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Commission on Christian Higher Education Research Project records

Call Number: RG 231

Scope and Contents

This collection contains reports from the schools that were participating in the "What is a Christian College" study project as well as correspondence and manuscripts from efforts to incorporate the results of the research study a final report.

Series I, Organization and Workshops includes information regarding the initiation of the research study, the colleges that participated in the research study, and Secretary’s reports and summaries describing the results of the workshops.

Series II, Research Study Progress Reports by Participating Colleges are arranged alphabetically by college name. The progress reports were created by committees established by each college to consider the research question, “What is a Christian College?”

Series III, Correspondence and Manuscripts documents the efforts to write a book stemming from the research study project and workshops. There is correspondence with contributing chapter authors, publishers, and editors who worked on the manuscript. The manuscript in various stages is also included.


  • 1951-1958


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.


  1. I. Organization and Workshops, 1951-1952
  2. II. Research Study Progress Reports by Participating Colleges, 1952-1953
  3. III. Correspondence and Manuscripts, 1953-1958


1.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


These papers document the “What is a Christian College?” Research Study Project conducted by the Commission on Christian Higher Education of the Association of American Colleges, in association with the National Council of Churches. The papers include workshop information, summaries of workshop results, research study progress reports from participating colleges, manuscripts of book chapters intended for publication, and correspondence regarding the research study, workshops, and manuscripts.

Biographical / Historical

According to a 1952 published report titled The Consolidated Report of the Six Faculty Workshops of 1952 in the Research Study Project "What is a Christian College?" the project was undertaken in the early 1950s under the supervision of the Research Committee of the Commission on Christian Higher Education of the Association of American Colleges, directed by Dr. Raymond F. McLain of the National Council of Churches. The project received financial support from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. President Clyde A. Milner of Guilford College was chairman of the Research Committee. The other members were Philip E. Dion, John W. Hollenbach, F.E. Johnson, W. Hugh McEniry, Jr., Roland G. Simonitsch, Harlie L. Smith, Andrew G. Truxal, and Walter E. Wiest. Mr. M. C. Ballenger of Yale served as editorial secretary of the project during the summer of 1952, which is probably why these files were found in storage at the Yale Divinity Library.

Representatives of thirty-six colleges participated in the first workshop of the project, held in August of 1951 at Berea College, Kentucky. One hundred ninety-two colleges were represented in the six workshops of 1952, held at Earlham College, Cedar Crest College, Mars Jill Junior College, Drake University, St. Mary's University, and Occidental College. Most of the faculty members comprising the workshops had served as chairs of their own campus study committee. Most of the college had circulated two preliminary working reports to the other colleges in their area.

. The 1952 published report indicated that the continuing institutions would submit two progress reports to the director of the study during the school year 1952-1953. These reports would be circulated to the participating colleges "for their mutual benefit and stimulation." It was expected that the final over-all report of the project would be in the form a a volume on the nature and role for the Christian college available in the fall of 1953. In 1958 the What is a Christian college? : A revision of the Consolidated Report of the Research Study Project prepared by Raymond F. McLain, 1952 report, edited by David B Sageser, was published by the Commission on Higher Education of the National Council of Churches.

Guide to the Commission on Christian Higher Education Research Project Records
Kristen Albert
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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