The chaplaincy at Bard is committed to helping students, staff, and faculty explore and develop their spiritual identities. Various academic programs enable members of the community to investigate how religious perspectives contribute to culture and mutual understanding; the chaplaincy provides an opportunity to practice and experiment with different traditions of religion. Our staff includes two Episcopal priests, an imam, a rabbi, a Catholic priest, two ecumenical chaplains and a Buddhist associate chaplain. All chaplains are available for pastoral care. Weekly worship services in different traditions and services and celebrations for holy days are held throughout the academic year. Additionally, the chaplaincy can direct students to major religious resources in the Hudson River Valley to ensure that all students have a rich religious experience while studying at the College.
The wealth of resources available on campus, including the Chapel of the Holy Innocents and the Sacred Space with its Kosher/Halal kitchen, provide for considerable exposure to how people in the past and present have fashioned their lives with committed practice, emotional engagement, and intellectual significance. A calendar of religious services is included in this handbook, with additional services planned throughout the academic year. In order for the College to maintain its commitment to the critical practice of faith traditions as well as other, experimental forms of philosophy and religion, students who wish to organize new initiatives are encouraged to discuss proposals with the chaplains or one of their associates. When an initiative involves conducting on-campus religious events organized by off-campus groups, in particular, the chaplains need to be consulted, to assure that the nonsectarian identity of the College is not compromised and to avoid the association of the College with efforts aimed at proselytism. The College will only accommodate such events on the basis of consultation with the chaplains.