Campus Life

Spiritual Life at The Hill

Grounded in the Christian faith of the school’s founders, the Spiritual Life program welcomes diverse religious traditions as it seeks to promote the growth of the soul in all students as individuals, as members of the community, and as citizens of the world.

Hill School students are required to attend nondenominational Christian Chapel services twice a week. These are times for the entire community to gather and reflect on others’ beliefs, insights and life-affecting experiences. Any sixth form student may (with the Chaplain’s permission) give a chapel talk, and the School encourages all students to do so during their time at The Hill.

All boarding students also are required, at least once in each grading period, to attend some form of worship or meditation with other members of the Hill community. A weekly worship service, Meditation, the Fellowship of Christians in Universities and Schools (FOCUS), Shabbat dinners and other programs are offered every week; each list typically also includes friends’ meeting for worship, and visits to the local synagogue and Islamic center. The school encourages students to experience traditions other than their own. There are a variety of voluntary worship opportunities, as well.

Additional services are also offered on major religious occasions. Faculty arrange for Roman Catholic students to be able to attend Mass on all Holy Days of Obligation. All Souls’ Day, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and the Blessing of Campus Pets on St. Francis’ Day are all observed in the Chapel. The Hill’s annual Advent candlelight service is held in the Alumni Chapel on a Sunday prior to the winter break, and the Hill frequently hosts the annual Pottstown Community Celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Depending on student interest, the Spiritual Life Program also offers a Spiritual Life Committee for students to participate.

For questions about The Hill's Spiritual Life program, contact The Rev. Khristi Adams at kadams@thehill.org.

Weekday Chapel Services

All Hill students, regardless of their religious affiliation, attend twice-weekly nondenominational Christian chapel services. These are times for the entire community to gather; sing a hymn; offer intercessory prayer for the School community, Pottstown, the nation, and the world; and reflect on others' beliefs, insights, and life-affecting experiences as expressed in a chapel talk. Chapel talks are given by a sixth form student (with the Chaplains' permission), a member of the faculty, and occasionally a guest speaker.

LISTEN TO HILL SCHOOL CHAPEL TALKS

Spiritual Life Requirements

Additional services are offered on major religious occasions: students make the short trip to Congregation Mercy and Truth for the High Holy Days, a sukkah is erected outside the Dining Hall for Sukkot, and a variety of students and faculty gather for the annual Hill Seder and a Hanukkah celebration. A faculty member arranges transportation to the Islamic Society of Greater Valley Forge for various significant observances. Roman Catholic students are able to attend Mass on all Holy Days of Obligation. Our chaplains lead services on campus for Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, and Holy Week. The Hill’s annual Advent candlelight service is held in the Alumni Chapel on a Sunday prior to the winter break, and The Hill frequently hosts the annual Pottstown Community Celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.

Hill School student gather on campus to enjoy a Shabbat dinner.

Meet the Chaplains

The Rev. Khrisit Adams | Firestone Endowment Chaplain

The Rev. Khristi Adams joins The Hill faculty as the School’s Firestone Endowment Chaplain and an instructor of religious studies and philosophy. Rev. Adams earned her B.A. at Temple University (2003) and, in 2008, her M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary. The Rev. Adams previously worked as a chaplain and campus pastor at both Georgetown University and Azusa Pacific University (Calif.) and as a program administrator for the Center for Black Church Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary; a counselor for adolescents and young adults at the Christian Wellness Center of New Jersey. She continues to serve as an associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (Somerset, N.J.). She also has extensive experience in providing students with pastoral counseling and spiritual guidance; organizing student life programs, conferences, and service opportunities; partnering with community groups; and using mediums including the dramatic arts and film to teach and engage a variety of audiences.

Contact the Rev. Adams at kadams@thehill.org.

The Rev. Anne Confer Martens '02 | Warner Associate Chaplain

The Rev. Confer Martens grew up in York, Pennsylvania and came to The Hill School as a student in the fall of 1999, following in the footsteps of her brother and cousin. She graduated from The Hill in 2002. She has a B.A. in Religious Studies from Connecticut College, a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and an S.T.M. (Master of Sacred Theology) from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. She completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. In January 2016, she was ordained a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In addition to serving as the associate chaplain, the Rev. Confer Martens is the Chair of the Religious Studies and Philosophy Department and the Dr. W.K. Runyeon Instructor of Religious Studies and Philosophy. She is a dorm parent in Johnson House, where she lives with her husband, Eric, and sons, Andrew and Timothy.

Contact The Rev. Confer Martens at aconfermartens@thehill.org.

History of the Alumni Chapel

Built in 1904, the Alumni Chapel is one of the oldest and most recognizable buildings on campus. The Chapel was the first collaborative gift from alumni, presented specifically to pay tribute to the importance of spiritual life at The Hill. After initial fundraising fell short, William W. Clawson, president of the alumni association and Hill class of 1885, embarked upon a formal campaign to raise money for a new chapel. Solicitation cards inscribed with the slogan "The Hill School Chapel: To Be or Not to Be?" were sent to all alumni. This prompted a great response of generous donations and before long the full amount needed for the chapel construction was received. 

With more than 100 alumni in attendance, the formal dedication of the chapel took place on February 20, 1904. To complete the chapel, Headmaster John Meigs and his wife, Marion, donated an organ, which also was dedicated at the ceremony in memory of John's mother, Mary.