The Joseph Bond Chapel, joined to Swift Hall by a cloister, is a gem of a space off the main quadrangle of the University which is used for a variety of performance, ceremonial and worship events for the entire University community. Built in 1926, the Chapel was extensively renovated in 2012-2013. The renovation was recently recognized with an award from the American Institute of Architects Chicago chapter. Read more here.
Southwest of Swift Hall and connected to it by a beautiful stone cloister is the Joseph Bond Chapel. Both Swift Hall and Bond Chapel were designed by the architects Coolidge and Hodgdon at the end of the Gothic revival period in America. The Chapel was given by Mrs. Joseph Bond in memory of her husband, a former Trustee of the Baptist Theological Union, the predecessor institution of the Divinity School. Mr. and Mrs. Bond's daughter, Elfleda, married Edgar J. Goodspeed, a member of the university faculty noted for his translation of the New Testament. After her death in 1949, Mr. Goodspeed donated the stained-glass windows in her memory.The cornerstone of the chapel was laid by Mrs. Bond on April 30, 1925, and the chapel was opened in October, 1926.
As a university chapel, it serves as the location for a wide variety of spiritual and ceremonial events, and also for performing arts events. The Divinity School uses it for weekly reflective gatherings on Wednesdays at noon, and for many ceremonial occasions. It is used extensively for weddings, funerals, gatherings by members of the different religious traditions represented at the university, and for concerts. The Reneker organ, a fine baroque tracker organ placed in the chapel in 2012, makes it a destination for baroque and early music, but it is also a valued space for many other kinds of musical performance. It seats about 130 persons.
All the main aspects of the Bond Chapel—its location, architecture, inscriptions, furnishings and stained glass—serve to mark its place (both physically and symbolically) within the University. Please read more about the interior of the Chapel.
The Chapel is open every weekday, and all members of the University community are warmly invited to stop in to Bond Chapel at any time when it is not in use for an event.
Events at Bond Chapel, including weddings and other ceremonies, are managed by the Dean and staff at Rockefeller Chapel (in collaboration with the Divinity School).
To enquire about booking a wedding:
To enquire about booking any other event, including other ceremonies, arts events, or spiritual gatherings:
Assistant to the Dean for Arts and Events Management
When classes are in session, every Wednesday at 11:30 a brief interfaith gathering is held in Bond Chapel. The service is co-sponsored by the Divinity School and Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, and planned by a student-led committee. Students, faculty, and staff serve as preachers. These Wednesday services offer hospitable space and a welcoming community in which to pause, reflect, wonder, and pray. All are welcome.
The students who plan our services meet regularly to talk about our goals as a worshipping community. You are welcome to add your voice to our planning committee, so that we may continue to provide a worship experience that connects with the needs of our community.
For more information about Wednesday worship, please contact our student organizers, Megham Freytag ( ) and George Arceneaux ( ).
The Reneker Memorial Organ was dedicated in 1984 in honor of the late Robert W. Reneker and Betty C. Reneker, and was moved to Bond Chapel in the autumn of 2012.
It was officially installed in Bond Chapel on February 2, 2013.
Click here for more information about the Reneker Memorial Organ.
Tea and Pipes takes place at 4:30 pm with tea beforehand at 4 pm in Swift Hall. Then at 5:30 pm and at 6:45 pm, Meredith Haggerty offers hour-long restorative yoga sessions – an opportunity to get away from the laptop and into positions that restore the shoulders and other aching parts of bodies, in the healing space of the Chapel. Free to students; $5 donation requested from others.