Students listening to professor

About the ISM

A meeting place for ministers and musicians, scholars and artists

The Yale Institute of Sacred Music was founded in 1973 by a grant from the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller Foundation of Columbus, Indiana. As the successor to the School of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary in New York City  resituated in one of the world’s great research universities, the ISM has grown from a faculty of three and student body of ten to a vibrant community of well over 100 students, faculty, fellows, and staff.

In partnership with the Yale School of Music, Yale Divinity School, and other academic units at Yale, the Institute and its renowned faculty offer students unparalleled opportunities for in-depth study and interdisciplinary engagement. Students pursuing music degrees receive rigorous conservatory training in choral conducting, organ, or voice. Students in divinity programs study worship, music, literature, and the visual arts in the context of a broad-based, robust theological education. All students create connections between their chosen fields and explore the role of the arts in human flourishing. As skilled artists and thinkers, our graduates become leaders in the Church, the academy, and major arts-related institutions.

ISM fellowships are granted to scholars and artists whose work relates to the mission of the Institute. Relocating to New Haven for one or two academic terms, they are integrated into Institute and university life through teaching and sharing their work. 

The Institute also sponsors academic and artistic events, as well as a series of publications to enrich life at Yale and beyond.

Many of the professional photographs on this site were taken by Robert A. Lisak