Spiritual Life at Houghton is designed to create a rhythm of Biblically-based worship practices that sustains our life together and helps students, faculty and staff encounter God and live deeply Christian lives.
The main way this happens is through chapel. Chapel meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:05-11:45 AM. Students, faculty and staff join together to worship through various types of song and hearing the Word of God read and preached. Speakers come from both on and off campus, and the music is quite varied, ranging from traditional hymnody to our chapel house band to gospel music to contemplative piano/guitar/cello music. Students are required to attend 2/3 of chapel services, but we encourage students to attend them all as a way of building reflection and worship into their day.
In addition, every day that classes meet we have morning prayer at 8 AM and evening prayer at 4:45 PM. During morning prayer, we read Old and New Testament Scriptures, sing a hymn and pray. In the evening we sing a song, offer a prayer of confession and read the Word together. MercySeat, a student-led service of acoustic praise and worship music as well as Scripture reading, meets at 8 PM every day classes are in session. Morning and evening prayer and MercySeat are totally optional.
Between the four services, there are 504 opportunities to gather for corporate worship every academic year in Houghton—those that involve themselves often grow spiritually in significant ways.
On Sunday night, Koinonia (another student-led service of praise and worship music) meets.
Each year, Spiritual Life holds a few special events:
CLEW (Christian Life Emphasis Week) meets during the 2nd week of classes during the fall semester. The purpose of CLEW is to help us engage and grow spiritually.
The Faith and Justice Symposium is held in late September, and encourages us to think about how our faith intersects with global issues.
New Vision Week is run by students in the student organization,Global Christian Fellowship, usually in late October. We hear missionaries from around the world talk about what God is doing through the work of missionaries around the world.
During the third week of the spring semester, Praxis week helps us think through a particular theological issue and how it impacts our life together in Houghton. In the last few years, themes have included “feasting and fasting,” “solitude and community” and “freedom and responsibility.”
In addition, regular church attendance and participation in the life of a church community is strongly encouraged!