Nonsectarian institutions are secular institutions or other organizations not affiliated with or restricted to a particular religious group.[1][2][3]

Academic sphere

Examples of US universities that identify themselves as being nonsectarian include Adelphi University, Berea College, Boston University, Bradley University, Brandeis University, Columbia College in Missouri, Cornell University, Dalhousie University, Denison University, Duke University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Franklin & Marshall College, George Washington University, Hawaii Pacific University, Hillsdale College, Hofstra University, Howard University, Ithaca College, Long Island University, National University, New York University, Northwestern University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Pratt Institute, Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, Reed College in Oregon, Whitman College in Washington, Rice University, the University of Richmond, Syracuse University, Tulane University, the University of Chicago, the University of Denver, the University of Southern California, the Washington University in St. Louis, and Woodbury University in California.

Private primary and secondary schools in the US that self-identify as being nonsectarian include Allendale Columbia School in Rochester, New York, Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School in New York and Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania (the oldest nonsectarian school in the U.S.), Friends School Mullica Hill in New Jersey, Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and The Pembroke Hill School.

Pi Lambda Phi (ΠΛΦ or Pi Lam) is a college social fraternity founded by Frederick Manfred Werner, Louis Samter Levy, and Henry Mark Fisher at Yale University in 1895. It was founded as the first non-sectarian fraternity, "a fraternity in which all men were brothers, no matter what their religion; a fraternity in which ability, open-mindedness, farsightedness, and a progressive, forward-looking attitude would be recognized as the basic attributes."[4] It currently boasts 35 chapters and four colonies in the United States and one chapter in Canada. The fraternity founded the Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity Educational Foundation[5]

The first nonsectarian sorority was Phi Sigma Sigma. Phi Sigma Sigma (ΦΣΣ), colloquially known as "Phi Sig," was the first collegiate nonsectarian sorority, welcoming women of all faiths and backgrounds. Founded by 10 women on November 26, 1913 at Hunter College in New York, Phi Sigma Sigma is now an international sorority with 60,000 initiated members, 115 collegiate chapters and more than 100 alumnae chapters, clubs and associations across the United States and Canada.

Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, founded in 1917, was the first non-sectarian social sorority founded at a professional school.[6]

Legal usage

A 1956 amendment to the constitution of the State of Virginia allowed for tuition grants to be paid by the state to nonsectarian private schools.[7]

Blaine amendments to thirty-eight state constitutions forbid direct government aid to educational institutions that have a religious affiliation. The typical wording, "religious sects or denominations," is most often used to challenge support to Catholic parochial schools (38% of private school attendance); Protestant schools with an undifferentiated "Christian," often get a pass.[8] These schools often claim both "nonsectarian" and "Christian" in their promotional materials. The United States Department of Education differentiates Christian from Conservative Christian in its analyses.[9]

Non-academic institutions

Organizations that are explicitly nonsectarian include the Apex Clubs of Australia, those participating in the Ethical Culture Movement, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, and the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia. In Northern Ireland, nonsectarian refers to groups identifying themselves as neither Nationalist/Republican or Unionist/Loyalist, such as the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.


Some cemeteries are known for being nonsectarian. In the United States, these are typically Christian cemeteries that do not adhere to one branch of the faith. Interment services can therefore be conducted in accordance with any one of various faith traditions, or none at all.

See also


  1. ^ "Nonsectarian - Definition of nonsectarian by Merriam-Webster".
  2. ^ "Nonsectarian - definition of nonsectarian by The Free Dictionary".
  3. ^ "Nonsectarian dictionary definition - nonsectarian defined".
  4. ^ The Founders' Period History of the Fraternity
  5. ^ Foundation Pi Lambda Phi Educational Foundation, Inc.
  6. ^ "The Founding of DPhiE". Delta Phi Epsilon. Archived from the original on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  7. ^ Dinan, John (March 24, 2014). The Virginia State Constitution. Oxford University Press. p. 210. ISBN 9780199355730. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  8. ^ Philip Hamburger (20 June 2017). "Prejudice and the Blaine Amendments". First Things. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Private School Enrollment". National Center for Education Statistics. March 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2018. Affiliated religious schools belong to associations of schools with a specific religious orientation other than Catholic or conservative Christian. Unaffiliated religious schools have a religious orientation or purpose but are not classified as Catholic, conservative Christian, or affiliated religious. Nonsectarian schools do not have a religious orientation or purpose.
Berkeley Hall School

Berkeley Hall School (BHS) is a coed independent school for grades Nursery through 8th located on 66 acres off Mulholland Drive near the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, California, US. The school is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC).

Berkeley Hall School was founded in 1911 by Leila and Mabel Cooper, both of whom were Christian Scientists. According to its website, it is nonsectarian and does not teach religion, and says its commitment to education is "rooted in the vision" of the founders.

