Convocation Overview and Program Criteria
Belmont's Convocation program is a shared experience that encourages the development of well-rounded individuals. As a graduation requirement for all undergraduate students, the program reinforces Belmont's unique mission of providing "an academically challenging education that enables men and women of diverse backgrounds to engage and transform the world with disciplined intelligence, compassion, courage, and faith." Through Convocation, students participate in various programs that encourage:
Learning outside the classroom • Pursuing life-long learning • Valuing the visual and performing arts • Exploring issues relevant to life, culture, and faith • Serving others in the world around you • Contributing to community life at Belmont University
With more than 350 programs offered each semester, Convocation includes lectures, presentations, discussions, performances, art exhibits, and a community service component in which the student chooses his or her own service project(s). The categories are defined as follows:
- Academic Lecture: A program with a primary focus on the presentation of topics relating to a field of scholarly significance, current event, or prominent issue.
- Christian Faith Development: A program with a primary focus on introducing a student to the Christian faith, exploring relationships between the Christian faith and life, or offering opportunities for worship and teaching.
- Culture & Arts: A program with a primary focus on cross-cultural experiences or the visual and performing arts.
- Personal/Professional Growth: A program with a primary focus on enhancing students' emotional development, personal skills, or professional competencies or opportunities.
- Community Service: Participation in an activity serving a charitable mission or cause which is 1) not required as part of an academic syllabus or academic honor society/service organization and 2) does not offer remuneration (pay, goods, services, future career advancement, etc.) to the student. Note: Community service must be done off-campus except for pre-approved on-campus service programs (blood drives, amnesty international letter writing, etc).
Programs are considered for Convocation credit based on the following criteria:
The quality of their leadership
Convocation program speakers or presenters must demonstrate advanced expertise and credibility in the subject to be presented.
Their pertinence and accessibility to a broad campus audience
Convocation programs must be open to the entire campus community and address topics and/or experiences of interest and applicability to a wide variety of perspective and experience. (Programs may be offered for specific groups such as academic classification based programs since all students would have the opportunity to participate in those at some point in their academic career.)
All Convocation programs must have a formal structure upon which participation can be determined and attendance accurately take and can strictly regulate or control attendance due to the flow of persons entering and exiting the area.
Their institutional alignment and strategic significance
Convocation programs must be sponsored by a university organization, department, faculty or staff member, and can not be required as part of an academic syllabus. All program content and conduct must be consonant with the University's Governing Ideas and Community Commitments and must clearly address one of the specified Convocation categories.
Their contribution to learning and student development
Convocation programs must connect to and identify specific learning outcomes that are meaningful and achievable and must seek to promote intellectual, social, cultural, or spiritual development or intends to raise and/or address moral and ethical issues relevant to the university community.
**Where program topic, content, or conduct is provocative or potentially divisive to the campus community, the university reserves the right to refuse the program or to require adjustments in the program in the interest of hospitality, critical engagement, and/or consonance with the university's mission & vision.**