Chautauqua Institution

Chautauqua provides a wide variety of services of worship and programs that express the Institution's Christian heritage as well as its interfaith commitment. The Institution, originally the Chautauqua Lake Sunday School Assembly, was founded as an educational experiment in out-of-school, vacation learning for Sunday School teachers. While founders Lewis Miller and John Heyl Vincent were Methodists, other Protestant denominations participated from the first year onward, and today Chautauqua continues to be ecumenical — as well as interfaith — in spirit and practice.


For eight generations Chautauquans have been gathering in the Amphitheater on Sunday evenings to join the Chautauqua Choir for the Sacred Song Services.

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves.

Chautauqua’s interfaith New Clergy Program offers summer conferences and invites applications from interested new clergy in Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faith communities.

In addition to Department of Religion programs, Denominational Houses and religious organizations at Chautauqua Institution offer religious services, lectures and low-cost housing options during the nine-week Chautauqua Season.

The Abrahamic Program for Young Adults (APYA) is designed to reflect the efforts and mission of the Department of Religion in building the Abrahamic Community by teaching young adults at Chautauqua Institution about the shared heritage of the Abrahamic traditions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.


Children of Abraham (PDF)
Jews & Muslims in Conversation



Robert M. Franklin
Director of Religion

Maureen Rovegno
Associate Director