Chapel Exemption Policy and Application

Office of Christian Formation

The JBU chapel program is returning to indoor services and normal requirements for Fall 2021 with some adjustments due to COVID-19. Please read below for information about the exemption policy currently in effect.

Chapel is considered an integral part of attending JBU and is required for all full-time and residential (on-campus) undergraduate students. As such, exemptions are rare and for exceptional situations. 

If a student has a special circumstance which will prevent regular chapel attendance, it is sometimes necessary to request an exemption.  Circumstances which might necessitate exemption include, for example, commuter students who live out of the Siloam Springs area and do not have classes on Tuesdays or Thursdays, or a disability which prevents attendance in person. 

Exemptions are not granted for extracurricular or academic activities which conflict with chapel, or because of a heavy class load or a busy schedule.  Students are provided with more than 50 chapel opportunities each semester and are expected to manage their absences accordingly so they can meet their requirement.

Exemption Policy

If a student has a special circumstance, he or she may submit an Application for Chapel Exemption to the Office of Christian Formation by the end of the first week of classes each semester. Your application should be submitted by Monday, August 30, 2021, in order to be considered for the Fall 2021 semester, and by Monday, January 17, 2022 for the Spring 2022 semester. (Late applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)

Exemption requests are considered individually and are subject to the final decision of the Chapel Exemption Committee. Exemptions are granted for one semester at a time, and are based upon exceptional circumstances and previous chapel attendance history. A student must reapply in subsequent semesters even if circumstances remain the same. The Chapel Exemption Committee limits exemption to a maximum of one full exemption or two partial exemptions during a student’s four years at JBU. Please note that COVID-related special accommodations granted in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 will not count against a student's total exemptions.

Students who are age 25 or older, or who feel they may otherwise qualify due to family and work situations usually associated with non-traditional students, may apply for a non-traditional exemption. This exemption waives 6 “additional” credits upon the submission of the Application for Chapel Exemption, which reduces the requirement for qualifying students to 15 “regular” chapels. Non-traditional students must reapply each semester, but there is no limit to the number of non-traditional exemptions a qualifying student can be granted.

There are no automatic exemptions. Please note that your application for exemption has not been granted until you receive notification from the Office of Christian Formation that it has been approved.

For the complete chapel policy, please see pages 31-33 of the JBU student handbook.

If you have questions about the exemption policy, please contact the Office of Christian Formation at 479.524.7213 or

Chapel Exemption Application

** Applications for Fall 2021 are now being accepted. **

  • This application cannot be saved so please review the form before starting to make sure you have all needed information.
  • If your application requires a lengthy response, you are advised to prepare it in a separate document and paste it into the application.
  • Do not check the confirmation box at the bottom of the form until you are ready to submit it.
  • You will be taken to a thank you page acknowledging your submission.
  • If you complete the application on a public computer, log off when you are finished to ensure the privacy of your information.

Questions about this form should be directed to the Office of Christian Formation at or (479) 524-7213.