The 50 Most Amazing College Chapels and Churches


td-chapel-badgeAmerica is a country that was founded by the pursuit of religious freedom. The role of faith in America can be seen on college campuses across the country. Campuses in all regions of the nation contain stunning structures dedicated to cultivating moral integrity among the nation’s young adults. This list contains some of the most historically significant and esthetically pleasing houses of worship in the United States.

50. The Cadet Chapel at the United States Air Force Academy


The Cadet Chapel, a 3.5 million dollar modern marvel, opened its doors in 1963. Since then it has become one of Colorado’s most popular tourist attractions, bringing in over half a million visitors each year. This spiritual landmark is designed to stand out. It has 17 spires that stretch over 150 ft high, which make it visible to those traveling down Interstate 25.

The Cadet Chapel plays a crucial role in developing the moral integrity of Protestant cadets through spiritual devotion. Anyone who has attended the Air Force Academy has spent time in awe of the esthetics of the architecture, even if they did not worship there. This esthetic beauty makes the Cadet Chapel one of the most visited chapels in the country.

49. The Baughman Center at the University of Florida


The Baughman Center was completed in 2000 thanks to a generous donation of $1 million from alumnus George F. Baughman. This center, which seats 96, is a non-denominational palace of silent prayer and contemplation. It offers students a serene escape from the stresses of college life.

This chapel’s architecture gives the feeling that this building grew organically from the ground. The wood for the exterior is native Florida wood that is stained to resemble surrounding plant life. It is also vertically grooved to give the appearance of individual tree trunks. The idea is that all spiritual denominations share a unifying factor in that they all preach harmony with the environment, and it shows in the design.

48. Patten Chapel at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


Patten Chapel has been a cornerstone of the University of Tennessee campus since its dedication in 1919. For almost 100 years, it has served as a house of worship and home to hundreds of weddings, baptisms, and funerals for alumni. It sits over 400 people, which make it able to accommodate any occasion.

All of the woodwork in the interior was handcrafted by local artisans, and carved from locally sourced wood. Everything about Patten chapel embodies the true spirit of Tennessee. It has proved it will remain a mainstay of the university’s spiritual community for years to come.

47. Sage Chapel at Cornell University


Sage Chapel is steeped in American history. It was first built in 1875 and was designed by Reverend Charles Babcock, a professor in the Architecture department. Additions in 1898 and 1904 were made to add the mausoleum. Another addition in 1940 improved upon the original organ and added a loft for the choir. All of these renovations were careful to keep the same ambiance the building held in 1875.

Sage Chapel contains a stained glass window monument to 3 civil rights workers who were murdered during the Freedom Summer, one of them a Cornell alumnus. The Freedom Summer played an integral role in getting thousands of African Americans in Mississippi to register to vote, and played a significant role in the Civil Rights movement. Sage Chapel is an iconic landmark for several generations of Cornell alumni.

46. St. Joseph Chapel at Spring Hill College


Joseph Chapel is the pride of Spring Hill College. It has served as a center of faith and community for over 100 years. At the 100 year anniversary in 2010, thousands of students, staff, and alumni reflected on the integral role St. Joseph’s played in their college experience.

The hallowed halls of St. Joseph’s have seen generations of alumni get married and children of alumni baptized. It also served as a rallying point of strength after the terrorist attacks of September 11. This tragedy shows that the important role faith plays in the campus community has not changed over the last 100 years.

45. Agnes Flanagan Chapel at Lewis & Clark College


The Agnes Flanagan Chapel is recognizable for its conical structure, which pays homage to the area’s rich connection with Native American history. It is the signature landmark of Lewis & Clark college and is the first thing that catches the eyes of visitors as they drive up to the campus.

This chapel was completed in 1968 and seats 460 people. It has a massive organ that has nearly 5000 pipes and 85 ranks. The stained glass windows were done by world-famous French artist Gabriel Loire, which illustrate both Christian and Native American influence. The Agnes Flanagan Chapel captures both the beauty and history of the Northwest Passage, and plays an integral part in the overall homage to American history embodied by Lewis & Clark College.

44. Memorial Church at Stanford University


Memorial Church, known by locals as “MemChu”, is a staple of the Stanford campus. This non-denominational house of worship has been serving patrons for over 100 years since it opened its doors in 1903.

