American Church Institute

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

American Church Institute

Parallel form(s) of name

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Description area

Dates of existence



The American Church Institute for Negroes, begun in 1906 and renamed as the American Church Institute in 1961, was the institutional Church’s response to the alarming disparity between educational opportunities for African Americans and privileged whites within the church. The organization’s strategy was to train African Americans to be successful tradesmen, businessmen, teachers, and clergy who would return to their communities and spread the benefits of their education to others.

The ACI made it a practice to give support to only one school in any state, although exceptions were made for Virginia and North Carolina. Six other southern states were homes to the ACI schools (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina), and one school in Texas received funds from ACI but was never officially brought under its oversight. The eligibility criteria for a school to qualify for ACI support included that the school be located in the area of greatest concentration of African Americans in its state and that it receive financial support from all of the dioceses in its state.

The ACI was formally dissolved in 1967 after a reevaluation of the usefulness of its mission in light of integration.

Legal status

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General context

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Control area

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