Rockefeller Memorial Chapel is the ceremonial and spiritual center of the University of Chicago, and a major civic presenter of performing arts. Modeled after the medieval collegiate chapels of Europe, it has been open to celebrations of all traditions since 1928. As a department of Campus and Student Life, the Rockefeller Chapel team additionally operates nearby Joseph Bond Chapel and the Office of Spiritual Life in Ida Noyes Hall. Together, the University Chapels mark key life events from weddings to memorials, and are engines of inquiry and affinity for those seeking the architecture and atmosphere they embody.
With a seating capacity of more than 1,500, this is a majestic chapel of the kind found at many of the world’s greatest universities: a gathering place for academic ceremonies and for a wide variety of events. It has been open to all for over 90 years, taking on a different character each day of the week and each week of the year. Major public lectures, Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols, special choral Shabbat services, Easter with brass and the masterwork E.M. Skinner pipe organ, the interfaith Thanksgiving service, and the University's annual Martin Luther King Day celebration fill our space to the proverbial rafters.
Over 220,000 annual visitors come through for concerts, convocations, daily carillon tours, Hyde Park Jazz Fest, Chicago Architecture Center's Open House weekend, Alumni Weekend, Sunday services, and interreligious events and concerts of every kind.
Rockefeller Chapel remains the largest indoor gathering space of the University of Chicago. Those who have spoken to great crowds here have included Albert Schweitzer, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jawaharlal Nehru, Jane Addams, Karl Barth, Martin Buber, Toni Morrison, Desmond Tutu, Angela Davis, Barack Obama, Wangari Maathai, Elie Wiesel, Jane Goodall, Cornel West, and Bernie Sanders. Presenting partnerships with the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, UChicago Presents, and Empty Bottle Presents have brought international talent to the chancel stage, from Sun Ra, Amir ElSaffar, and Peter Murphy (BAUHAUS) to Tegan & Sara, Anonymous 4, and the Bach Collegium Japan.
The architecture is sacred by design, but Rockefeller Chapel has always been more than a church of any one tradition. Please join us to explore what it means to you!
Bond Chapel, connected by a beautiful cloister to the University of Chicago Divinity School's Swift Hall and managed by Rockefeller Chapel, likewise hosts a wide range of artistic, ceremonial, and spiritual events in its more intimate 150-seat setting. For information about holding a wedding at Bond, please see our weddings page.