Creating a sanctuary for students

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sean Yunus [BA Biblical Studies 2018] wanted to give students something new at Sunday night chapel. He approached Joan Devries, Dean of Chapel & Student Formation at Tyndale, and made a request to do something a little more casual and flexible with the service. He developed Sanctuary, a charismatic and music-driven chapel.

“Students are talked at all week,” says Joan. “So this worship service is decidedly more expressive and music-driven.”

The goal of Sanctuary is to bring people together, an idea that has been an integral part of Tyndale. “My hopes are that people feel at home and get comfortable with the idea of community worship for fun, as opposed to community worship as a chore,” says Sean.

During Sanctuary services students are free to engage however they feel most comfortable, whether that be belting out worship lyrics, or sitting quietly in the back row as an observer.

“There’s this understanding that you can engage, or sit back and take it in, depending on how you’re feeling that night,” says Joan.

Sean is also exploring ways to incorporate more story and testimony into the chapel service. “I want to make it as approachable as possible,” he says.

Sean and two other interns have taken on the responsibility of running Sanctuary. They meet regularly with Dr. Melissa Davis, Sessional Lecturer for Music & Worship Arts at Tyndale, for mentorship. During these sessions they explore the theology of worship and develop leadership skills that will help them in a future Worship Pastoring role. They are learning together what it means to plan and lead engaging worship.

The student-led chapel takes place Sunday evenings at 8 p.m. Please note that due to reading week, there will be no chapel service on February 14th, 2016. Visit to view the schedule.


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