Lipscomb University, a Church of Christ school, doesn’t dismiss classes campus-wide for Good Friday, but maintains it has a good reason for doing so.
Since the university keeps its students in classes on Good Friday, many out-of-state or international students stay on campus over Easter, without sufficient time to travel home to celebrate with their families.
Lipscomb University President Randy Lowry was out of town over Good Friday, so he was unable to comment this year. Last year, Lowry commented he would give the time off if he thought students would actually celebrate the holiday.
“If we dismissed for Friday, what would students go do?” Lowry said last year. “If students said, ‘I’m going to go celebrate Easter, and spend the day in meditation and prayer, or at a Good Friday service,’ or whatever, I’d let you out of school in a moment. I don’t believe they’d do that. I believe they’d take a three-day weekend, they’d go home, and there’d be something lost here because our community was not together to celebrate.”
The campus celebrates Easter throughout the week with many Resurrection Week activities on campus, with additional chapel opportunities, speakers and worship events.
“I think it makes more sense to say, as a community, we’re here on Good Friday,” Lowry said. “We’ll have a service, which we haven’t always done on Good Friday, and invite the community to come be a part of that.”
This year, to explain why class is held on Good Friday, the administration, through Kim Chaudoin, the Assistant Vice President with University Communication and Marketing, issued the following statement to Lumination:
“In the days leading up to Easter, the Lipscomb community has developed a meaningful tradition of placing a significant focus on this most significant Christian holy day with a weeklong emphasis on what our campus ministry team calls “resurrection week.” Throughout the week there are activities specifically designed to focus this community on the significance of this week.
“By meeting on Good Friday we are able, as a community, to intentionally celebrate this significant day in a thoughtful and deliberate way. To ensure that everyone who wants to participate can attend, we cancel classes during the special chapel service, and together we recognize this significant day in a period of serious focused time on worship and reflection. This is a very unique opportunity to observe this as community, and an opportunity to be very deliberate and intentional by having a meaningful time together to remember and reflect on these significant events.”
Photo by Anna Rogers