Spiritual Life

Blair was founded by local Presbyterian elders in the spring of 1848. While continuing to respect the Judeo-Christian values of our founding, Blair now embraces a wider, more inclusive view of religious life and is a member of the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education.

The School promotes various avenues–some traditional, some not–to instill a sense of common values in students, always underscoring the critical value of understanding and tolerating others’ backgrounds.

"Thursday Chapels" are an important part of Blair life. These meetings bring together the entire Blair community to hear the Chaplain, a student, faculty or guest speaker on a topic of moral importance or on an individual issue of faith. Chapel has become a time of sharing and learning with an emphasis on respect for the diverse cultures represented within the School.

Sunday-night Vespers provides an opportunity for the Chaplain and student volunteers to nurture the spiritual lives of Blair community members through a service of music, creative ritual, readings and prayer. The annual Christmas Vespers is a Christian service for the entire school community. 

Questions? Contact Chaplain Russell Powell at (908) 362-6121, ext. 5687, or send him an email at powelr@blair.edu.

Christian Fellowship

The Christian Fellowship is a religious fellowship that meets informally for a variety of activities from social events to worship and study.

The group provides a supportive environment for examining questions of faith.

Jewish Union

The Jewish Union is an informal association of students and faculty of Jewish faith.

The group also includes those community members who are interested in learning more about Judaism.

Community Service

Blair students reach out locally and globally through the Community Service Club, a student-led organization that works to develop and facilitate community service activities for Blair and the community beyond.

Recent undertakings have included tutoring at local schools, building projects for the homeless, raising money for a battered women’s shelter and participating in the Big Brother/Big Sister program.

Chesnutt Chapel

The Rev. Dr. James H. Chesnutt was honored on April 23, 2004, at a dedication ceremony for the Chesnutt Chapel (formerly the Clinton Hall Art Gallery).

Said the Rev. Peter Amerman, who was then the school chaplain: “The reinvention of an old space will provide us with an appropriate facility for students and faculty to frequent for quiet time during the week, and a place that will host our Sunday Vespers services throughout the year.”

Local Church Services

Students interested in attending local church/temple services can make transportation arrangements with the school chaplain, Russell Powell.

Below is a list of area churches. For services that are not within walking distance of campus, faculty members are available to give students a ride to one of these churches.

  • First Presbyterian Church at 1 Main Street in Blairstown is an easy walk from campus. Services are held on Sundays at 10 a.m. by the Rev. Dave Harvey.
  • St. Jude Roman Catholic Church at 7 Eisenhower Drive, a four-mile drive southwest off Rt. 94. Masses are held at 5 p.m. on Saturdays and at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings. 
  • Evangelical Free Church of Blairstown at 11 Lambert Road, off Rt. 94 directly in front of North Warren High School. Services are held at 8:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. on Sundays. 
  • First United Methodist Church at 10 Stillwater Road in Blairstown is also within walking distance of campus. Services are held at 10 a.m. on Sundays.
  • Jewish services: Rides to a local synagogue on High Holy Days can be arranged by speaking with leaders of the Jewish Union or by contacting Mr. Powell.
  • Sunday Vespers are held most Sunday’s in Blair’s own Chesnutt Chapel from 5 to 5:30 pm. (located on the third floor of Clinton Hall). 

Thursday Chapel

Every Thursday, a student or faculty member addresses the Blair community at Thursday Chapel, and the School covers some of those presentations on its website (and, in some cases, posts videos as well).


All "Thursday Chapels" are held at 10:30 a.m. in Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts, unless otherwise noted. 

The schedule of speakers for spring 2017 is listed below:

  • April 6 — Emily Lunger '17
  • April 14 — Annicka Haines '17
  • April 20 — Catharine Berry-Toon '17
  • May 4 — El Ryan '17
  • May 11 — Gratitude Chapel, led by
    Sade Johnson '17
  • May 18 — John C. Bogle '47