National Catholic Educational Association

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
National Catholic Educational Association
Abbreviation NCEA
Type Non-governmental organization
Purpose 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.
Headquarters 1005 North Glebe Road, Suite 525
  • Arlington, VA 22201
Region served
United States
Catholic educators of the U.S.; primarily elementary and secondary school teachers and staff
Karen Ristau, EdD

The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) is a private, professional educational membership association of over 200,000 educators in Catholic schools, universities, and religious education programs. It is the largest such organization in the world.[1]


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 United States Catholic Conference (USCCB).

In 1927, the word ‘national’ was added to the official CEA title and, in 1929, the association headquarters moved to Washington, DC 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 NCEA[edit]

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, founded independently in 1899, has a long relationship with the various components that later became the National Catholic Educational Association, of which it has for some time been a constitutive member. As of July 1, 2000, ACCU is an independently incorporated 501(c3) organization and an Affiliate 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 Department
  • Chief Administrators of Catholic Education Department (CACE)
  • Elementary Schools Department
  • Religious Education Department
  • Secondary Schools Department
  • Seminary Department

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.[2]


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.[2]



An annual convention and a national DRE (directors of religious education) convocation feature prominent educators in sessions and showcase the latest in technology, publications and services along with a major exposition. Various other conferences, seminars, workshops and symposiums are held throughout the year with each one with its own specific focus.


  • In-service programs
  • Religious education assessments: ACRE for children and IFG for adults
  • Development field services
  • National Marketing Campaign for Catholic Schools (joint project with USCCB)
  • National conferences
  • Award programs recognizing outstanding educators and students[3]


Momentum- Each issue is built around a special section highlighting an area of particular interest to Catholic educators. Momentum also includes editorials, pertinent book reviews, ads of interest to educators, short essays based on personal experiences, and columns.

NCEA Notes- Catholic schools newsletter.

Press releases may be found here, and include upcoming events.

Awards Given By The NCEA[edit]

C. Albert Koob, O.Praem Award The C. Albert Koob Merit Award is given to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to Catholic education at any level – early childhood, elementary, secondary, higher education – or in any educational setting, in one or more of these areas: teaching, administration, parish religious education, research, publication or educational leadership. Such service or contribution should be recognized as having current significance at the national level. The award is given at the annual NCEA convention during Easter Week.

John F. Meyers Award The John F. Meyers Award is presented to "someone who has supported Catholic education" in any of the above-mentioned ways or through such contributions as development, public relations, scholarship programs, financial management, or government relations. This award, too, recognizes national impact. The award is given at the annual NCEA convention during Easter Week.

Catherine T. McNamee, CSJ Award The Catherine T. McNamee, CSJ Award is presented to an individual or school for leadership in promoting a vision of Catholic education that welcomes and serves cultural and economic diversity or serving students with diverse needs. The award is given at the annual NCEA convention during Easter Week.

Leonard F. DeFiore Parental Choice Advocate Award The Leonard F. DeFiore Parental Choice Advocate Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting full and fair parental choice in education. The award is given at the annual NCEA convention during Easter Week.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Awards NCEA's St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Awards were created to honor those individuals whose personal or professional philanthropy or volunteer service has impacted Catholic education in particular or U.S. education and our country's youth in general. Named after Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in recognition of her lifelong dedication to teaching, those receiving Seton Awards have a $1,000 scholarship presented in their honor to a deserving Catholic school student from their community. The awards are given in early October in Washington, DC.[4]


External links[edit]