Every day that classes are in session, there is a community hour when no classes or meetings are held that provides an opportunity for community Christian worship, and for daily community fellowship, which is central to our purpose. This community hour reflects the commitment of YDS to the recognition that theological education encompasses far more than gaining qualifications alone.
Services are held in Marquand Chapel at 11:30 a.m. and last thirty minutes, except on Fridays, when the community takes forty-five minutes to celebrate Eucharist, Holy Communion, or the Lord’s Supper. After each chapel service, coffee is served in the Common Room for the whole community.
Daily worship in Marquand Chapel draws on the many Christian traditions represented at YDS as well as engaging from time to time with the voices of other faiths. The worship planning is highly collaborative and varied, and students, faculty, staff, and visitors are regularly invited to join the team to plan and lead worship. Community singing is central to our worship, supported by student choirs and regular visiting musicians. Sermons are given by faculty, staff, guests, and students, and many other liturgical arts are employed—from dance, to painting, to theater, to poetry.
The Marquand Chapel program is led by the dean of chapel and a team of professional staff. Each year the chapel team also includes a number of student chapel ministers, musicians, and choir directors. Opportunities to join the team are posted each term. The chapel team hosts regular sessions for the community to process their chapel experience, bring feedback and suggestions, and take part in planning services. A worship committee, with representatives from staff, faculty, and students, provides another forum for discussion.
There are other opportunities for worship at YDS—in the Henri Nouwen Chapel on the lower level of the library, and at St. Luke’s Chapel at the Berkeley Center. Services in these chapels are organized by various denominational groups. Daily and weekly worship services offered by Andover Newton Seminary and Berkeley Divinity School are open to all YDS students.
A rich variety of worship is offered by many religious traditions throughout the University. Yale’s historic University Church at Battell Chapel offers ecumenical Christian Sunday morning worship. The Chaplain’s Office, directed by Yale University Chaplain Sharon M.K. Kugler, offers or coordinates programs of worship and spiritual reflection throughout campus and is a point of contact for connections with all major religious faiths within Yale and throughout New Haven. Resources are listed at http://chaplain.yale.edu.