Memorial Church was designed to be the centerpiece of the Stanford campus, and it does not disappoint. The interior contains five organs, which allows musicians to provide a compliment to worship unrivaled by other college churches. It is decorated with stained glass and mosaics that draw heavily from Venice. The church has survived two major earthquakes, which symbolize its role as a cornerstone of faith, morality, and leadership for the Stanford student body. It serves as an embodiment of everything that makes alumni, old and new alike, proud to call Stanford College their alma mater.

43. Alumni Chapel at Michigan State University

MSU Alumni Chapel

This Tudor-style chapel sits upon a hill that overlooks the stunning beauty of Michigan State University. It seats 190 people and accommodates worshippers of all faiths. Everything from the façade to the stained glass windows was designed with a vintage Tudor ambiance in mind. Visitors step foot in here and feel like they are walking into an Elizabethan era chapel.

The Alumni Chapel holds a special place in the heart of thousands of Alumni who have held their wedding ceremony on campus. Countless college sweethearts whose first meeting was on campus have completed the journey of their relationship where it all began. The Alumni Chapel serves as a pinnacle of pride in the hearts of Michigan State alumni.

42. Wesleyan University Memorial Chapel at Wesleyan University


Wesleyan University Memorial Chapel seats up to 590 patrons, making it one of the larger college chapels. The architecture pays tribute to the Gothic era with its brownstone edifice and pointed tower that can be seen from most places on campus.

The chapel hosts weekly multi-denominational services, as well as periodical lectures from prominent academic and spiritual scholars. Perhaps the most significant speaker ever to come to Wesleyan University was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He spoke at the Chapel on four separate occasions and received an honorary doctorate of Divinity from the University.

Wesleyan University Memorial Chapel served as a place of solidarity for students and faculty who were active with Dr. King in the civil rights movement, and serves as a memorial for those whose faith guided them to stand up against moral injustice.

41. Vassar Chapel at Vassar College


Vassar Chapel, the largest religious structure in Poughkeepsie, was built in 1904. As Vassar’s other buildings have undergone modernizing renovations, the Chapel has been the only building that has remained virtually untouched. One step in the chapel is like time traveling through 100 years of Vassar’s rich history.

The chapel prides itself on offering personalized spiritual counseling to help students develop the moral integrity necessary to succeed in life. The walls of this hallowed spiritual establishment have seen countless numbers of alumni choose Vassar chapel as the place to say their vows. It serves as a sign of lovely memories made on the campus of Vassar College.

40. Bowdoin Chapel at Bowdoin College


Bowdoin Chapel got its start as a Christian church. The walls on both the left and right are lined with intricate murals depicting various Christian spiritual figures. Although these murals still remain, the chapel is now non-denominational. It serves as a house of worship for students of all faiths.

The most popular use of the chapel is for weddings of alumni and non-alumni alike. From May 1 to October 31, the chapel is reserved for alumni, staff, and student use. The rest of the year, anyone can make a reservation to use this beautiful facility. Bowdoin Chapel seats 200 patrons and contains an organ and grand piano, as well as a balcony area reserved for photographers and musicians. These tools help provide the excellent spiritual experience that is the pride of Bowdoin College.

39. Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Seton Hall University


The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception is not only one of the oldest chapels, but also one of the oldest buildings in America still standing. The chapel first opened its doors in 1863 during the height of the Civil war.

It has undergone a few reservations over its 150 years, but the main structure still remains intact. Alumni choose the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception for weddings and baptisms because the walls ooze history. It served as a place of worship for Catholics to reconcile their sins and try to heal from the horrors of the Civil war. It has helped several generations of students to get in touch with their faith and guide them through the temptations of the college experience.

38. Abbey Church of St. John the Baptist at College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University


Abbey Church of St. John the Baptist is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1856 by five monks from the Saint Vincent Archabbey, who migrated from Pennsylvania to Minnesota. The church, with over 400 monks, has grown to the largest Benedictine monastery in the West.

The current version of the church was designed in 1954 and completed in 1961. The church holds one of the top spots for largest stained glass windows in the world, with the largest containing over 430 hexagons. It also has a bell tower that holds five bells and spans over 218 ft high, making it visible from the entire campus. It was designed to fit 1500 yet give patrons the feeling of a 50 person congregation.

Abbey Church of St. John the Baptist is home to St. John’s Bible, which is the first written bible by a Benedictine monk. This makes it a popular destination for those dedicated to the Order of Saint Benedict.

