American Church Institute. Administrative Records

Identity elements

Reference number


Level of description



American Church Institute. Administrative Records


  • 1906-1968 (Creation)


5.75 cu.ft. (17 boxes)

Name of creator


The American Church Institute (ACI), which was renamed in 1961, began as the American Church Institute for Negroes (ACIN) in 1906. Its predecessor, established in 1865 by the General Convention, was the Protestant Episcopal Freedmen’s Commission (renamed the Commission of Home Missions to Colored People in 1868), which functioned under the DFMS Board of Missions. Charged with the mandate to regain a foothold in the African American community after a decline in membership following the Civil War, the Commission focused on founding schools in the South to provide higher education, vocational training, and religious instruction. The ACI made it a practice to give support to only one school in any state, except for Virginia and North Carolina. Six other southern states were homes to ACIN schools (Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina), and one school in Texas which received funds but was not officially supervised. By the 1960s, ACI saw the need to reevaluate the usefulness of its mission in light of integration. Some in the national Church questioned the continuation of funding of segregated schools in America’s changing cultural atmosphere. In 1961 the Executive Council voted to dissolve ACI, and the Home Department assumed control of the financial responsibilities for the three remaining schools.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The DFMS archive on the American Church Institute (ACI) is largely focused on the years 1906 through 1967, although documentation on individual schools dates from 1867 (see AO-00-R0061-02-12). The collection represents a reasonably comprehensive record of ACI during its lifetime and, in most cases, a much briefer synopsis of the life of each of the individual schools, although student rosters and academic records are not present. The overall ACI administrative records consist of minutes, reports, legal and financial documents, correspondence, historical summaries, building plans, studies, surveys, publications, photographs, and ACIN's corporate seal. Records of the individual schools include copies of minutes of the boards of trustees, reports, correspondence, financial documents, institutional histories, personnel records, and publicity materials.


Board of Trustees, 1906-1968
Director's office, c.1907-1910, 1917-1953, 1966-1967
General Agent's office, 1905-1913
Secretary's office, 1950-1952, 1963
Treasurer's office, 1905-1913
General Conventions, 1937-1952, 1961
American Church Institute Study Committee, 1963-1968
Reports and Articles, 1929-1966
American Church Institute College Collective Records, 1930-1934, 1945, 1950, 1963-1964

Conditions of access and use elements

Access conditions

Access to Episcopal Church records is governed by the Archives Public Access Policy. Research requests must be submitted in writing.

Technical access

Rights and permissions

The Archives is able to respond to limited requests for reproductions subject to copyright restrictions, internal policy, and the condition of the source documents.

Languages of the material

  • English

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