Spiritual Life at Bard College
Center for Student Life & Advising, Sottery Hall, phone: 4775
Spiritual Life at Bard College actively promotes and develops a richer understanding of what we believe and how to use our beliefs to transform the world. Through the Chaplaincy department we offer spiritual support for all students and members of the Bard community. We also value the varied ways for students to explore faith academically, often with a focus on social issues, and always with an emphasis on diversity and openness. All are invited to learn more about the diverse perspectives of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and other traditions. The Chaplaincy has four chaplains: an Episcopal priest, a rabbi, and a Muslim chaplain, and a Buddhist chaplain. All are available to meet with students, staff, and faculty in times of crisis or whenever an attentive and sympathetic ear is needed. The chaplains also work closely with the counseling service, the Office of the Dean of Students, and all other elements of the Bard community that focus on the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.
There is a weekly Christian service on Sundays, Shabbat every Friday, Muslim prayers on Mondays and Buddhist meditation on Mondays and Thursdays. The chaplaincy also coordinates a series of interfaith events during the school year. The Chapel of the Holy Innocents is open at all times for prayer, reflection, and meditation as well as hosting classes, concerts, students projects, and other events. The meditation garden is located next to the Chapel. At the Center of Spiritual Life (located at Resnick Village A), there is the Beit Shalom Salaam House of Peace meeting room, a kosher and halal kitchen, the Buddhist meditation room, and the Muslim Prayer room.
The chaplaincy supports and advises various student groups such as the Bard Christian Fellowship, Buddhist meditation group, Jewish Students Organization, Muslim Students Association. 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. Additionally, the chaplaincy can direct students to other religious resources in the area. To learn more, visit bard.edu/chaplaincy.