Chapel House

Chapel House, a place of retreat nestled in the woods of Colgate University, welcomes students, faculty, staff, and visitors from all parts of the world and all religious traditions, or none. All are welcome.


The Chapel

Open 24 hours, seven days per week.

The House 

Noon–9 p.m. Monday through Thursday
Noon–7 p.m. Friday
Noon–5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Individual Retreats

Chapel House is available for overnight retreat Monday-Sunday, dependent on staffing and room availability. For more information and to book a retreat, contact Kathy Keyes at  or 1-315-228-6087.

The Chapel of Chapel House

Personal Worship and Meditation

Stalls at the rear of the chapel make it possible for several people to be present simultaneously without disturbing each other. Two oratories provide privacy when the curtains are drawn.

Instead of pews, our chapel features individual chairs. This design choice was made so that a person can sit comfortably for long periods of time.


Our chapel has not been formally dedicated. It is consecrated by the worship of those who use it.

Because the space is intended for use by those of any religious background — or none — the Christian cross usually sits behind the reredos. Upon request the Christian cross can be placed on the reredos for specific meetings, prayers and events. This provides the space with the flexibility to serve all visitors, regardless of their religious affiliation.

Vision Statement

Chapel House has released a vision statement following a systematic review of comments, letters, e-mails, and feedback from several fora. The vision statement will guide the future of Chapel House.

View Vision Statement



In 1959, Chapel House was built on the Colgate campus with a gift from a donor who asked that her identity never be revealed.


Chapel House belongs to and is administered by Colgate University. It operates on endowment funds, which must cover expenses without requiring any help from other university funds.

Additional gifts toward its programs are welcome, but they must be anonymous, in keeping with the pattern set by the original donor.


Chapel House opened its doors in 1959. The space was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, and is an example of late international-style modernism.