The vision for The School of the Ozarks (now College of the Ozarks) was created by the Reverend James Forsythe, a Presbyterian minister who wanted to establish a school that would integrate faith and learning. The Christian faith is an integral part of the life at College of the Ozarks. Students are not required to belong to a particular faith, however all members of the College community are expected to adhere to Christian values and expectations. The Christian faith is stressed and no denominational emphasis is made. The College has students of different denominations and helps them become more faithful members of their respective churches and grow in their faith. Guiding statements of faith include the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed.
The Apostles’ Creed
The basic creed of Reformed churches, as most familiarly known, is called the Apostles’ Creed. It has received this title because of its great antiquity; it dates from very early times in the Church, a half century or so from the last writings of the New Testament.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy *catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
* often see “Christian Church” (catholic means “universal”)
The Nicene Creed
This additional creed is a statement of the orthodox faith in the early Christian Church, in opposition to certain heresies in the third and fourth centuries, namely the truth surrounding the doctrine of the Trinity and of the person of Jesus Christ. This creed delineates the deity and humanity of Christ, as well as the deity of the Holy Spirit proceeding from both God the Father and God the Son.
II believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
As a community of faith, the College of the Ozarks holds weekly chapel services on Sundays at 11:00 a.m. in Williams Memorial Chapel. Chapel services are open to all individuals who would like to worship together in a reverent and traditional manner. These worship services are transdenominational, designed with an emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s enabling grace offered to all through Jesus for God’s glory.
All full-time students (12 hours or more per semester) with less than 91 academic college hours are required to attend Sunday morning chapel a minimum of five times during each semester. Students may receive credit for a maximum of ten services as part of the overall Chapel and Convocation Program. Students must be on time in order to receive credit. Students who do not attend five services will be in danger of being placed on chapel/convocation probation. Students on probation will need to attend the deficient number of services from the prior semester in addition to the required five services for the current semester in order to get off of probation. Students on chapel/convocation probation will not be allowed to represent the College in any activity while on probation. (For more information on chapel/convocation probation status and how to get off probation see the Chapel/Convocation Probation section in the Cultural section). Students are allowed to attend chapel services during the summer to get ahead for the fall semester. Students cannot carry over extra chapel attendances from a current semester to a future semester.
All students attending convocation and chapel programs need to wear appropriate clothing that meet the standards outlined in the College’s Appearance Code. Students who do not meet the standards will be asked to go back and change to comply with the appearance for business attire.
More information regarding religious organizations at College of the Ozarks can be found in the campus organizations section. Organizations meeting regularly and recognized by the College are: