Worship & Community Life

Worship is at the heart of community life at SFTS. The Worship Team designs and hosts a diverse variety of worship experiences including daily chapel services and special events. This collaborative team includes the chaplain, the student chaplain’s assistants, and seminary musicians – with students, faculty, staff, and invited guests preaching and leading worship. Worship services are held four times a week during the academic year, daily during the summer term, and for special observances.

Services are held each day of the week during the academic year, except Wednesday, and begin at 12:05pm. All students, faculty and staff, as well as the greater community, are welcome to attend any and all services. Community Lunch is offered following Chapel services on Mondays and Fridays in Upper Alexander, starting at 12:35pm.

On Mondays and Fridays, the seminary worship services feature preaching (with faculty, students, staff, and guest preachers), and Friday’s worship also includes communion. Monday’s service takes place in Stewart Chapel, and Friday’s are in Montgomery Chapel.

On Tuesdays, we worship in Montgomery Chapel in the tradition of the Taizé community in France, joining together for prayer and worship through sung chant, Scripture, and silence.

On Thursdays, Worship Lab offers a space for students to experiment in worship.

Chaplain’s Office

SFTS is a community gathered to serve God’s people in the church and the world. Sharing a common life as a community is critically important to the Seminary experience. The Chaplain’s Office strives to nurture this experience of living in koinonia: a New Testament word for the fellowship, communion, and gathering of sisters and brothers in Christ. The two major functions of the Chaplain’s Office are to coordinate the worship life of the Seminary community and to provide pastoral care for its members. In addition to planning four weekly chapel services and special worship services as needed, the Chaplain’s Office also offers pastoral care, counseling, and support to members of the community in times of need. This ministry also includes referrals for assistance in times of hardship and the coordination of community support through prayer and loving service to those experiencing special needs. Rev. Scott Clark serves as the SFTS Chaplain, and can be contacted at sclark@sfts.edu.

Chaplain’s Assistants

The student chaplain’s assistants help the chaplain plan chapel and worship experiences for the SFTS community. The chaplain’s assistants are selected through an application process at the end of each academic year to serve the following year.

Pastoral Care Associate

Working with the Chaplain, Lucas Walker serves as Pastoral Care Associate to the student community. The Pastoral Care Associate is available for counseling and for referral to other campus and community support services.

Student Governance

Students play an important part in the shared governance of the Seminary through the Student Association (of which all students are automatically members) and its council, and through representation on faculty and trustee committees. Elections for these positions are coordinated by the outgoing Student Association Council and are held annually in the spring and fall.

Student Association Council

Each year, nine students are elected to the Student Association Council (SAC). The SAC is the advocacy and advisory body to the Seminary for all registered students. Acting as the voice of the students, the SAC sees that student concerns are addressed and insures students’ representation in governing bodies. The SAC works closely with the student/faculty committees and helps plan and facilitate a Student Association meeting each semester.

Student/Faculty Committees

The Student/Faculty Committees serve the needs of the campus community by addressing issues of concern to the community. These committees maintain a close working relationship with the Student Association Council.

Academic Concerns/Assessment Committee
The Academic Concerns/Assessment Committee meets monthly to discuss concerns related to the curriculum and teaching/learning process. Its special mandate is to monitor and facilitate the continuing process of assessment of our degree programs as required by the seminary’s accrediting organizations. Issues requiring action are referred from this committee to faculty and administration. Three students, ideally each from a different class level, are elected to this faculty committee.

Community Life Committee
The Community Life Committee is charged with the care and cultivation of the campus community by advocating for the concerns of students and their families, and by building community through events and activities. The CLC supports events such as potluck dinners, holiday events and off-campus excursions, and it advises and consults with administrators whose responsibilities lie in the area of the co-curricular environment. Three students are elected to the committee, but other students (and other members of the community) are welcome to participate as well. The Associate Dean for Student Life/Chaplain takes active part in this committee.

Student Representatives to the Board of Trustees

The Student Representatives to the Board of Trustee Committees represent the voice of the students to the SFTS Board. In addition to attending the Board Committee meetings, representatives are responsible for reporting back to the Student Association Council and/or the Student Association about the activities of the Committee. Students are elected as representatives on the following Board of Trustee Committees: Budget and Investment; Advancement; Faculty and Curriculum; Student Recruitment and Development; and Facilities.

Additional Student Positions

In addition to the above positions, students are also elected to serve on the Admissions Committee, as student representatives to the Seminary Auxiliary and the Alumni Council, and as Theological Student Advisory Delegates (TSAD) to the General Assembly.