Students attending a lecture

Academic Life

The academic profile of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music spans traditions and geographies. Partnering with two professional schools as well as numerous departments at one of the world’s great research universities, over 100 faculty, staff, students, and visiting scholars and artists comprise the dynamic community of the ISM. Students meet our faculty in the classroom, studio, rehearsal hall, and worship spaces, and while participating in study tours.

As an international center for sacred music, worship, and the related arts, the Institute sponsors about 100 concerts, recitals, conferences, lectures, exhibits, films, and special events each year and is an active partner in the worship life of Yale’s many chapels.

Graduate Students

ISM students pursue studies in one or more of these areas: musical performance, church music, worship, theology, literature, and the history of art or music.

  • Candidates for music degrees are fully admitted to both the ISM and the Yale School of Music, and receive the best in conservatory training.
  • ISM Divinity students are fully admitted to both the ISM and Yale Divinity School; in the ISM they contextualize the arts they study within a broad-based, ecumenical theological education.

ISM students work together with the renowned interdisciplinary ISM faculty in courses, studios, ensembles, and the preparation and celebration of worship services. The flexible curricula of the Institute and its partner schools allow for full engagement with Yale’s wide-ranging learning environment and collections. The weekly ISM colloquium, team-taught courses, biennial study trip, and rich community life are some of the ways ISM students achieve the kind of integrative learning that will prepare them for work in their chosen fields.

In addition to receiving their degrees from one of the professional schools, Institute students receive the ISM certificate, signifying that they have gained more than the training either school alone can offer.

Joint Degrees

The School of Music and Divinity School participate in a number of joint-degree programs. Institute students interested in applying to such programs should consult the ISM director.

Yale Students and the ISM

There are varieties of ways for any Yale student to become involved in the work of the Institute of Sacred Music: through music lessons, musical ensembles, courses, and a range of other activities. Interested students should make inquiries to the ISM office.