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Church-Related Education

March 26, 1958

Report Outline
New Interest in Church-Aided Schools
Role of Churches in American Education
Special Features of Church Schools

New Interest in Church-Aided Schools

Popular regard for the caliber of American education has kept a steady spotlight on the nation's public school systems and made them the object of a continuing stream of criticism and controversy. Parochial schools have escaped attention of this kind, largely because it has been the usual thing to look on them as the exclusive concern of their sponsoring churches. Yet church-operated schools carry a significant part of the burden of mass education. Their work is accountable along with that of public schools for the end-products of American teaching.

At present, there appears to be a growing trend to push the church schools more into the open and subject them to the same pressures for re-evaluation and modernization that are felt by the public schools. Church leaders themselves are largely responsible for turning the public eye toward church-supported schools. Some of the critics have been surprisingly frank in directing attention to alleged shortcomings; many stress the need to improve courses and teaching to meet current demands for a better educated population. All voice determination to reassert the values of a general education anchored in religious faith.

What is happening among church-operated schools, most of which are Roman Catholic, has its counterpart among church-connected institutions of higher learning, a majority of which are associated with Protestant denominations. A movement is under way to restore the prestige of small church-connected colleges and universities. Renewal of the influence they formerly exerted is considered urgent at a time when demands for technical and specialist training threaten to overshadow the appeal of the broad, liberal arts education for which church colleges have been noted.

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