Rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) is a professional membership organization that provides leadership, direction, and service to fulfill the evangelizing, catechizing, and teaching mission of the Church.
Brief History of the National Catholic Educational Association
NCEA traces its official beginning to a meeting held in St. Louis, Missouri, July 12-14, 1904. At that meeting the separate Catholic education organizations; the Education Conference of Catholic Seminary Faculties (1898), the Association of Catholic Colleges (1899), and the Parish School Conference (1902) agreed to unite as the Catholic Educational Association (CEA).
From then until 1919, the CEA was the only unifying agent for Catholic education at the national level. In 1919, the establishment of the National Catholic War Council (NCWC) - later changed to National Catholic Welfare Council to serve as an agency of the American bishops to coordinate all Catholic activity, including education - marked a new era for CEA. A working relationship of independent cooperation between the Association and the Department of Education of NCWC was established that endures with the NCW successor, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
In 1927, the word "national" was added to the official CEA title and, in 1929, the Association headquarters moved to Washington, District of Columbia, to be in proximity to other national secular agencies of education. The Association began a policy of friendly cooperation with other private and public educational associations and federal government agencies in the service of all aspects of American education.
ACCU and the NCEA
The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), founded independently in 1899, has a long relationship with the various components that later became the National Catholic Educational Association, of which it is a constitutive member. ACCU became an independently incorporated 501(c)3 organization on July 1, 2011 and an affiliate member organization of the NCEA.
NCEA is a voluntary association of educators and institutions. The Association's structure is based on a departmental arrangement whereby member institutions hold Association membership through one of the constitutive departments. The membership departments are:
Boards and Councils
Chief Administrators of Catholic Education (CACE)
NCEA is the largest private professional education organization in the world, representing 200,000 Catholic educators serving 7.6 million students in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, in religious education programs, in seminaries, and in colleges and universities.
Symbolism of the Official NCEA Logo
The base of this stylized lamp of learning represents all Catholic educators. From the witness of their lives emanate the flames of the gospel message, faith community, and Christian service. As they pass the flame of learning to others, they share the warmth and light of Christ. In their ministry, they are constantly gifted and challenged by the Holy Spirit, symbolized by the highest flame. The overall circular design of the logo reflects the universal love of the Father, and the concern of Catholic educational ministers for the entire world community.