Disciples Divinity House

of the University of Chicago

The Disciples Divinity House has a gracious and historic building, located near the heart of the University, adjacent to the main quadrangle. Its facilities enhance a lively community of learning and support.

Completed in 1928, the Divinity House has twenty-three student rooms, a common room, a small research library, a chapel, offices, and two guest rooms. The handsome limestone building was designed by Henry K. Holsman in a collegiate gothic style. Arts and crafts influences are apparent in design features such as the common room's fireplace inglenook. Private student rooms are furnished and feature leaded glass windows. Dining and kitchen areas accommodate everyday use by the residential community as well as the regular Monday dinner for forty and more persons. See photos from the 1930s.

The Chapel of the Holy Grail

The chapel is the center of community worship life and a place for meditation. The brilliant stained glass windows, designed by Charles J. Connick, feature themes from the legend of the holy grail and give the chapel its name. Its Aeolian pipe organ was fully restored in 2005-07. Formal services are held the first Monday of every month during the academic year.

Click here for more about the Chapel of the Holy Grail.

The Herbert L. Willett Library

The library holds a selected collection of books, journals, papers, and pamphlets. It is a private facility intended primarily for the use of House Scholars and ecumenical residents. Its collection supplements the vast resources of the University's libraries and of the neighborhood seminaries' libraries. It has basic reference works for the study of religion, and many of the required books for introductory courses and doctoral examinations.

The library features historical materials about the Disciples of Christ and books by Disciples authors, especially alumni/ae. Its holdings include: rare books and journals related to the Disciples of Christ movement; works from the Durrett Collection dealing with "Campbellite controversy" during the early years of the movement; early records of the Chicago Disciples Union; archived material about the Disciples Divinity House, its deans, and students; the personal library of C. C. Morrison, founding editor of The Christian Century; and volumes from the libraries of Deans Willett, Ames, and Blakemore. Some of these resources are being archived digitally and can be viewed online.

The library is named for the founding dean, Herbert Lockwood Willett (1864-1944), a biblical scholar, popular speaker, and leading ecumenist of his day. His portrait hangs over the library fireplace.