Colonial colleges

The colonial colleges are nine institutions of higher education chartered in the Thirteen Colonies before the United States of America became a sovereign nation after the American Revolution. These nine have long been considered together, notably in the survey of their origins in the 1907 The Cambridge History of English and American Literature. Seven of the nine colonial colleges are part of the Ivy League athletic conference: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, and Dartmouth. (The eighth member of the Ivy League, Cornell University, was founded in 1865.)

The two colonial colleges not in the Ivy League are now both public universities—the College of William & Mary in Virginia and Rutgers University in New Jersey. William & Mary was a royal (state) institution from 1693 until the American Revolution. Between the Revolution and the American Civil War, William & Mary was a private institution. It suffered significant damage during the Civil War and began to receive public support in the 1880s. William & Mary officially became a public college in 1906. Rutgers was founded as Queens College, named for Queen Charlotte, and was for much of its history privately affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church. It became "The State University of New Jersey" after World War II.

Education in Suriname

Suriname has an extensive educational system with free schooling compulsory until age 12. The Government and the Roman Catholic and Moravian Churches provide education for kindergarten through secondary school. As a rule, all instruction is in Dutch. The four exceptions to this rule are the International Academy of Suriname, administered by a local Christian foundation, Christian Liberty Academy, administered by the Caribbean Christian Ministries, and the AlphaMax Academy, a private nonsectarian school administered by the AlphaMax Foundation, and since 2011 Suriname International School, which provides k12 online school for high school students.

The adult literacy rate is approximately 89.6%. Teacher training institutes, secondary schools, and technical schools provide terminal degrees. Nurses and dental technicians are trained in conjunction with the medical faculty, but standards do not equal those found in more developed countries. The Anton de Kom University in Paramaribo has faculties of medicine, law, natural resources, and social and technical sciences. However, transfer of individual course credits to and from the U.S. is difficult, if not unlikely. Enrollment is very difficult for non-Dutch speaking persons as well. Many students still attend high schools and universities in the Netherlands. A growing number study in U.S. universities.

El Bosque University

The El Bosque University (Spanish: Universidad El Bosque), is a coeducational, nonsectarian private university located in north Bogotá, Colombia. Founded in 1977, the university currently offers 20 undergraduate programs, as well as several specializations, Master's degrees and Doctorates.

Immaculate Conception Academy

Immaculate Conception Academy, Dasmariñas (ICA Dasmariñas) is a private, nonsectarian educational institution in Dasmariñas, Cavite, the Philippines. It is owned and managed by the school board of directors.

John Thomas Dye School

The John Thomas Dye School, nicknamed JTD, is an independent private coeducational nonsectarian elementary day school located in the Bel-Air area of Los Angeles, California, serving students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

The school was founded in 1929 as the Brentwood Town and Country School by Cathryn Roberts Dye and her husband John Thomas Dye II with its first classes held in the Dyes' living room, and their son John Thomas Dye III its first student. The first permanent facility was built in 1949 and named the Bel Air Town and Country School, on the site still occupied by the school today. The school building was designed by noted Santa Monica architect John Byers.

In 1959, the School was renamed The John Thomas Dye School in honor of John Thomas Dye III, who, while serving as a fighter pilot, was killed by enemy action in World War II.

Jump Cut (journal)

Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media is an online journal covering the analysis of film, television, video, and related media.Its stated goal is to approach its subject from a "nonsectarian left, feminist, and anti-imperialist" perspective. It takes its name from the jump cut, a film editing technique in which an abrupt visual change occurs. Jump Cut was established in 1974 by John Hess, Chuck Kleinhans (Northwestern University), and Julia Lesage (University of Oregon). It was published in print in tabloid form until 2001. Soon after, it began publishing online.

List of NCAA Division I men's soccer programs

This is a list of men's college soccer programs in the United States, that play in NCAA Division I. As of the most recent 2018 NCAA Division I men's soccer season, 206 schools in the United States sponsor Division I varsity men's soccer; 205 of these schools are full Division I members, and one (California Baptist) has begun a transition from NCAA Division II to Division I. This list reflects each team's conference affiliation as of the upcoming 2019 season.

List of primary and secondary schools in San Diego

This is a list of primary and secondary schools in San Diego, California, organized by school district.

The San Diego Unified School District, also known as San Diego City Schools, is the school district that serves the majority of the city, it includes 113 elementary schools, 23 middle schools, 4 atypical schools, 10 alternative schools, 27 high schools and 25 charter schools. In the northern part of the city, Poway Unified School District and San Dieguito Union High School District are districts outside city limits, but serve several schools within city limits. In the southern part of the city, Sweetwater Union High School District serves multiple schools within city limits, although it is headquartered outside city limits.

List of schools in Louisville, Kentucky

Because of the size and diversity of the population of Louisville, Kentucky, there are a large number of schools in a number of different school systems, both public and private. This list of schools in Louisville, Kentucky, attempts to list the educational institutions in Louisville, as well as some post-secondary institutions in the surrounding metropolitan area.