37. Stauffer Chapel at Pepperdine University


The Stauffer chapel, located on the campus of Pepperdine University, sports breathtaking views of the Pacific ocean. The signature cross that extends to the heavens can be seen from a distance as visitors approach this lovely house of worship.

The exterior of the chapel is surrounded by a serene garden that adds a peaceful ambiance. Students can often be found in the garden in silent prayer as they soak in the southern California sunshine. Many weddings for alumni and staff have been held at this piece of divine paradise. The Stauffer chapel offers a perfect blend of interior and exterior beauty that makes it one of the most popular chapels in America.

36. Alice Millar Chapel & Religious Center at Northwestern University


The Alice Millar Chapel & Religious Center got its namesake from the famous English musician Alice Millar, who once played for Queen Victoria. The chapel is unique among its peers because it was constructed to illustrate the interwoven relationship between faith and music.

The chapel contains an Aeolian-Skinner organ with a 151 ft spire and 100 ranks that perfectly accentuates the structure’s acoustics. Patrons can feel the organ’s tones overwhelm them as they worship. It also has jaw dropping floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows on both the left and right walls. Directly behind the podium is the largest and most intricate of the windows, serving as a centerpiece to the soothing beauty of the Alice Millar Chapel & Religious Center.

35. All Saints’ Chapel at Sewanee, The University of the South


The tale of All Saints’ Chapel is one of perseverance. The original chapel, which was named St. Augustine’s, began construction in 1860. The construction; however, was halted by the civil war. The war destroyed much of the buildings on campus, but faith and dedication led to its completion in 1868.

The current version of the chapel began construction in 1904 but faced delays of its own when the bank of Winchester failed in 1907. These financial obstacles led to makeshift wooden floor and ceiling to make the chapel usable.

It wasn’t until 1959 when the All Saints’ Chapel was finally completed as designed. It stands 61 ft high with a tower that spans 134 ft in the air. Its location at the geographic center of campus symbolizes the role of All Saints’ Chapel as the heart and soul of the South.

34. Annie Pfeiffer Chapel at Florida Southern College


The Annie Pfeiffer chapel is the oldest building of the Florida Southern College Architectural District, also known as Child of the Sun. This is a group of nine buildings all designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, with the Annie Pfeiffer chapel as the first one to be completed in 1941. It has a simple yet elegant design that pays tribute to traditional while incorporating a modern flair.

The Annie Pfeiffer Chapel is on the list of the national register of historic places and was named as a national landmark in 2012. These prestigious awards speak for themselves and more than justify this chapel’s place among the top American architectural beauties.

33. Battell Chapel at Yale University


The Battell Chapel is a structure that is intertwined with American history. It was first constructed in 1874 as a monument to those who lost their lives in the Civil war. It was commissioned by Joseph Battell and designed by Russel Sturgis Jr, who was heavily inspired by the Victorian-era Gothic cathedrals.

The Battel Chapel also contains an apse that was added in 1947 as a memorial to veterans who lost their lives in World War II. These dedications make this chapel a favorite among students and alumni who had lost loved ones in the service. Anyone who has attended this Ivy League institution has surely spent time worshipping at the Battel Chapel. It has been an iconic part of the Yale campus for 140 years and shall continue for years to come.

32. Duke Chapel at Duke University


Duke Chapel is an ecumenical Christian church that sits on the highest ridge in the center of the Duke University campus. Constructed in 1935, its pointed arches embody the traditional Collegiate Gothic style. This chapel seats over 1800 people and is over 210 ft high, which makes it the tallest building in Durham. This architectural gem can be seen from almost anywhere on campus.

One of the marvels of Duke Chapel is its dedication to the role of music in spiritual worship. It is home to a 50-bell carillon and three pipe organs, one with 6,000 pipes and one with 5,000 pipes. The interior is complete with 77 stained glass windows that range in size from over 20 ft to just over 14 inches.

31. Julia Thompson Smith Chapel at Agnes Scott College


The Julia Thompson Smith Chapel encapsulates the small-town hospitality for which the South is known. The chapel only fits 110 people, which gives patrons a feeling of worshipping among family. It is a Christian chapel; however, it does contain a specific room dedicated to non-denominational worship.

