“Chapel and Convocation are the Milligan community’s time to come together in worship, prayer and reflection on Scripture. It is an intentional pause in the middle of the busyness of other important pursuits, to remember and retell what our God has done and promised to do in Christ, and to consider our own calling in light of the Gospel. As we faithfully engage in such practices, God is faithful to form us into a people who are His own, defined by mercy (1 Peter 2:10).”
-Brad Wallace, Campus Minister
The spiritual formation program (SFP) is a foundational aspect of Milligan’s curriculum. To meet the SFP requirement, students attain 150 credits before graduation. Credits can be gained by attending chapel, convocation, and designated events and trips. Events include panel discussions, lectures, service projects, and more. It is up to you when you get these credits as long as you get 150 by the time you graduate. If you treat chapel and convo like a class your freshman and sophomore years, you will have no trouble completing the requirement. However, SFP is more than a requirement. It is a central part of Milligan’s curriculum, structure, and beliefs.
Chapel and convo
Chapel is every Thursday and convocation occurs every other Tuesday at 11 am. On those days, this time slot is completely set aside on campus. There are no practices, classes, or meetings offered during this period. Chapel and convo are not mandatory on a weekly basis, though the opportunities are always available.
Our campus ministry team works hard to provide many other SFP opportunities. There are mission trips, retreats, and service projects many weekends throughout the semester. There are also many panel discussions, lectures, and other events that happen throughout the week in the evenings. There is no reason to be overwhelmed trying to get your credits, but it is about so much more than the credits.
Milligan believes that discovering what it means to be human cannot be separated from learning about God. This is an integral part of all classes at Milligan because it is an integral part of life and the pursuit of growth and knowledge. Chapel and Convo, in particular, are the tie between all other aspects of Milligan. In this space, there is unity as the student body pursues God.
Not just an extra task
SFP is not simply an additional requirement. SFP creates a gracious time and space for the things of the spirit to be renewed as our focus. It allows for a different setting and arena in which to relate to peers so that one may connect in academic as well as spiritual spheres of life. This time can be used for incredible personal growth and insight. SFP creates the chance to dive into aspects of life that often are avoided in the busyness of life.
Still find a local church!
Milligan does not have any Sunday services. Finding a home church is so important during your college years. It’s ok to take your time to float around and see what the body of Christ looks like as a whole; however, getting connected somewhere off campus can be the most crucial part of your spiritual development during your college years. In the Milligan College Student Handbook students are encouraged in this area; “finding a church home is an important component of spiritual growth as it opens up opportunities for service, worship, and intergenerational connection beyond campus.”
The SFP program is such a central part of the Milligan experience and mission. The chapel is not only at the physical center of campus, it is the literal center of who we are and what we do.
“Milligan College seeks to honor God by educating men and women to be servant-leaders. Convocation and Chapel help to serve as anchors for that mission. Breaking from the academic pursuit twice per week helps us remember two key elements. Coming together as a college community to encounter God in worship reminds us of our desire as a college to honor God. We gather as one family to look to God and looking to God prompts us to look to others as their servants. Convocation and Chapel help ground our academic efforts in the desire to honor God and be servant leaders.”
-Ron Kastens, Director of Ministry Leadership Program
See the full statement of faith on Milligan’s website at https://www.milligan.edu/academics/a-christ-centered-college/.
Written by Abbie Russell (’21)