The Pennington School, established as the Methodist Episcopal Male Seminary in 1838, has a long tradition of spirituality. Over the years, our students and their religious beliefs have diversified and, in turn, the School's Chapel services have also changed. Today, our students are multi-denominational, believing not only in Christianity, but also in Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Quakerism, and Buddhism.
How can all these faiths fit together? At Pennington, we believe that all beliefs are important and that every religion is to be valued. Weekly chapel services are a ritual in the Pennington community. Upper School chapel services are led by the School chaplain in the Pennington United Methodist Church; he leads Middle School chapel services on campus. At times the entire School community gathers together for services in the larger Pennington Presbyterian Church. Chapel services are a peaceful time for reflection and thought about life and love, friendship and community, right and wrong—themes that are important in every religion and in every country of the world.
Together, students and faculty grapple with current events, historical truths, and hopes for the future. Whether through a poem or a song or a prayer or a question, all members of the School listen and think and learn from one another, and in so doing we become a community united together by common concerns, joys, and dreams.
Students know that the school year is drawing to a close when Senior Chapel concludes the weekly services in June. This final gathering of the community allows the students, the faculty, and the administration to reflect on their time at Pennington and on the days ahead. It is a milestone for the seniors in their journey towards graduation and then life, where they will join new communities, carrying with them the lessons they have learned at Pennington.