National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA)
NCEA is the largest, private professional education association in the world. NCEA works with Catholic educators to support ongoing faith formation and the teaching mission of the Catholic Church. Our membership includes nearly 140,000 educators serving 1.6 million students in Catholic education.
As a professional association whose focus is Catholic school education, NCEA’s focus is to lead, learn and proclaim by:
- Developing current and future leaders;
- Providing educational resources and strategically expanding professional development opportunities for those committed to the mission of Catholic education; and
- Serving as the national voice for Catholic schools.
Brief History of the NCEA
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 CEA 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 title and, in 1929, NCEA headquarters moved to Washington, D.C., to be in proximity to other national secular agencies of education. NCEA 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.
At present, NCEA focuses on: leadership development for superintendents, presidents, principals, pastors, and governing bodies; professional development for teachers; and serving as the voice for Catholic school education.