The chaplains for the 2020 season will once again represent intended theological, denominational, gender, racial and ethnic diversity, as well as ministerial context. As always, the Department of Religion’s commitment to diversity in gender, race and theological perspective is clear. The philosophy of the Department of Religion, from the beginning, has embraced and manifested the belief that an expression of these diversities is key to Chautauqua’s future.



The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

Episcopal priest, author, retreat leader and climate activist

Sunday, June 28, 2020 | 10:45 a.m.
Monday, June 29–Friday, July 3, 2020 | 9:15 a.m.
Week One

Location: CHQ Assembly

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Traci Blackmon

The Rev. Traci deVon Blackmon

Associate General Minister of Justice and Local Church Ministries for The United Church of Christ and Senior Pastor of Christ The King United Church of Christ in Florissant, MO

Sunday, July 5, 2020 | 10:45 a.m.
Monday, July 6–Friday, July 10, 2020 | 9:15 a.m.
Week Two

Location: CHQ Assembly

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Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ

founder, Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, California

Sunday, July 12, 2020 | 10:45 a.m.
Monday, July 13–Friday, July 17, 2020 | 9:15 a.m.
Week Three

Location: CHQ Assembly

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Rabbi David Wolpe

Max Webb Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple

Sunday, July 19, 2020 | 10:45 a.m.
Monday, July 20–Friday, July 24, 2020 | 9:15 a.m.
Week Four

Location: CHQ Assembly

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The Rev. Janet Broderick

8th Rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills

Sunday, July 26, 2020 | 10:45 a.m.
Monday, July 27–Friday, July 31, 2020 | 9:15 a.m.
Week Five

Location: CHQ Assembly

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The Rev. Dr. Leslie D. Callahan

First female pastor to serve at the historic St. Paul's Baptist Church in Philidelphia, Pennsylvania

Sunday, August 2, 2020 | 10:45 a.m.
Monday, August 3–Friday, August 7, 2020 | 9:15 a.m.
Week Six

Location: CHQ Assembly

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BaggottRev. Dr. Casey Baggott and Rev. Dr. Robert Baggott

Interim Ministers, First Congregational U.C.C., Glencoe, Minnesota

Sunday, August 9, 2020 | 10:45 a.m.
Monday, August 10–Friday, August 14, 2020 | 9:15 a.m.
Week Seven

Location: CHQ Assembly

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Brian D. McLaren

Author, speaker, activist and public theologian

Sunday, August 16, 2020 | 10:45 a.m.
Monday, August 17–Friday, August 21, 2020 | 9:15 a.m.
Week Eight

Location: CHQ Assembly

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Pastor Ben Cachiaras

Lead Pastor, Mountain Christian Church in Baltimore, Maryland

Sunday, August 23, 2020 | 10:45 a.m.
Monday, August 24–Friday, August 28, 2020 | 9:15 a.m.
Week Nine

Location: CHQ Assembly

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The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson

Vice President of Religion and Senior Pastor, Chautauqua Institution

Closing Sunday, August 30, 2020 | 10:45 a.m.
Week Nine

Location: CHQ Assembly

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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.

Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and emphatically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity.

We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women

  • to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion
  • to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate
  • to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures
  • to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity
  • to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries.

Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

For more information visit: Charter for Compassion

 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.

APYA programming is designed for senior high and college aged young adults. Interactions, conversations, and experiences are planned to help participants to grow within their own faith, to grow in knowledge about other faiths, and to promote harmony among all faiths. For more information, please contact the Department of Religion at 716.357.6386 or email Maureen Rovegno at

The APYA Summer Office is located at Hurlbut Memorial Community Church (3rd Floor).


  • To dispel stereotypes through understanding and to seek ways to develop harmony among diverse cultures without sacrificing diversity.
  • To promote growth within one's own faith and to gain understanding and respect for the faiths of others.
  • To bring together young adults in the Chautauqua Community to address their concerns.
  • To create a lived experience of an Abrahamic Community. 

General Schedule of Events

  • Sports/Games
  • Movie Nights
  • Hot Topics and Q&A
  • Culture Nights
  • Porch Talks

07XX16 FEAT APYASacred Song CB 01

Recordings of the APYA statements/sharings that the Coordinators presented at the Sacred Song Service on July 31, 2016:

Statement 1 Statement 2 Statement 3 Statement 4

Chautauqua’s Programs for Clergy Development are designed to help sustain and enrich clergy leadership for congregational life. The two programs that give expression to this mission, the Interfaith New Clergy Program and the Chautauqua Leadership Program, are independently funded and are geared to two different groups of fellows based on their years of experience in ministry and the specific goals of each program.

Interfaith New Clergy Program

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The group with William Barber.

Interfaith New Clergy Program

2017 New Clergy Conferences

New Clergy Application


Week One: June 24–July 1 | Week Seven: Augusy 512

Chautauqua Institution’s Interfaith New Clergy Program is an intensive summer professional seminar for those new to congregational leadership within the three Abrahamic faiths, facilitating theological discussion that goes beyond a pastoral or congregational focus, and using the unique environment offered at CHQ to experience a broader view of religious community. In both structured and unstructured settings, program fellows engage in discussions focusing on issues and experiences of theological growth, leadership, shared community, social justice, and the dynamics specific to those clergy new to religious leadership and congregational work. Attention will also be given to fostering a cohesive, supportive clergy group, as relationships forged in this environment are intended to continue beyond the week’s experience.

Those who have been in congregational leadership between 2 and 5 years are invited to apply. The Institution will provide full accommodations (housing, meals, gate passes) for clergy and their spouse or partner, except for travel expenses to and from CHQ. Participants will reside on the Institution grounds, share meals, and enjoy the recreational and artistic setting of the Institution. Daily meetings with the program’s Director and distinguished Department of Religion lecturers will be a unique feature of the program.
For further information, contact Dr. Derek Austin, Program Director, at or click here for an application.

Sacred Music

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

Sacred Music

Cast in a vesper format at the close of the day and bookended by the beloved hymns "Day Is Dying in the West" and "Now the Day Is Over", these services combine the musical gifts of one of the world's largest singing congregations with the 125-voice Chautauqua Choir, all led by the 5,640 pipes of the Massey Memorial Organ.

Many styles of music from the past five hundred years are presented, and a special feature is the inclusion of scriptural and devotional readings and prayers carefully selected to reflect each week's theme. Since 1907, every Sacred Song Service has closed with the playing of "Largo" from George Frederick Handel's opera Xerxes, a beloved custom which has been a vital part of the Chautauqua Experience for many, many people over the years. All services begin at 8 p.m. and last approximately one hour.