Five ways APU students can use their 10 chapel absences to their advantage.

Chapel is an important element in Azusa Pacific University’s identity, especially as a Christian university. However, that doesn’t mean the school is blind to what goes on in their students’ lives. Anything can happen in 16 weeks, which is why undergraduate students are given 10 allowable absences. They can use them at any point in the semester with no questions asked. So, what are some of the best ways APU students can use their absences?

  1. Finals Week

One of the best ways that I like to use my chapel absences is right before finals week. There’s a reason why college students call this week “Dead Week”. It’s always full of assignments and tests that take up a lot of time and mental energy. Using one or two absences during this week helps me optimize my time before finals. 

  1. Vacation/Breaks

Another way to utilize your chapel absences is for vacation. Many students, including myself, like to take a few days off of school before a break or holiday. Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter are all times during the semester that I enjoy starting my breaks early if possible. Using your chapel absences to have a longer break from school to be with friends and family is always a treat. 

  1. Emergencies

Life is full of surprises, and you never know what could go wrong. You could be sick or stuck in traffic—the possibilities are endless. Having a few absences can be really useful in moments when you have an emergency. 

  1. Appointments

Appointments can be a pain to put into your schedule. As a student at APU, I already find it hard to find time to go to my classes, chapel, study, eat, work and have a social life. Adding an appointment to that schedule is even harder. Using a chapel absence to talk with a professor, see my doctor or talk with my employer is super helpful because my weeks are so busy. 

  1. Sleep

Sometimes you’re just tired. Trust me, I’ve had those days where you sleep through an alarm…or three. Whether you choose to sleep in or it just happens, having a chapel absence to spare in those moments can be helpful. Save one or two for when this does happen so you don’t have to worry about going over your absence limit. 

While it’s nice to have 10 absences to use, it’s important to remember to not exceed that number. APU policy states that students are subject to disciplinary action if they don’t comply with the chapel requirement. For the 2023-24 academic year, APU has not posted the noncompliance fees and requirements for chapel. Last year, APU stated that students would be subject to a $200 fine for chapel noncompliance.

Before you get to your 10th absence, APU will send emails reminding you how many allowable absences you have left. There are other options if you don’t want to use a chapel absence in cases where you are sick or have an emergency. Optional chapels are provided in the same week for those who need to make up for an absence. Students who commute, work or have a core-required internship may also be excused from chapel with proper documentation. Learn more about chapel requirements and expectations here

There’s no right or wrong way to use your chapel absences, but this list could help you plan ahead. Some students would prefer to not use any of their chapel absences, while others use all 10. Hopefully, this article gave you a few ideas on how to use your chapel absences sparingly.