The crown jewel of the Julia Thompson Smith Chapel is the Brombaugh Opus 31d organ, which is one of only six in the world. This priceless gem makes the chapel a significant location for music enthusiasts. The exterior of the chapel is accented by a serene garden designed for prayer and meditation. Students can often be found here soaking up the Georgia warmth while decompressing from the pressures of college life.

30. Hampton University Memorial Chapel at Hampton University


The Hampton University Memorial Chapel is one of the six national landmarks on the Hampton University campus. It has a 150 ft tower and illuminated clock that lights up the sky above campus. The chapel, designed by J.C Cady, pays homage to African American and Native American history with hand-carved wooden faces throughout the chapel.

The pews, made of yellow pine, were carved by trade school students during the original construction, which took place in 1886. Hampton University Memorial Chapel has served as a place of communal worship for students of all faiths over its storied 130-year history.

29. Herrick Interfaith Chapel at Occidental College


The Margaret Brown Herrick Memorial Chapel was commissioned in 1964 by John Pierce Herrick and dedicated in memory of his wife. The chapel is right in the middle of all the action on campus, as it is situated near the library and classroom buildings. Although the college got its start as a Christian establishment, this chapel currently serves members of all faiths.

The interior layout is in traditional cruciform structure and was designed to make up to 500 patrons feel as if they are enjoying a small intimate sermon. The rich acoustics make every seat in the house experience the soothing vibrations of the church’s organ. The Margaret Brown Herrick Memorial Chapel is a cornerstone of the moral integrity Occidental College wishes to cultivate in their students.

28. University Chapel at Princeton University


This 2.3 million dollar chapel was designed in 1921 by Ralph Adams Cram, who was the forefather of the Collegiate Gothic style found in chapels on campuses across America. The architecture was influenced heavily by the Elizabethan era cathedrals in England.

At a capacity of 2000 patrons, this chapel was the second biggest chapel on a college campus at the time of its construction. The windows are all intricate stained glass, with the four main windows facing each of the cardinal directions. They depict beautiful scenes from the Christian mythos that compliment the award-winning stonework. In 2002, the chapel underwent a 10 million dollar renovation that solidified its place on the list of best chapels on college campuses in America.

27. Thompson Memorial Chapel at Williams College


The Thompson Memorial Chapel was built in 1904 in memory of the American banker Frederick Ferris Thompson. For over 110 years, this chapel was served as a common ground for members of all faiths to get in touch with the divine. It serves as a centerpiece in the moral development of virtually every Williams College student.

Many alumni of Williams College feel such a connection with their alma mater that they want to consummate their vows on campus. The Thompson Memorial Chapel has seen dozens of college sweethearts begin their life together, which is a testament to the important place the chapel has in the hearts of current students and alumni alike.

26. St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University


Paul’s Chapel, located on New York City’s famous Broadway, is the oldest church in Manhattan. It was built in 1766 by Andrew Gautier with the blessing of Queen Anne of Great Britain. The fact that it has existed longer than America has been a country shows just how integrated this place of worship is in American history.

The four columns in front of the entrance illustrate the Greco-Roman influence drawn upon by architect Thomas Mcbean. It is meant to be a replica of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, which was constructed in 335 B.C.

Paul’s chapel has withstood the test of time. It survived the great fire of 1776 that burned a quarter of the city, which is a testament to the symbol of the strength one’s faith can be when overcoming adversity.

25. University of Rochester Interfaith Chapel at University of Rochester


The University of Rochester Interfaith Chapel is a symbol of the University of Rochester’s spiritual diversity. At the time of its construction in 1970, it was one of the first interfaith chapels on an American college campus. Since then it has served as a house of worship for people of all faiths.

The Interfaith Chapel plays a vital role in the cohesive campus community at the University of Rochester. By accommodating all faiths, it serves as a center for cultural and spiritual diffusion. It breaks down the barriers created by organized religion and instead unifies patrons through the pursuit of the divine.

24. Naval Academy Chapel at the United States Naval Academy


The Naval Academy Chapel, which was declared a national historic landmark in 1961, has been a foundational part of cultivating the high moral integrity that makes a cadet a cut above the rest. The chapel was completed in 1904 and designed by Ernest Flagg. It has a domed roof that looks stunning both inside and out, and can sit close to 2500 patrons.

The Chapel is also home to a 268 rank organ that is controlled by a 522-drawknob console, one of the largest in the world. It is also home to the crypt of John Paul Jones, who was the first naval soldier in the Revolutionary war.

