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Updated:  Aug 12, 2013

Curricula: Education

The essential aim pursued by the Church through two millenia is the combination of intellectual education with moral and religious training.

The educational activity of the Church can be classified into four areas:

  • Institutions - established to meet different needs
  • Writings - of Catholic educationists and educators
  • Teaching Work - of the various religious Orders
  • Catholic School Systems - maintained and supported by voluntary contributions

This Curricula: Education pulls together the most essential aspects of this subject for easy access.

NOTE: This is not an article from the Catholic Encyclopedia. It is provided here for the benefit of those interested in pursuing additional studies in this area.



The study of this subject should begin with a general survey of education, its nature and purposes:

A. Education


As the nature and purpose of education have varied in the course of time, the historical development should then be followed:


Now we make detailed reference to the changes brought about by Christianity and the Church over the course of time.

A. Institutions -Early and Medieval
1. Schools
2. Universities
3. Foundations

a. In France

b. In Italy

c. In England

d. In Scotland

e. In Ireland

f. In Spain

g. In Germany

h. In Other Countries

4. Colleges
5. Orders
B. Institutions - Renaissance Period
C. Institutions - Reformation Period
D. Institutions - Post-Reformation Period
1. Teaching Orders
2. Universities
3. Colleges
F. Institutions -Modern Period
1. Universities
2. Colleges
3. Schools
4. Teaching Orders (Survey)
  • The Brothers of St. Gabriel, founded by Blessed Grignon de Montfort and M. Deshayes, in 1795 and 1821
  • The Brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploermel, founded by J.-M. de Lamennais, in 1816;
  • The Brothers of Christian Doctrine of Nancy, founded by Father Frechard, in 1817
  • The Little Brothers of Mary (Marists), founded by Pere Champagnat, in 1817
  • The Brothers of the Sacred Heart of Paradis, founded by Father Coindre, in 1821
  • The Brothers of the Society of Mary, founded by Pere Chaminade, in 1817
  • The Brothers of the Holy Family, founded by Brother Gabriel Taborin, in 1821
  • The Brothers of the Cross of Jesus, founded by Pere Bochard, in 1824
  • The Clerics of St-Viateur, founded by Pere Guerbes, in 1829
  • The Congregation of the Holy Cross, founded by M. Moreau and M. Dujarris, in 1835
  • The Congregation of the Holy Ghost and the Sacred Heart of Mary, founded by Father Liebermann, in 1841
  • The Brothers of Mercy, founded by M. Delamare, in 1842
  • The Christian Brothers of Ireland, founded by Brother Ignatius Rice, in 1805
  • Institute of the Sisters of the Christian Schools of Mercy, founded by Ven. Julie Postel, in 1802
  • source
5. Educationists
  • Blanchard, Jean-Baptiste - French Jesuit; educator; professor at Metz, Verdun, and Pont-a-Mousson
  • Bommel, Cornelius Richard Anton van - Bishop during politically turbulent times; revived Catholic elementary education, and pushed for foundation of a Catholic university.
  • Bosco, Giovanni Melchior - founder of the Salesian Society; during his lifetime 250 schools established with 130,000 poor chidren; also Sunday schools, evening schools for adult workmen, seminaries, technical schools, and printing houses
  • Girard, Jean-Baptiste - Swiss priest (known as Père Girard); educator; school system administrator
  • Hogan, John Baptist - priest; chair of dogmatic theology in the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice at 23; president, graduate theological seminary at the Catholic University
  • Holmes, John - priest; Catholic educator
  • Jacotot, Joseph - French educator
  • St. John Baptist de la Salle - Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools; educational reformer, and father of modern pedagogy
  • Meilleur, Jean-Baptiste - French Canadian physician; educator; a founder of College de L'Assomption; superintendent of provincial education; science textbook author; educational historian
  • Ohler, Aloys Karl - German priest; educationist; director of the Hessian Catholic teachers' training college
  • Overberg, Bernhard Heinrich - German ecclesiastic; educator; developed teacher education methods; created the profession of female lay-teacher
  • Pachtler, George Michael - German Jesuit; educator; educational writer; educational reformer
  • Rolfus, Hermann - priest; educationist; ; extensive work on educational principles
  • Sailer, Johann Michael - Jesuit; bishop; professor of pastoral and moral theology, pedagogics, homiletics, liturgy, catechetics
  • Salzmann, Joseph - founder of St. Francis Provincial Seminary; the first Catholic normal school in the U.S. (Catholic Normal School of the Holy Family) and of Pio None College.
  • Stockl, Albert - German priest; professor of exegesis, Hebrew, and philosophy; prolific writer, including textbooks covering the entire field of philosophy
  • Stone, Marmaduke - Jesuit; president, Liège Academy; Liège Academy of English Jesuits
  • Vierthaler, Franz Michael - renowned Austrian educator


A. Women

Cf. also Religious Orders

B. Disabled
C. Associations

STATISTICS: See articles on Dioceses.

LEGISLATION: See articles on the different countries and on the separate U.S. States

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