Respecting All Beliefs

The aim of our interfaith ministry is to respond to the many and varied spiritual needs of the Andover community. Toward that end, the Chaplaincy, led by the director of spiritual and religious life, includes representatives from the Jewish, Protestant, and Roman Catholic traditions.

Each week our religious communities gather for both worship and fellowship. Student faith associations and the Andover Interfaith Council provide opportunities for students to deepen their faith through study, discussion, and service. There are continual to be opportunities to craft new programming, as student interest dictates. The most recent endeavor of this kind was the formation of the student club “CPR”, short for Culture, Politics, and Religion: Giving Life to Discussion. This group of believers and non-believers meets each week to discuss how these forces impact our larger world.

In addition, curriculum specific to religion and spirituality was recently added to our “Foundations” program, part of our newly expanded Equity, Balance, and Inclusion initiative. All of these efforts were made in the hope of better supporting and educating our student body, regardless of their particular religious or secular lens.

Similarly, the chapel organizes services and programming for major religious holidays such as Eid, Holi, Yom Kippur, Ramadan, Divali, and Easter. We also mark our common heritage by recognizing important secular holidays such as Veterans Day, MLK Day, and Memorial Day.

Through our commitment to all traditions of faith we hope to promote both interfaith dialogue and spiritual development.

Student Faith Clubs
  • Jewish Student Union
  • Muslim Student Association
  • Hindu Student Union
  • Andover Christian Fellowship
  • Culture, Politics, and Religion
  • Catholic Student Fellowship
Interfaith Library

Now in its 10th year, our collection has grown to nearly 200 titles. Username—PAChapel; Password—InterfaithPA

Cochran Chapel

Cochran Chapel is the spiritual center of Phillips Academy. First dedicated in 1932, it was the final gift of Thomas Cochran, Class of 1890. Designed by architect Charles Adams Platt, the exterior is neo-Georgian. The interior, barrel-vaulted and colonnaded with carved oak paneling, suggests the late 17th-century English Baroque style of Christopher Wren. In 1981, the Andover Organ Company installed a new two manual, 27 stop, tracker organ.

In addition to housing the Chaplaincy and student religious organizations, Cochran Chapel is home to the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, choral and orchestral groups, the Community Engagement program, and All-School Meetings. Renovated to include a large balcony in 1998—thanks to a generous gift from David M. Underwood ’54—Cochran Chapel was rededicated October 16, 1998. An additional grant, made in May 2012 by the Abbot Academy Association, has allowed the chapel to purchase new pew cushions and reupholster all of its chairs. More recent financial allocations have allowed for the installation of large projection screens, the purchase of a baptismal font, new seating for our musicians, and the refinishing of both our pulpit and altar. Each of these grants has helped us maintain the grandeur of this architectural gem.

Speakers of Cochran Chapel

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Robert Pinsky - Poet, literary critic, professor. Jewish Cultural Weekend speaker in 2015-16.

Reza Aslan - Author, scholar, and TV host. ASM speaker in 2018-19. (Photo credit, D. Owyang)

Maria Toorpakai - Author and professional athlete. ASM speaker in 2017-18. (Photo credit, C. Waggoner)

Megan Phelps-Roper - Former member of the Westboro Baptist Church. ASM speaker in 2019-20. (Photo credit, E. Ellsweig)

Mark Oppenheimer - Journalist, professor, podcast host. Jewish Cultural Weekend speaker 2018-19.

The People of Cochran Chapel

Meet our religious leaders and staff.

Anne Gardner

“Chaplaincy work, at its core, is about building community.”

view full profile agardner@andover.edu

Michael Swarttz

Has been known to break out his stand-up comedy routine at faculty talent shows.

view full profile mswarttz@andover.edu

Mary Kantor

Along with her academic background, Mary Kantor brings over twenty-five years of ministry experience in the Catholic Church.

view full profile mkantor@andover.edu

Abbey Siegfried

“I always say that I love music—obviously, I’m a musician—but I love people more than I love music.”

view full profile asiegfried@andover.edu

Gail Ralston

Officer Manager

view full profile gralston@andover.edu

Chaplaincies

Learn about our various chaplaincies and their student faith-based clubs.

Student Clubs

Students, with the guidance of advisors, run our faith-based clubs.

Chapel Music

The chapel plays host to myriad musical groups and performances throughout the academic year.