Music and corporate worship are integral parts of campus life at Patrick Henry College. The student body gathers for chapel every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to hear a message from scripture and to worship through song. The Chapel Guild, composed entirely of students, is broken down into groups of three to six people. Each smaller group is under the direction of a student leader. Guild groups are responsible for combining the elements of worship into thoughtful sequences which encourage participation. Additionally, the guild leader is responsible for directing worship each chapel service. All of the Guild groups meet corporately on a weekly basis with Dr. Steven McCollum to discuss the meaning and significance of worship in the church and how the chapel program can be improved.
Chapel Guild members are characterized by stewardship, hearts for service, and a desire to encourage fellow students in the gospel. If possible, students are expected to serve in their three to six person Guild group for a full year.
This may seem little different than a “Worship Team,” but the Guild has a distinct organizational philosophy built on cooperation, community, and mentorship.
“Historically, the function of a guild has been to organize and solidify a group with similar interests or vocations (often artistic in nature) in order to realize and perpetuate high standards.
A guild was populated by both individuals who were acknowledged experts in their vocation or handicraft and those who were working toward the level of master craftsmen.
It is this historically-proven model which Patrick Henry College has chosen to use, in conjunction with a Classical curriculum, to prepare its students to become the master craftsmen in our culture. This model fits particularly well when applied to the office of worship leader because of its artistic and service-oriented nature.
On one hand, a worship leader must be trained to be an excellent musician so that the vehicle of our expression does not interfere with the expression itself. On the other hand, a worship leader needs to understand that he is part of a ‘musical diaconate’ (Acts 6) which must not only meet the practical needs of the body, but also qualify as confirmed spiritual leaders. The intersection of these characteristics within the office of a worship leader underscores the efficacy of this pedagogical model as we seek to train up musical leaders who will move on to lead with integrity in the local church.”
Members of the Chapel Guild have a great deal of freedom when planning worship for the campus. However, in order to respect the diversity of Christian backgrounds and traditions represented within our student body, there are a few guidelines which guild members are asked to follow. Those guidelines are provided here (pp. 2, 6) so that our campus community may understand how they are applied.
All students interested in being a member of a Chapel Guild team must complete the Audition Form and schedule an audition time with the Director of Music. Auditions are held at the beginning of the fall semester and provide the Director of Music with the opportunity to place students in complementary groups. The Chapel Guild audition can be done in conjunction with a J.S. Bach Music Leadership Scholarship audition.