Black Colleges of ACI

A 1920s-era silent tour of St. Paul’s College, with scenes of typical student life.

A silent film tour of the campus, faculty, class work and student life at Fort Valley and Calhoun schools, c. 1920.

By the 1960s ACIN, which had been renamed the American Church Institute (ACI), saw the need to reevaluate the usefulness of its mission in light of integration. The Church’s leadership debated the continued funding of segregated schools in America’s changing racial atmosphere. Concerns about segregation in nominally Episcopal schools, and the Church’s complicity in sustaining that situation, prompted a study and reevaluation of the ACI and its college work. William K. Selden, then President of the Church Society for College Work, chaired the subcommittee that concluded that the Church could best influence higher education if it redirected its energies from the running of colleges to a systematic and cooperative program that encompassed all higher education environments in anticipation of greater nationwide integration.

That same year the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church ended an era of direct involvement in higher education and voted to dissolve the American Church Institute. The Home Department assumed control of the financial responsibilities for the three remaining schools. Since 1976, the General Convention has set aside a continuing financial commitment to the historic black colleges - a direct outgrowth of the Episcopal Church’s educational mission through the ACI. [Sources]

Historically Black Colleges Endowed by the Episcopal Church

St. Augustine’s College 
Voorhees College