New York, NY—The National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) is pleased to announce the release of its Principles of Good Practice for the Study of Religion in Episcopal Schools, the fourth in its Principles of Good Practice series.
Cognizant of the myriad and frequent questions the Association’s staff members receive regarding this important aspect of Episcopal school life, the NAES Governing Board and staff developed and adopted these principles in April 2010. They are not offered prescriptively, but to highlight the crucial components of a comprehensive and age appropriate approach to religious study in an Episcopal school, as well as to emphasize just how important a serious study of religion is to the Episcopal identity of the school and the development of its students into global citizens. They are intended to be used at Episcopal schools as part of the context for formulating and assessing curricular offerings in this area.
Topics covered by the Principles of Good Practice for the Study of Religion in Episcopal Schools include:
- The Relationship of the Study of Religion to Chapel Programs or Programs of Religious Instruction
- The Place of the Study of Religion in a School’s Curriculum
- Age Appropriateness in the Study of Religion
- Biblical Study at the Heart of a School’s Study of Religion
- The Importance of the Study of World Religions
- The Place of Ethics in the Study of Religion
- Should There Be a Standard Curriculum for the Study of Religion
- Who Should Be Teaching Religion in Our Schools?
- The Role of the Rector and Chaplains in the Teaching of Religion in Parish Day Schools
- Assessing Religion Courses
- The Relationship of a Religion Department to Other Disciplines in an Episcopal School
Says the Reverend Daniel R. Heischman, NAES executive director, "Principles of Good Practice for the Study of Religion in Episcopal Schools is part of the Association’s on-going effort to identify and publish best practices already at work in our schools from a wide variety of perspectives and positions. Countless individuals were contacted in the process of drafting these principles. The Governing Board and staff are especially grateful to the many heads of school, rectors, chaplains, and teachers of religion who participated in the conversations that enabled us to create this document. These principles are the fruit of our collective efforts and wisdom on the study of religion."
A copy of the pamphlet has been sent to Episcopal school heads, rectors, chaplains, and teachers of religion, as well as to diocesan bishops, school association leaders, and Episcopal school friends. Packets of twenty-five (25) pamphlets are available for purchase from the NAES website or by calling 800.334.7626, ext. 6134, or 212.716.1634.
The other titles in the NAES Principles of Good Practice series are Principles of Good Practice for Furthering Episcopal Identity in Episcopal Schools (2005), Principles of Good Practice for Governance in Episcopal Parish Day Schools (2009), and Principles of Good Practice for Leadership Transitions in Episcopal Schools (2010).
The National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) is an independently incorporated, voluntary membership organization that supports, serves, and advocates for the vital work and ministry of those who serve over 1,200 Episcopal schools, early childhood education programs, and school establishment efforts throughout the Episcopal Church. Chartered in 1965, with historic roots dating to the 1930s, NAES is the only pre-collegiate educational association that is both national in scope and Episcopal in character. The Association offers a variety of services, publications, resources, and conferences consonant with its mission and focused principally on Episcopal school identity, leadership, and governance, and on the spiritual and professional development of school leaders.