Chapel and Spirituality




School Minister Will Whitmore serves as a pastoral presence on campus and seeks to engage and encourage students, faculty, and staff regardless of their beliefs. Whether it’s within the walls of the Chapel, on the playing field, or walking to lunch, Rev. Whitmore shares in their joys and concerns and affirms their value and abilities in all circumstances.

Nurturing hearts, minds, and spirits

The Irvine Memorial Chapel serves as a campus reminder of our mission to teach students to approach life thoughtfully and creatively, to develop moral character, to live for something beyond themselves, to value their own spirituality, and to serve others. The Chapel is a meeting space on campus where our students and faculty come together at various times throughout the year to hear from members of our community or guest speakers. Through these community gatherings, we aim to learn about other beliefs and ideas and gain exposure to different perspectives. 

The Chapel is a place of quietness and peace where school community members can take a break from their busy schedules throughout the week. Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. when school is in session, the Chapel provides a venue for meditation and reflection.

All are welcome to join us for an optional ecumenical service of worship in the Protestant tradition at 11 a.m. on Sundays when school is in session, as well as for our Carillon recitals at 3 p.m. on many Sundays.

While the physical space of the Chapel is important within the life of the community, the work and ethos of the Chapel extend far beyond its walls.







History of the Chapel

Our Chapel is the culmination of 30 years’ worth of dreaming, planning, and working by Dr. William Mann Irvine, founder and first headmaster (1893–1928) of Mercersburg Academy, and his wife Camille. Designed by Ralph Adams Cram, the Chapel was dedicated in 1926 to the memory of Mercersburg alumni killed in World War I and to the mothers who sent their children to Mercersburg Academy. It was rededicated at the Centennial Celebration of the Academy in 1993 as the Irvine Memorial Chapel. The Chapel spire, a replica of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford, England, contains one of 163 traditional carillons in the United States. 




Students come to Mercersburg Academy from different cultural and religious backgrounds, and we embrace this diversity on our campus.

While some denominational churches are within walking distance of campus (including Methodist, Lutheran, Church of Christ, and AME), other houses of worship are not accessible on foot. Therefore, we provide transportation to—or sponsor worship services and events for—those of other faith traditions and use these occasions as teaching moments for the school community. For more information, contact School Minister Will Whitmore at 717-328-6137 or whitmorew@mercersburg.edu.