23. St. Francis Xavier Church at St. Louis University

St Francis Xavier College Church, St. Louis, MO.

The first version of St. Francis Xavier Church was completed in 1840, and the current version moved to the campus in 1879. This church has been serving the Catholics of St. Louis for over 170 years, which has made it a vital part of the spiritual lives of generations of St. Louis University students.

This Gothic revival was modeled after St. Colman’s Cathedral in Ireland and exhibits all of the traditional Gothic styles. While it certainly carries anesthetic beauty, the real significance of this church is the role it plays in the community. It is known around the area for its lively sermons, as well as weekly sermons and other efforts to help the area’s poor and homeless. This house of worship truly embodies the selflessness preached by Jesus himself and is a big reason why it is the pride of the St. Louis University student body.

22. St. Thomas of Villanova Chapel at Villanova University


The St. Thomas of Villanova chapel has roots in Augustinian tradition. The original version of the church was founded in the 1840’s by the founding members of the American branch of the church of St. Augustine. The church we see today got its beginnings in 1887 after 4 years of construction.

Architect Edwin F. Durang captured the beauty of medieval French cathedrals with the twin towers that flank the cross extending from the center of the roof. Each tower is 63 ft high with a white cross that extends even higher. This design makes St. Thomas of Villanova chapel stand out as a centerpiece of the picturesque beauty of the Villanova University campus.

21. Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica at Saint Vincent College


The Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica is responsible for establishing the presence of the Order of Saint Benedict in America. It first opened its doors in 1846, when it was founded by archabbot Boniface Wimmer. Since then it has grown from the first American Benedictine monastery to the largest in the West. It draws thousands of worshippers from the surrounding area looking for the spiritual enlightenment offered by the Order.

The Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica is not just an architectural beauty. It serves as a pillar for the community, offering the area’s abused children a sanctuary of safety and spiritual healing. Efforts such as these are what makes this spiritual establishment such a big part in the character of the Saint Vincent student.

20. Perkins Chapel at Southern Methodist University


The pinnacle of any religious university is its house of worship. Perkins chapel is the centerpiece of Southern Methodist University, serving students since it opened its doors in 1951. The four white columns show the Greco-roman influence that is characteristic of the Georgian style. It was modeled after the church houses found throughout colonial New England. The Perkins Chapel doesn’t have the grandiose exterior as some of the bigger chapels on other campuses; however, the size is a testament to the tight-knit community of Southern Methodist University.

Students use the Perkins Chapel to cultivate their spirituality as a tool for leadership development. A strong spiritual community gives students the atmosphere needed to develop their moral integrity and go out into the world as an ideological Sheppard ready to change the world.

19. The Immaculata at the University of San Diego

Immaculeta Church,  USD, San Diego, CA

The mosaic dome of the Immaculata shows the Spanish influence on its design. Dedicated in 1959, the red Cordova tile roof can be seen by virtually all students as they travel to campus. The highest point of the church is the 300 pound cross that sits upon the bell tower. The topmost point measures at a staggering 167 ft.

The dome of the Immaculata is home to a 8500 pound and 10 ft high statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, which perfectly encapsulates the vision behind the establishment. The final touch on the exterior is the solid bronze door. The interior of the church matches the beauty of the exterior, which is why the Immaculata is among the most beautiful churches in the country.

18. Old St. Joseph Church at St. Norbert College


The Old St. Joseph Church sits on land that was home to a chapel established in 1676, a chapel that served some of the first settlers of the areas. The current version of the church got its start in 1870 as a place of worship for French-Canadian traders. In 1892, it became home of the statue of St.Joesph. It held this honor until 1969 when the church underwent renovations.

In 1925 years of Norbertine, migration led to the establishment of the Norbertine Foundation in De Pere. Old St. Joseph church became the first official Norbertine abbey church in the United States. Since then it has remained a pillar of faith for the students of St. Norbert College.

17. Rockefeller Chapel at University of Chicago


As its name suggests, this chapel was commissioned by John D. Rockefeller in 1924 and completed in 1928. It was designed to be the center of the campus both structurally and spiritually. The chapel is massive. It takes up almost an entire city block and can sit over 1700 people. It is home to the second largest carillon in the world, which was donated by Rockefeller as a tribute to his mother.

It was constructed without the use of structural steel. This construction strategy gives the church its old-world ambiance. That motif is accentuated with the stunning woodcarvings that flank the organ and balcony. This stunning piece of architecture smack in the middle of campus symbolizes how faith plays a central role in achieving the American Dream.

