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The Teaching of Religion in Catholic Schools in the United States: One Faith Amidst Competing Ecclesiologies

  • Ronald J. NuzziEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

While experiencing a slow but steady decline in enrollment since 2000, Catholic schools in the United States have become proactive and intentional about sustaining and strengthening an inviting Catholic ethos in all primary and secondary schools. The main focus of this renewal of Catholic culture and identity is the teaching of religion and concurrently the academic preparation and spiritual formation of teachers. Given the absence of vowed religious and clergy who once staffed Catholic schools in large numbers, Catholic educational leaders have experienced challenges in revising the religious education curriculum, updating classroom pedagogy, selecting appropriate textbooks and supplemental materials, and preparing and forming laymen and laywomen to assume roles of religious and spiritual leadership in the schools that were once the exclusive purview of vowed religious and clergy.

Assessment has emerged as a recent concern as an age of accountability has swept the national educational landscape. Is religious education in Catholic schools an effective enterprise? Do Catholic school graduates know the faith? More importantly, do they practice it and live it every day? Answers to these questions are pressing and drive current research, but the answers often depend heavily on how one views the purpose of religious education and its place in the overall educational mission of the Church.

Keywords

Religious Education Catholic School Textbook Series Religious Woman Millennial Generation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE)University of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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