At The Episcopal Academy, we believe worship and character education go hand-in-hand with intellectual and social development.
Chapel, a 30-minute Episcopalian service, takes place weekly for the Lower School, and three times a week for Middle and Upper Schools. Guest speakers, dignitaries, and students address the Chapel theme for the year. Middle and Upper School students take further responsibility by planning their own services through their respective Chapel Council and Student Vestry.
Chapel provides an opportunity to inspire students to think how they can lead lives of purpose, faith and integrity. It also offers time for students and faculty to ask two important questions: What do I know about the world, and what do I want to do about it?
An inclusive, Christian community, The Episcopal Academy welcomes and embraces all people with warmth and authentic hospitality. Chapel is where our musicians first perform in public; where ancient stories come alive; and where our entire community comes together to encourage one another on our journeys of faith.
Discover Chapel through the inspiring words of our guest speakers. Click here to view our recent Upper School Chapel talks from students, faculty, and community leaders.
Tim Gavin was ordained to Holy Orders on January 12, 2013. He has worn many hats at the Episcopal Academy: Media specialist in the library, Dean of Students, Form Dean, English and religion teacher, and Lower School Chaplain. Tim can boast that he has taught every grade at EA since his arrival in 1988.
Now our Head Chaplain, Tim directs the spiritual program and offers pastoral care to our community. He also leads the partnership program for St. Marc’s School in Haiti, and has developed a partnership between EA’s fifth grade and St. James School (Philadelphia) fifth grade.
Tim is married to Joyce and has two sons, Jake and Nick. He loves to run long distances and coaches varsity cross country and track.
Rev. Bert Zug
Bert Zug first fell in love with Episcopal Academy while watching his brothers play soccer for EA in the early 1960s. He entered Episcopal in Kindergarten and graduated in 1978. His daughter graduated in 2003, his son in 2006.
Bert has worked at EA for almost 20 years, teaching Middle School students and leading the Middle School Chapel program. He considers it a privilege to give back to the institution that was so formative to his early life and faith.
Bert received his B.S. in Religion from Trinity College. After working as a youth minister for five years, he was sponsored for ordination and moved to Sewickley, PA to attend Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry. He graduated with an MDiv in 1990.
Lower School Chaplain Michelle Bullock has a diverse background as a youth and family minister. Before coming to EA, she served as a youth minister for Saint Christopher's Church in Gladwyne. Prior to her time in our area, Michelle served in family and youth ministry roles in Raleigh, North Carolina.
An active volunteer, she has experience in coaching the Girls on the Run program, teaching summer art camps, planning diocesan events, and working at soup kitchens. Prior to her work in ministry, she served as a 3rd grade teacher in North Carolina and as an English teacher and curriculum coordinator at a university in China.
The Episcopal Academy offers three chaplains who are on-call to serve the spiritual and intellectual needs of the entire community. If you have a pastoral emergency, please call Fr. Tim Gavin at 610.656.5474. Read more about our chaplains' services below:
If you would like a chaplain to preside over your wedding, please contact the chaplain of your choice. As priests of The Episcopal Church, chaplains follow the diocese of Pennsylvania's requirements and will therefore meet with couples at least three times to discuss marriage, faith values, relationships, conflict resolution, the elements of a successful marriage, family, and development of Christian commitment.
EA chaplains may officiate weddings at any venue. If scheduled in advance, couples may choose to be married in the Class of 1944 Chapel on The Episcopal Academy campus for no charge.
Because The Episcopal Church has validated same-gender marriages, chaplains preside over all marriages as long as both people are fit to share in a mutually exclusive and loving relationship. Please note that at least one partner must be a baptized Christian to be married in The Episcopal Church.
Chaplains pay visits to the hospital not to evangelize, but to provide support and to help the patient emotionally process all that he or she is experiencing. Chaplains will also visit extended family members of students, staff, teachers, and administrators.
In addition to providing emotional support, the chaplains can offer the sacraments: Eucharist, Healing, or Reconciliation.
During extended illnesses, chaplains make house visits to provide emotional support and to help the communication between school and family if a child is ill for an extended time. The chaplains can also help with making the transition back to school run smoothly as possible. Feel free to contact the chaplains at any time.
When people struggle with their own spiritual journey, chaplains may assist with clarifying language, offering various forms of spiritual disciplines, or helping identify where they are in their spiritual journey. Chaplains will not be judgmental, nor will they try to advocate one spiritual practice over another.
The Episcopal Academy Chapel program is home to many rich traditions. Two that bring our community together year after year are the annual Chapel Theme and Middle School Faith Papers.
The Chapel Theme acts as a central thematic thread throughout the school year.
Each spring, the Upper School Vestry and Middle School Chapel Council ask for ideas for the theme that will form a focus of Chapel for the following academic year.
The student leaders of these two groups establish processes where their peers, faculty, administration, and staff across all units of the school offer their suggestions as to what core consideration should be under discussion.
Chapel Theme for 2016-2017
"Hold fast to what is good" (Romans 12:9)
Middle School Faith Papers
When a student enters eighth grade, he/she has developmentally reached the point where abstract thought has become meaningful. Students begin to understand the complexities of relationships and can examine his/her convictions in a critical way.
During this time, when II Form students have come to the place where they can more fully incorporate discussions of philosophy and theology into their lives, we ask them to look deep within themselves and consider questions of faith: What do I believe? Why do I believe it? What difference does it make that I believe what I believe? The culminating piece of this self-examination is a written piece, which is referred to as the faith paper.
The Chapel organ required more than four years of planning and construction. It was completed by R. J. Brunner & Co. of Silver Spring, PA in 2008. Read more here.
Bible Study meets twice monthly. All are welcome to attend the class, which meets at 8 a.m. in the chapel conference room.
We will study the concept of Radical Hospitality and how we can apply the concept to our daily lives. The Bible, time and time again, offers illustrations of the concept. From the moment of creation in Genesis, God offers radical hospitality to humankind by making them in his image. Abraham demonstrates radical hospitality to the three strangers who visit Sara and him. The prophets explain that Israel's exile is the result of neglecting offer Radical Hospitality to the poor. The father of the Prodigal Son embraces his youngest son with Radical Hospitality as he returns home after losing everything. Of course, Jesus' ministry, passion and death are all motivated and informed with the concept of Radical Hospitality.
We as a community can hold fast to what is good by living Radical Hospitality and welcoming everyone into our community, granting them dignity, affirmation and love. Through Radical Hospitality, we can make the stranger our neighbor and break through the barriers that separate us.
Please join Bible Study to explore how Radical Hospitality can be applied to our everyday lives.