Students in discussion during classColloquium is central to the purpose of the Institute and to the faculty’s involvement in, and personal attention to, how ISM students are trained. Colloquium is the meeting ground for all Institute students and faculty, the place where we study together, grapple with major issues, and share our work as students of sacred music, worship, and the arts.

The Institute of Sacred Music Colloquium is a course, taken for credit, that meets every Wednesday from 3.30 until 5 p.m., with informal discussion from 5 to 5.30 p.m. It is divided into two term-long parts, with responsibility for the fall term resting primarily with the faculty and outside presenters, and for the spring term primarily with the students.

One of the primary tenets of the Institute’s mission is to bring together into conversation the broad fields of arts and religion. To this end, ISM students from the two partner schools of Music and Divinity collaborate on a presentation to be given in their final year. In their penultimate year, student pairings are made and as a team they develop a topic and thesis to which they both can contribute significantly and collaborate equally. This process is advised and monitored by ISM faculty, and at the end of the year, they award the Faculty Prize to the best student presentation.

Student presentations will be graded on the following system:pass with distinction. pass, pass with reservation, or fail. All ISM faculty members will grade your presentation and submit one or two remarks. The Director will collate all the information, adjudicate the grade and convey the faculty comments to the students. Students whose presentations do not pass will not receive credit for the semester of Colloquium in which they presented; therefore they will not receive the ISM Certificate.

Attendance Policy: All ISM students are required to attend and participate fully in the weekly colloquium to receive credit each semester. No credit will be given for more than one absence per semester. Any absence must be excused by the director ahead of time.  Absences due to observances of a religious holiday will be excused. There are no limits on this type of absence.

Link to information for Current Faculty and Students