Our Spiritual Approach
Chatham Hall is committed to nurturing the spiritual life of girls in the spirit of the National Association of Episcopal Schools:
As embodiments of the Christian faith, Episcopal schools are created to be communities that honor, celebrate and worship God as the center of life. They are created to be models of God’s love and grace. They are created to serve God in Christ in all persons, regardless of origin, background, ability, or religion. They are created to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being.
As an Independent school, an Episcopal school, a Boarding school, and a Girls’ school we are interested in nurturing the whole girl. We live this vision out by focusing on our spirituality, what unites us rather than our religions, which often divide us. We recognize that adolescence is a time of critical thinking where doubt and questioning are natural parts of a developing spirituality. As such, at Chatham Hall they are encouraged and met with possibilities rather than feared and suppressed.
Because our spirits go with us wherever we are, spiritual life is found in every part of the Campus. We sing our grace at meals. Prayer groups and discussion groups can be found at lunch tables and on dorm. FOCUS (Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools) meets for discussion, song and service. Girlfriend Theology groups meet to tell personal stories and find God in everyday life.
Because Spiritual life at Chatham Hall nurtures the whole girl, it cannot be not confined to just one part of the school’s life. Therefore we include a variety of venues, mentioned in other parts of this report, which also have a spiritual life component:
Our Chapel program, required three-times per week, is student-centered. It is a time of reflection and meditation, community and unity, celebration and concern. While it's structure reflects our Episcopal tradition, it also seeks to celebrate other religious traditions as fully as possible. We celebrate Eucharist monthly, and have special services such as the Blessing of the Animals, U2-Charists, music (including St. Mary's Choir, Chamber Choir and the student rock band, The Niche), dance, and guest Chapel speakers. Worship is supported by two school organizations, Altar Guild, charged with planning our worship and maintaining our beautiful Chapel; and Church Life, charged with serving the school through the Chapel. These active groups of faculty and students plan, participate, lead, celebrate, innovate and advise the way we do Chapel. In addition, each Senior offers a Senior Chapel Talk to the community, incorporating special words, music and prayers that reflect her time at Chatham Hall.
In the Episcopal tradition we aspire to openness, rigor and excellence in our entire curriculum, not shying away from including the religious influences in history, art, philosophy and music. We study religions and the Bible historically and critically, but with respect. We require one semester of Biblical Studies for graduation and offer World Religions for the study of global faith and practice.
We aspire to a strong community service program, offering opportunities and encouraging all students to participate. The entire school, students and faculty, is divided into three service clubs offering time, talent and energy to Church, School, and Community.
We adhere to a strong Honor Code, born out of and reflective of the spiritual foundation of our community. The way we respect and treat each other as we live in community reflects our living out of the Episcopal understanding of incarnation, the divine in each of us. Our Purple and Golden Rule specifically speaks to this.