Student worshipping in chapel

University Passage and Practices

Spiritual Life provides numerous resources to help APU community members deepen their relationship with Christ and with each other, and to offer support and information for the Christian journey.

University Passage

A Legacy of Transformation

Each year, our community selects Scripture to guide us forward, bring us together, and center our hearts on Christ. For this academic year we will turn our attention to Romans 12 as our guiding passage. We hope you commit time to engaging with this passage for personal and communal growth and we look forward to studying together in chapels this year.

Romans 12 (NIV)

A Living Sacrifice

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Humble Service in the Body of Christ

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love in Action

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
for they will be comforted.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Recent University Passages

  • 2022-23 Matthew 5-7 (Sermon on the Mount)
  • 2021-22 Exodus 16 and Matthew 4
  • 2020-21 Romans 12
  • 2019-20 John 14
  • 2018-19: Isaiah 53 and Philippians 2:1-11
  • 2017-18: Micah 6:8 and Acts 2:42-47
  • 2016-17: Romans 12
  • 2015-16: Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and Mark 12:28-34
  • 2014-15: I AM Statements from the Gospel of John
  • 2013-14: Ephesians 4
  • 2012-13: James 2

University Practices

A Call to Worship

What is Worship?

  • Worship is to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission (Webster's Dictionary, 1828).
  • Worship reveals what we value—it gives honor, worth, and priority to the Lord of our hearts.
  • Worship requires spirit (regeneration) and truth (Scripture); it is the response of the heart and knowledge of the mind.
  • Worship happens when our words, actions, mind, and heart revere God.
  • Worship of the One and True God should lead to repentance, surrender, and advancing the Kingdom of God.

Worship is Scripture.

Psalm 22:3 (ESV)

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.

John 4:23-24 (ESV)

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

Psalm 95:6 (ESV)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

Romans 12:1 (ESV)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Psalm 102: 12 (ESV)

But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations.

Isaiah 12:5 (ESV)

Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth.

Hebrews 13:15 (ESV)

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Connect with a Local Church

Our hope is that every student becomes an active participant within a local church beyond APU ministry and chapel experiences. We believe that it is important to be involved with the body of Christ where young and old worship together. The churches in our area can be dynamic and transforming communities where you can live out discipleship. You may not find one exactly like the one you grew up in, but you may find that God has something new for you to learn about spiritual growth within the body of Christ.

Selecting a Church

Church size, denomination, theological tradition, worship style, pastoral leadership, opportunities for college-age students, and distance from campus are just a few of the many things to prayerfully consider when selecting a local church. Students also often ask about which churches are “safe” in terms of promoting healthy, Christ-centered relationships, so here are a few tips to help you navigate the decision-making process:

Some Signs of a Healthy Church

  • Visionary, empowering, and accountable leadership
  • Positive relationships among pastoral staff and leadership
  • Missional focus that embraces community and global engagement
  • Healthy process for conflict resolution
  • Clear statement of beliefs consistent with historical Christian faith
  • Relational connectedness throughout congregation
  • Celebration in corporate worship

Some Signs of an Unhealthy Church

  • Overly dependent focus on pastoral leadership
  • Secretive or unethical leadership practices
  • Lack of mission and vision
  • Intolerance for differences of opinion or healthy conflict
  • Dysfunctional patterns in congregational relationships (exclusive, emotionally fused, shaming, lack of connection, spiritually abusive)
  • Does not value theological education
  • Lack of spiritual vitality in corporate worship