FAITH AND FELLOWSHIP: DMA students gather for a chapel service put on by Karli Medler.
FAITH AND FELLOWSHIP: DMA students gather for a chapel service put on by Karli Medler.

Junior Karli Melder created a weekly elective chapel credit opportunity for DMA students in the screening room of Becker Hall this semester in order consider DMA students’ scheduling conflicts. Melder said she hoped the DMA department could create its own faith-based venue to bring its students together to grow as a community. Lance Clark, professor of DMA film and communications, and Arthur Wilson, campus pastor, approved Melder’s idea of an informal chapel service.

“Instead of losing hope and interest in shaping the spiritual lives of her peers,” Wilson said, “Karli and her peers expressed a sincere desire to explore an alternative experience that would allow them to connect their faith with their discipline … How could I not get behind something like that?”

Melder said she was surprised with the turnouts so far. She said she hoped everyone would feel comfortable in the environment and open to growing in their faith together.

“The department is pretty introverted, so I didn’t expect everyone to be as involved as they are,” Melder said. “It’s really cool to see.”

Clark complimented Melder’s spiritual initiative.

“I love her passion to obey God’s leading in her life and to follow through on seeing this become a reality,” he said.

Melder emphasized how important the student leadership team is to the service.

“I never could have done this all on my own,” Melder stated. “Without all of their contributions, DMA chapel wouldn’t be what it is today.”

Melder said she hopes the underclassmen will pick up the torch after she and the other student leaders graduate.

“I definitely hope it continues even after I’m gone and becomes a tradition,” Melder said. “I even think it would be cool if other departments would find ways to create their own faith communities by having some version of their own chapel. It would only take a couple of people taking initiative in their own niches, and our campus could really grow in its spiritual life.”