War Emergency Council on Student Christian Work Records
Scope and Contents
The Minutes of Series I provide an overview of the activities of the War Emergency Council and its interactions with other organizations. The series includes agendas and other materials related to the meetings for which minutes are available.
The Correspondence of Series II includes correspondence of the executive secretaries of the Council, A. Roland Elliott, and his successor, R.H. Edwin Espy, as well as the correspondence of Assistant Secretary Betty Herrold and other individuals associated with the Council. Prominent correspondents include Fern Babcock, Henry Sloane Coffin, Frederick B. Igler, George Johnson of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, Alden Kelley, Clarence Shedd, Abram L. Sachar of the B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundations, Henry P. Van Dusen, Gould Wickey, and George Zook of the American Council on Education. There is also correspondence with various representatives of the United States military. Some Council correspondence relating to conferences, surveys, and publications is located in Series III, Program Documentation.
Series III, Program Documentation, contains materials related to the Council's efforts to collect and disseminate information relating to the impact of the war on student religious work. It contains documentation of literature prepared and published, surveys done, conferences arranged, and visits made to campuses. Factual information contained in this series provides insight into conditions on campuses throughout the United States during the Second World War.
The Financial Records of Series IV reflect not only the financial operations of the Council itself, but also the financial needs of local and regional student religious agencies during this time period.
Series V, Related Organizations and Material, contains documentation collected by the War Emergency Council concerning other organizations involved in higher education and/or student religious work during the wartime period. Some of these materials are similar to the program documentation of Series III, but, in general, the collected materials of this series are less directly related to the program goals and initiatives of the Council.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
- I. Minutes, 1942-1944
- II.Correspondence, 1942-1945
- III. Program Documentation, 1942- 1944
- IV. Financial Records, 1942-1945
- V. Related Organizations and Material, 1941-1944
5 Linear Feet (13 boxes)
Language of Materials
The records document the effect of war time emergency measures on student religious work on college and university campuses throughout the United States during the years 1942 to 1944. The War Emergency Council on Student Christian Work was established in 1942 to deal with the readjustments made necessary by the impact of World War II on college and university campuses. The Council collected and disseminated information, arranged regional consultative conferences, and worked as an intermediary between the United States military establishment and student religious movements.
Biographical / Historical
The War Emergency Council on Student Christian Work was established in 1942 to deal with the readjustments made necessary by the impact of the Second World War on college and university campuses. The following ten factors were cited in a memorandum calling for readjustment of student Christian movement activities:
- 1. After February 1, 1943 practically all able-bodied men over 18 in the colleges will be in some form of military training and under military discipline.
- 2. Free time and vacations will be on a minimum basis.
- 3. Non-scientific courses for men will be largely eliminated.
- 4. It is probable that the program of military training may be largely concentrated in a limited number of the larger institutions.
- 5. Some colleges are considering a lowering of entrance requirements, which would greatly increase the proportion of underclassmen.
- 6. Increasing numbers of women's units (military, industrial, etc.) will be located on campuses.
- 7. Leaders in higher education are having little part in determining war-time educational plans.
- 8. In most larger military units chaplains probably will be provided.
- 9. Any work done by voluntary agencies within military units on the campus will be by military permission.
- 10. All of the above factors, plus the growing emphasis upon consolidated financial appeals, creates a serious crisis for the financing of our regular work, locally, regionally and nationally.
The Council initially was composed of members representing The National Commission on University Work of the Council of Church Boards of Education (denominational student Christian work) and the National Intercollegiate Christian Council (YMCA, YWCA, and regional Student Christian Movements). The Student Volunteer Movement was invited to become a member of the War Emergency Council in October 1943.
The War Emergency Council collected and disseminated information, arranged regional consultative conferences, and worked as an intermediary between the United States military establishment and student religious movements. Negotiations between the War Emergency Council and military officials cleared the way for resident religious agencies on American campuses to be of service to students who were part of the armed services.
To facilitate coordination in dealing with the war-time emergency situation, the Council worked with the National Catholic Welfare Conference and the B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundations to form the Inter-Religious Council. The War Emergency Council also worked with the Department of Evangelism of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America to form the Christian Commission on War Time Campus Missions. The War Emergency Council played a role in "awakening both students and student leaders throughout the country to the necessity and the possibility of an officially appointed Council representing the various organizations as an instrument of clearance in all their cooperative activities."
In September 1944, the purposes, functions, and organization of the War Emergency Council were transferred to the newly formed United Student Christian Council in the U.S.A., constituting its War Emergency Committee.
- Coffin, Henry Sloane, 1877-1954
- College students -- Religious life
- Elliott, Arthur Roland, 1895-
- Espy, R. H. Edwin
- Grant, Fern Babcock, 1904-
- Herrold, Betty
- Sachar, Abram Leon, 1899-1993
- Shedd, Clarence Prouty, 1887-
- Universities and colleges -- Religion
- Van Dusen, Henry P. (Henry Pitney), 1897-1975
- War Emergency Council on Student Christian Work
- Wickey, Gould, 1891-
- World War, 1939-1945
- Zook, George Frederick, 1885-1951
- Guide to the War Emergency Council on Student Christian Work Records
- Compiled by Martha Lund Smalley
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Divinity Library Descriptive Practices
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
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