16. St. Joseph Chapel at Seton Hill University


Joseph chapel was founded by the Sisters of Charity, a religious order founded by Elizabeth Seton. Dedicated in 1896, this chapel has served a crucial role in the moral development of the Seton Hill student body for over a century.

St Joseph Chapel is an embodiment of faith-based artistry. It contains 18 stained glass windows, which includes a stained glass section of ceiling and two 16 foot windows. These masterpieces are accentuated by the hand-carved pews and beautifully sculpted marble altars. This pinnacle of perfection has a rich history and a tight community that justify its designation as the heart of Seton Hill.

15. Heinz Chapel at the University of Pittsburgh


The Heinz Chapel, dedicated in 1938, was commissioned by H.J Heinz in honor of his mother. The building encapsulates the integral role faith played in the success of this captain of industry. It is a non-denominational house of worship that fosters interfaith diffusion and cooperation.

The architecture is heavily influenced by the neo-Gothic style popularized during the 20th century. It has high ceilings and an extensive use of glass for the 23 windows, which span over 4,000 square feet. These artistic masterpieces were designed by Charles J. Connick and draw influence from medieval artistry. The chapel also has a 73 ft tall transept window, which is among the tallest in the world.

14. Memorial Chapel at the University of Maryland


The Memorial Chapel at the University of Maryland is a dedication to the men and women who have lost their lives during a war. It was dedicated in 1952 and has served as a crucial part of the campus community ever since.

In the spring of 2007 a grant was awarded to the chapel to construct a sacred garden. This garden was designed to give students an esthetically pleasing outdoor space for prayer and reflection. This chapel hosts sermons from all disciplines found on campus, which shows its dedication to remaining a hub of the diverse student community.

13. Knowles Chapel at Rollins College


The Knowles Chapel was dedicated in memory of Francis Bangs Knowles, one of the founding visionaries of what would become Rollins College. The chapel, dedicated in 1932, sits right in the middle of campus.

The chapel is a true mark of beauty both inside and out. It was designed by Ralph Adams Cram, who also designed the chapel on the Notre dame campus. The interior is decorated with beautiful stained glass windows that depict several of the prominent characters in the Christian mythos. The crown jewel is the intricately designed circular window, which embodies the thematic relationship between faith and wisdom.

12. Montgomery Chapel at San Francisco Theological Seminary


The San Francisco Theological Seminary was one of the first graduate school dedicated to theological studies. It offers students the tools and training necessary to lead others in their pursuit of the Divine. Montgomery Chapel is where these students of God connect with their creator.

Being a theological seminary, the role of the chapel goes way beyond the role of the traditional college campus. It is the central nexus for not only spiritual worship, but social connections. Students routinely meet at the chapel to discuss theological philosophies and strength their bonds through shared spiritual experience.

11. Firestone Baars Chapel at Stephens College

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The Firestone-Baar Chapel was designed by Eero Saarinen, the same man who designed the famous St. Louis arch. This architectural beauty has been declared a historic building by the city of Columbia, and for good reason. It has served as the common ground that unites the spiritual diversity of Stephens College under one house of worship.

Alumni love to celebrate life’s great monuments, like weddings and baptisms, at this wonderful chapel. It holds a special place in the hearts of those who turned to faith to guide them through the trials and tribulations of college life.

10. Kirkpatrick Chapel at Rutgers University


The Kirkpatrick Chapel was the brain-child of architect Janeway Hardenbergh, who went on to design famous buildings such as the New York Plaza hotel, the Astoria hotel, and the Waldorf hotel. It is no surprise that Hardenbergh was hired for those projects, as the Kirkpatrick chapel is a true architectural masterpiece.

The Victorian Gothic style features stained glass windows that embody true artistry. Several of the windows can even be dated to the 19th century. The Chapel was home to the library until 1904, which highlights the importance of reading in faith. Many rare religious texts can be found sitting on this library’s shelves.

9. Benjamin Brown Graham Chapel at Washington University in St. Louis


Benjamin Brown Graham Chapel has played host to over 800 of the most prominent figures in politics, religion, academics, and the arts. It serves as both a spiritual and cultural nexus for the students of Washington University.

