Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Department of Christian Education
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
The Department of Christian Education had its roots in the General Board of Religious Education, which was established canonically in 1910 by the General Convention for the purpose of religious instruction. As part of its efforts, it trained Sunday School teachers, developed religious curricula, organized conferences, and maintained summer schools and campus ministries.
In 1919, the General Board of Religious Education became the Department of Religious Education; instead of reporting to the General Convention, the new department now reported to the Presiding Bishop and National Council. In 1938 its name was changed to the Department of Christian Education. In 1942, the department was brought under the umbrella of the newly formed Home Department, resulting in its brief re-designation as the Division of Christian Education. It was again made a separate department in 1947.
As a result of the Executive Council’s reorganization in 1968, the Department of Christian Education was integrated into the Section I (Service to Dioceses) program group alongside the Home Department, General Division of Research and Field Study, and General Division of Women’s Work with their functions being combined and streamlined to improve organizational flexibility. From 1970 to 1973, there was no staff officer in charge of religious education. The work was briefly carried out thereafter under the direction of a Program Group on Education, followed by an Education Committee headed by an Educational Officer of Executive Council, until the Office of Religious Education was established. Today, educational responsibilities are carried out by different formation ministries within The Episcopal Church.