Chapel House has released a vision statement following a systematic review of comments, letters, emails, and feedback from several fora.


Vision Statement

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. Chapel House provides a home for quiet reflection, religious and spiritual discovery, and the exploration of nature. The house is a place of individual contemplation as well as a place of inter-religious understanding for small groups.

Chapel House encourages personal, religious, spiritual, and humanistic quests. The house provides a quiet setting for meditation, prayer, and study, as well as a venue for the appreciation of religious art and music. All visitors and overnight guests are welcome to explore Chapel House’s extensive library, its numerous artifacts from many religious traditions, and its large collection of sacred music. The house is separated from the main Colgate campus, to allow individuals a quiet retreat from daily life, for purposes of reflection, personal healing, and contemplation. Chapel House aims to be an oasis of peace and healing for individuals, Colgate University, and the world.

Original Mission Statement

From the 1958 anonymous Deed of Gift:

Chapel House was founded in 1958, to serve, in the words of the donor, as a:

“Meditation Center . . . to encourage personal religious devotions through meditation, prayer, and study of devotional literature and religious art and music, and such other appropriate means as may be devised to help people to recognize their need for personal religious disciplines […] a place of devotion, a place of retreat to which people will retire for a time when they wish to be alone to face personal difficulties, to renew their faith, or to seek for deeper religious understanding and devotion. It is hoped that the Center will be used by the students and faculty of Colgate and neighboring universities, by ministers, priests and rabbis, by theological students, and by laymen regardless of the nature of their daily work or religious affiliation. Religious leaders of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and Hindu swamis, Buddhist bhikkus and priests, and scholars and laymen of all the religions of the world will find themselves welcome at the Center and will be able to make their own contributions to the life of the Center and of the University. It is hoped that the Center will serve as a place for seeking deeper religious insight by people of all faiths, and by those who acknowledge no religious faith.”