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Spiritual Formation

Spiritual enrichment through Christian living at Olivet University is opportunity for everyone – students, staff, faculty, and administration – to receive the power of the Holy Spirit and live moved and emboldened by Jesus Christ.

1. Personal Spiritual Formation

Olivet challenges every community member to live totally committed to Jesus Christ, in the image of the apostles and saints of the early church. Students honor Christ and express love for him by assuming his humility and attitude of self-sacrifice, revealed through a life of faithful service

To this end, Olivet University actively seeks to cultivate the habit of continuous scriptural study and the practice of personal spiritual disciplines in our students.

Daily “Quiet Time”
Olivet encourages students to devote time each day to bible reading, “Quiet Time” meditation and prayer. However, this foundation of biblical knowledge should not be the end, but the start of deepening relationship with the scriptures. Such a relationship requires reflection, especially in the forms of meditation and writing. Towards this end, the Olivet University community collectively engages in “Quiet Time” (QT) at the beginning of each day for the purpose of meditating on the scriptures.
During this time, community members can engage in blogging on Olivet’s “QT Blog” website – developed with the help of students enrolled in Olivet College of Information Technology. Olivet University’s QT Blog website provides instructions about posting and viewing students' personal reflections on scriptural verses and sermons. Since all members of the Olivet University community have access to this website, students are encouraged to connect internationally with other Olivet students by reading each others posted reflections, and by sharing insights and personal testimonies freely.
The QT Blog website is accessible from the student pages of MyOlivet in four different languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

QT Blog Guidelines
- QT Blog use must for the purpose of spiritual reflection
- Students are encouraged to blog twice per week

Prayer
Olivet University strongly encourages individual, daily prayer-time. “Set-time prayer” is prayer set for a scheduled time of day over a certain period of time. “Continuous prayer” is done spontaneously.
Olivet University Chapel is open for morning and evening prayers to the entire community.
Students who attend Olivet on-campus are required to attend Friday Prayer Meeting, which is recorded and broadcast internationally. Students abroad are encouraged to attend and participate at this and all broadcasted services live, or view the taped recordings.

Fasting
Fasting is abstaining from food for a time in order to master the cravings of the physical realm, thus opening ourselves to our spirituality. Fasting is more than a diet adjustment; it involves spiritual intensity and intercession. Fasting should always be accompanied with prayer, meditation, and scriptural study.
Anyone may fast voluntarily for a personal prayer topic or self-discipline; however students are strongly advised to counsel with the University Chaplain or the Dean of Students before deciding to fast.

Evangelizing
Olivet University desires to train disciples of Jesus Christ to serve as leaders in Christian mission and ministry. Thus, Olivet’s community members should not end at knowing God; rather, they must practice the teachings in the scriptures by actively seeking to make Him known to the world. To this end, Olivet University strongly encourages students to incorporate daily evangelism into their academic and personal routines.

Lecture Training
Anyone who wishes to preach and teach about the bible more effectively is welcome to contact the University Chaplain or the Dean of Students to request informal training with an EAPC pastor or ministry worker. Such training is viewed as an extension of evangelism, and is not eligible for course credit at Olivet.

2. Corporate Spiritual Formation

The University is concerned with each student ’ s personal spiritual development, and the spiritual growth of the whole community. For this reason, the University Chaplain and the Dean of Students seek to introduce programs and activities that nurture this spiritual growth in the context of a Christian faith community at the beginning of every semester. Students are expected to take full advantage of these opportunities by participating with enthusiasm in the various activities and disciplines.

It should also be noted that the Olivet community is distinguished by a culture of shepherding, even among its student body. More senior students are expected to support and facilitate the emotional-social, spiritual, and academic maturity of newer students in accordance with University ’ s mission and core values.

Wednesday and Friday Chapel Services
Olivet University students are required to attend Wednesday and Friday Services, (as well as Sunday Service) and should have a participatory attitude towards worship.

Retreats
Olivet University holds regular retreats co-sponsored by EAPC, ACM and/or YD fellowships featuring sustained time for prayer, discernment, and fellowship. These gathering usually take place seasonally and are led by a selection of EAPC pastors, worship leaders, and administrators at Olivet University. Olivet students frequently assume leadership roles at these gatherings, and hold responsibility for organizing event activities. Participants often testify that retreats encourage a deeper experience of spiritual life at Olivet, and stronger community bonds. Retreat locations vary. In-person participation is usually international, though broadcasting service is provided.

Prayer Meetings
Olivet University recommends that its students attend regular prayer meetings at their local churches. As previously mentioned, on-campus Olivet students attend Friday prayer meetings at Olivet University Chapel.

Small Group Spiritual Discipline – The Cell Church
Olivet University community members practice faith and discipline as participants in small groups, known as cell churches. New cell churches develop at the start of each year, when entering Olivet University students are organized into groups of five to eight students led by an Olivet University administrator, alumni, graduate student or local EAPC pastor.
This opportunity is intended to help prepare students for the challenge of serving as spiritual leaders in their own respective contexts of ministry.

On-Campus Students
Students who study on-campus at Olivet University must participate in the cell church system organized through Olivet Chapel. The Olivet University Chaplain coordinates cell church formation with Olivet University Chapel leadership.
As previously mentioned, each cell church is comprised of roughly five to eight members. Once cell churches exceed eight members in total, they usually split into two groups comprised of four members each. Cell churches designate a name for themselves upon formation.

Online Students
Students who take courses online are required to join a small group organized by their local EAPC churches. Online student participation must be documented by a letter sent to Olivet University’s Dean of Students each semester from the head EAPC pastor of the church hosting the small group confirming the student’s participation.
Online students also assemble once per week by Colleges, country/native language, and educational-level (in some cases) in an online conference room developed by Olivet College of Information and Technology for use by the Olivet University community. Online students sign up for Olivet online group meetings at the beginning of each semester according to their region, language, or interest. Online small group meetings are headed by Olivet University administrators, senior undergraduate or graduate students.

“Breaking Bread” Discussion

Olivet University students get together once a week in small groups for the purpose of “ Breaking Bread, ” – or sharing the grace received from reflection and application of biblical teachings.

On-campus students gather following Sunday Service at Olivet University Chapel by cell church to “ break bread, ” for thirty minutes to one hour. Online students assemble in a similar manner in EAPC congregations and ACM and YD fellowships at least once every week.

Fellowship and Cell Church Life

Close interaction among cell church members is facilitated by the small group structure and nature of cell church activities. Olivet University strongly encourages students to fellowship at the cell church-level, with the goal of forming a continuously expanding circle of lifelong relationships in Christ.
Fellowship time is allotted for students who attend Olivet University on-campus after Sunday Service at Olivet Chapel. Following a period set aside to “ Break Bread, ” cell church members often eat a lunch prepared on a rotation schedule by individual cell churches.

Evangelizing with Cell Church Members

Olivet University encourages students to evangelize with the members of their cell churches. Cell church leaders are responsible for setting evangelism standards and schedules, with input from cell church members.

Counseling
Students are encouraged to communicate openly, but respectfully with all Olivet University staff members, and to seek spiritual guidance at any time, especially from the Dean of Students, the University Chaplain and the Director of Christian Service. Personal counseling is intended to help students better adjust to their University experience and to provide support for their personal walks of faith. Olivet University also encourages students to maintain ties with EAPC church leaders throughout their tenure at Olivet University, especially students who attend online.