverse speakers chosen for chapel.
Some students wonder who chooses the speakers and the topics spoken of during chapel.
ENC’s chaplain Corey MacPherson finalizes the chapel calendar for each semester. After sorting through the 75-100 requests from faculty, staff, and students, MacPherson narrows down the speakers to a concise schedule.
During this process, MacPherson keeps in mind the 33 denominations represented in the student body at ENC.
“We (ENC’s Office of Spiritual Development) want a culturally diverse chapel calendar represented by men and women from different backgrounds and Christian traditions,” MacPherson said. “My hope is that students will see, if not their own pastor or church leader speaking in chapel, someone from their own church tradition.”
MacPherson said he tries to make sure to include as many denominations as he can during the chapel calendar year.
“We have pastors from different Christian traditions − Holiness, Charismatic, Traditional, Social Justice and Evangelical − because these traditions reflect our student body,” MacPherson said.
Several students have questioned MacPherson about why certain topics like sex, homosexuality, and temptation are not mentioned frequently in chapel.
“I think that a lot of topics are swept under the rug here, and I think we should talk about them more,” junior Gabriell Borrero said. “I don’t think, as Christians, we should be advocating or promoting drinking or sex, but these things do happen and they should be talked about.”
MacPherson explained that addressing sexual topics in chapel is challenging because it cannot be a one-time discussion.
“Follow-up conversation is important and for that to happen, several departments and faculty must work together,” he said.
For this reason, a “Let’s Talk About Sex” (LTAS) committee was formed a few years ago to help address these very important issues surrounding sex and homosexuality.
Additionally, a new evening forum took place this past fall to discuss the temptation of pornography.
“Several offices worked together to make that happen and provided resources at the end where students had many options to turn for support, if needed,” MacPherson said.
Although there have been several complaints about not enough topics being addressed in chapel, some students do believe chapel speakers cover a full range of topics well.
“Honestly, I think we do a really good job hitting most of these topics, especially homosexuality and sex and things that Nazarenes are to abstain from,” junior Bethany Mohnkern said. “Perhaps they are thrown under the rug many times, but I think ENC has been doing a good job at bringing them out. I know that we are a more liberal school than many of the other Nazarene schools, and I think this is to our advantage when it comes to bringing up these topics.”
MacPherson said that overall “chapel at ENC is a time where the entire community stops and gathers to do one thing: worship God together. I believe the former Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple says it best: ‘All life ought to be worship … We know quite well there is no chance it will be worship unless we have times when we have worship and nothing else.'”