The chapel was dedicated in 1909 to honor Benjamin Brown Graham, a business guru who was highly active in his church. One of the most beautiful pieces in the chapel is the stained glass window that depicts the temple of King Solomon. The chapel serves as a symbol to the role that faith plays in the success of those who have the courage to revolutionize industries.

8. Marsh Chapel at Boston University


Marsh Chapel is a historic establishment that significantly contributed to the civil rights movement. Howard Thurman, one of the first African American Deans in America, served as Dean of the chapel from 1953 to 1965. He played a key role in the spiritual education of Martin Luther King Jr.

Marsh Chapel is also home to the infamous “Good Friday Experiment”, a 1962 experiment designed to see the role the drug psilocybin plays in inducing mystical experiences. The mundane everyday experiences at Marsh Chapel are no less important. Students flock to the chapel to express their spirituality and bond with their peers as they cultivate a strong moral compass.

7. Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart at Georgetown University


Dahlgren Chapel of the Sacred Heart is the cornerstone of the Catholic community at the nation’s oldest traditionally Catholic university. Dedicated in 1893, the design encapsulates the essence of 19th century tranquility. It doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of other campus chapels, but that doesn’t diminish its significance in the slightest.

Dahlgren Chapel is responsible for guiding students on the Catholic faith by teaching them to live by the ways of Jesus. It plays a big role in fostering the sense of community that resonates through the campus of Georgetown.

6. Old St. John’s at Fordham University


In 1839 the man who would become the first archbishop of New York bought the land upon which Old St. John’s was built. Construction on this Gothic revival was completed 1845, and it has served the area’s Catholics ever since.

The bell in the bell tower is affectionately known as ” Old Edgar Allan”, as it is said that the bell influenced one of Poe’s poems. A few of the windows were donated by the King of France, which highlights the significance of its construction. Old St. Johns has been declared a city landmark along with four other buildings on the Fordham campus.

5. Greene Chapel at Hendrix College

BHI# 07-025 Spring 07 Campus Coverage

Greene Chapel is one of the gems of Hendrix College’s beautiful campus. The chapel represents the Arkansas spirit of compassion, community, and hospitality. The beams of the ceiling are designed to represent a ship. This symbolizes Greene Chapel’s role as a vehicle for patrons to board and travel down the path towards the Divine.

It is booked throughout the year for weddings, many of which take advantage of the facilities’ stunning gazebo. This chapel is a great representation of the strength of southern spirit.

4. Evans Memorial Chapel at the University of Denver


This historic chapel was built in 1878 by Colorado governor John Evans. It was built in memory of his daughter Josephine, who died tragically 10 years prior. This original chapel was broken down and reconstructed on the University of Denver campus in 1960. Since then it has played a big role in developing leadership and cooperation skills in students.

This building is on the national registry of historical landmarks for being the pillar of faith in this community for over 130 years. This piece of history experiences frequent visits from religious historians and spiritual seekers alike.

3. War Memorial Chapel at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The War Memorial Chapel was constructed as a tribute to the alumni of Virginia Tech who lost their lives in combat. It is a popular place for funerals of alumni who have retired from the service.

The War Memorial chapel is home to several events throughout the year. In addition to masses, there are events that showcase music, theater, and the arts. It also serves as a gathering place for students to come and exchange their philosophies in a welcoming environment. The non-denominational nature fosters a true sense of harmony throughout the campus.

2. Rudolph Tuskegee Chapel at Tuskegee University


Rudolph Tuskegee Chapel was designed by Robert R. Taylor, who was the first African-American graduate of MIT. It was also completed entirely by student labor, which makes it a symbol of the strong community that defines students of Tuskegee University.

The present version of the chapel was completed in 1969 and is unique in that it has no right angles. This unorthodox style has made the chapel a case study of the University’s architecture department. Famous spiritual figures, such as Martin Luther King Jr, have graced the chapel’s podium, which solidifies the chapel’s role in American history.

1. Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame


The Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame is one of the most recognizable churches in North America. The current structure was finished in 1888, but it was preceded by the first church that was established in 1840 by Father Edward Sorin, the founder of the university.

This Neo-Gothic church is an architectural wonder. The bell tower spans 218 ft, which makes the church the largest university chapel in America. The church also has an awe-inspiring mural that took Vatican painter Luigi Gregori 17 years to complete. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart received Basilica status in 1992 in a ceremony conducted by Pope John Paul II. This status accounts for over 50,000 Catholic pilgrims each year.