List of universities in Colombia

This is a list of universities in Colombia. The Colombian higher education system is composed of technical institutes focused on vocational education, university institutions focused on technological education, and universities focused on undergraduate and postgraduate education. The country has both public and private universities. Most public universities conform to the State University System (Spanish: Sistema Universitario Estatal, SUE), and most departments have at least one public university. Several private universities are affiliated to the Roman Catholic Church or are nonsectarian.

Midwest Conference

The Midwest Conference (MWC) is a college athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA's Division III. Member institutions are located in the Midwestern United States in the states of Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The Midwest Conference was created in 1994 with the merger of the Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference, which had been sponsoring men's sports since 1921, and the Midwest Athletic Conference for Women, which was formed in 1977.

Naropa University

Naropa University is a private liberal arts university associated with Buddhism and located in Boulder, Colorado. Founded in 1974 by Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa, it is named for the 11th-century Indian Buddhist sage Naropa, an abbot of Nalanda. The university describes itself as Buddhist-inspired, ecumenical, and nonsectarian rather than Buddhist. Naropa promotes non-traditional activities like meditation to supplement traditional learning approaches.

Naropa was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1988, making it the first Buddhist-inspired academic institution to receive United States regional accreditation. It remains one of only a handful of such schools. The university has hosted a number of Beat poets under the auspices of its Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

Olivarez College

The Olivarez College (Filipino: Dalubhasaang Olivarez; , also known as simply Olivarez or OC) is a private, nonsectarian college along Dr. A. Santos Avenue, Parañaque, Philippines that offers academic programs in the basic education, junior and high school, undergraduate, graduate and technical education levels. Founded in 1976, Olivarez College is the only school in Parañaque City that is accredited by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU) and the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities - Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA). It is a member of the Universities and Colleges Athletic Association (UCAA) and National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA).

Phi Sigma Sigma

Phi Sigma Sigma (ΦΣΣ), colloquially known as Phi Sig, was the first collegiate nonsectarian sorority to allow membership of women of all faiths and backgrounds.The sorority was founded on November 26, 1913, and lists 60,000 initiated members, 115 collegiate chapters and more than 100 alumnae chapters, clubs and associations in the United States and Canada. Phi Sigma Sigma was founded to establish to the twin ideals of promoting the brotherhood of man and alleviation of the world’s pain.Since 1951, the sorority has been a member of the National Panhellenic Conference, the overarching organization of the 26 national sororities in the United States and Canada.

Pictou Academy

Pictou Academy (PA), founded in 1816 by Dr. Thomas McCulloch, is a secondary school in Pictou, Nova Scotia. Prior to the twentieth century, it was a liberal nonsectarian college, a grammar school, an academy and then a secondary school. Pictou Academy's current principal is James Ryan. The Pictou Academy Educational Foundation provides additional funds to the school. The student council executives for the 2015-16 school year are Josh Young, Co-President, Aran MacDonald, Co-President, and Clare MacDonald, Vice President.

The original site of the academy was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1937, as it symbolized the introduction of nonsectarian education to The Maritimes in the early 19th century.In 2017 the CCRSB elected a board of supervisors to survey the three schools in the town of Pictou. After a vote in the end process of the surveying the board decided upon closing the building constructed in the 40's and moving Pictou Academy to the building beside which was formerly known as Dr. Thomas McCulloch Middle School.

Southeast Asian College

Southeast Asian College, Inc. (SACI) is a private nonsectarian college in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

The Westland School (Los Angeles)

Westland School is a progressive, independent, private, coeducational, nonsectarian elementary day school located in the Bel Air community of Los Angeles, California, serving students from kindergarten through sixth grade. The school is located on Mulholland Drive across from the Bel Air Presbyterian Church. Westland is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) through 2016.

When Westland opened in 1949 it was the first progressive school on the West Coast, operating under the educational philosophy of John Dewey. One of the founders was child psychologist Marie H. Briehl. Students were encouraged to explore their subjects hands-on and were taken on numerous field trips to learn about the world firsthand. Many of the early students were the children of writers and actors under the "Hollywood blacklist", including Charlie Chaplin, Abraham Polonsky, and Ring Lardner, Jr.The school opened with 13 students in a couple of rented rooms. It expanded in 1957 and moved to its current location in 1965, becoming the first school to locate in what has now developed into a major "institutional corridor" in the area of the Sepulveda Pass.Today the school has about 130 students and an annual tuition of around $22,000.00. The students are divided into "groups" rather than grades, which may include children of varying ages.

The Woodlands Preparatory School

The Woodlands Preparatory School is an independent, college-preparatory, nonsectarian, co-educational day school located in The Woodlands, and in unincorporated Harris County, Texas, United States. Founded in 2000, it is an IB World School enrolling students from students from pre-school through grade 12. In 2015 the school announced a project to spend $24.5 million on construction and facilities upgrades, including sports facilities, food preparation facilities, and dormitory expansion.

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