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Spiritual Life


Participation in religious activities and attendance at chapel services is strictly voluntary, left to the needs and desires of the individual midshipman. The U.S. Merchant Marine Memorial Chapel, built by public subscription as a tribute to the officers and men of the merchant marines who lost their lives in the service of the nation, serves all faiths.

Chaplains are available to assist midshipmen with their spiritual and personal needs. The Protestant and Catholic programs include weekly Sunday services, a daily Catholic mass, Bible studies and social events. Opportunities for spiritual growth are available through retreats, religious study programs, and sacramental preparation classes.

Jewish midshipmen can attend one of the local synagogues, and arrangements can be made for leave and liberty for the observance of special holidays.

Midshipmen of other faiths requiring special arrangements to attend a house of worship of their choice may obtain assistance from the chaplain’s office.



The Christian Fellowship Club provides Protestant midshipmen at the Academy with spiritual and social guidance. Meetings are held every Monday night at 2000 in the Yocum Sailing Center and usually consist of music followed by a message and prayer session, everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate. Activities include retreats, barbecues, concerts, volunteering, and various team movement trips.


The Newman Club is the Academy's spiritual and social club for Catholic midshipmen. Masses are held on Tuesday at 1930 in the lower chapel followed by a period of fellowship and study in the Lighthouse at 2000. Activities include trips to New York City among other places, volunteering at local parishes, participation in Midnight Run (a clothing drive for homeless in NY city), and various others.


The Mariners Chorus is a select group of midshipmen and faculty staff, varying in number from 10-20, who perform at various Academy and non-Academy functions. Practice is held twice a week and the music covers many genre. Yearly performances for the chorus include performing in the Academy's "Beat Retreat" with the Regimental Band, and Thanksgiving, Festival of Lights and Baccalaureate services. Off-campus trips have taken the chorus to perform for local groups as well as for the International Presidents Organization. A small contingent of the chorus also performed for Cardinal O'Connor's 80th birthday celebration at St. Patrick's Cathedral. No prior choir experience is needed, all are encouraged to come and sing with us!


The Chapel choir is a group of midshipmen who sing or play various instruments during Sunday services in conjunction with the chapel music director. Practices are held weekly and all are welcome to come.


Every year the Chapel sponsors events such as barbecues, trips, retreats, ice cream parties as well as many other varied events to suit everyone. The use of the midshipman Lighthouse Lounge, where television, games, books, and a piano reside, is also provided on a daily basis. We encourage all to come down and utilize the facilities to your benefit while still respecting them.

  • Jewish Worship
  • Prayer Meetings
  • Chaplain Care and Confidentiality
  • Weddings, Funerals, Memorial Services, Counseling
  • Choirs, Praise Band and instrumental opportunities
  • Constant Chapel access
  • Volunteer work: Homeless Shelter, Nursing homes, Building projects, Clothing Drive and Religious Education
  • Social fun: BBQ's, Retreats, City Tours, etc.
  • Suicide prevention and intervention skills training


  • Bible Studies (weekly, various groups)
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
  • Newman Club (Catholic Midshipman Club)
  • Christian Fellowship Club (CFC)
  • Jewish Life Club
  • Latter-day Saint Student Association (Mormon)
  • Episcopal Student Association
  • Lutheran Student Association
  • Orthodox Student Association
  • Presbyterian Student Association
  • Men’s Bible Study
  • Ladies Bible Study
  • Iron Men/Women Morning Devotions

The Midshipman Inter-Faith Council (MIFC) is comprised of midshipmen representatives from different faith backgrounds who focus on religious education and discussion across the regiment. Their mission is to build trust, respect and community through midshipmen of different faiths and beliefs to ensure the religious needs of Academy midshipmen are accommodated to the fullest extent possible. Currently, the MIFC is made up of 16 midshipmen from nine religions, who provide interfaith opportunities and help educate and model religious respect.


United States Merchant Marine Academy midshipmen are truly a diverse group of future leaders – young men and women from different family backgrounds, states and countries, ethnic groups and a variety of religious faiths and beliefs.

Supported by the United States Navy Chaplain Corps, midshipmen come to thrive in this setting and live out the enduring values of respect, magnanimity and human dignity for all. Whether exercising their own freedom of religion or learning to ensure the same freedoms for those they will lead in the Merchant Marines, military services or maritime industries, midshipmen have a robust group of faith communities to help them grow.


Academy chaplains are active duty United States Navy Chaplain Corps chaplains who provide counseling and assistance with issues ranging from stress and academy life transitions to grief and loss. Chaplains provide personal, moral and spiritual care and the information shared with the chaplain is treated with absolute confidentiality. To speak with a chaplain, call 516-726-5709. Their offices are located on the zero deck of the Mariners’ Memorial Chapel, open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For after-hours emergencies, call 516-497-1852.


Now Accepting Applications for the Class of 2029