Learn about racial ethnic schools and colleges
The importance of the racial ethnic schools and colleges of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is demonstrated in the continuing partnership between the two entities. The institutions have provided quality education to people who have contributed immeasurably to the church at large and to the world. Students are educated for the professions of their choice in an environment which supports and nurtures racial and ethnic heritage.
Many of the college students are the first in their family to attend college and come from low- to moderate-income families. They may be marginalized and would not be accepted at other institutions of higher learning. The secondary schools receive students earlier than typical schools and prepare them for acceptance at institutions of higher learning.
To many students, these institutions offer the additional support which is needed to truly excel. Tutoring and special courses in math, science and English encourage continued success as the students advance in their studies. This support gives many students a "second chance," resulting in confident, competent, qualified men and women who emerge as leaders in society.
These institutions have a covenant relationship with the General Assembly through the General Assembly Mission Council and the relationship is guided by the Articles of agreement (8.3 and 8.4) adopted at the time of reunion in 1983.
Cook Native American Ministries
Founded in 1911 by the Reverend Charles H. Cook for the purpose of educating, enabling and empowering Native Americans to be Christian leaders. This institution has always been a small community of learning and has taken an innovative approach to education by becoming an institution without walls. Cook prides itself on nurturing the mind, body and spirit. Learn more
A dream fulfilled
Sharon Selestewa followed God’s voice to claim her calling
Like many a biblical dreamer before her, the Rev. Sharon Selestewa heard God call her name while she slept. And not just once, but three times.
Raised by devout Christian grandparents of Native American heritage in Salt River, Ariz., Selestewa had at first distanced herself from their faith community and traditions. “Growing up, I didn’t want to have anything to do with the church,” she says. “I was in the world for quite a while.”
Her first dream changed all that.
“About twenty-five years ago I had a dream of a light next to my bed, and a voice was calling my name,” she recalls of the dream she had in 1986. “I looked up and I wasn’t scared. It was soothing and warm and comforting to be in the light.”
In her dream, the voice told Selestewa to go to Cook School. Keep reading.
Founded in 1875 by the Board of Missions to the Freedmen of the United Presbyterian Church in North America for the purpose of educating blacks. The school became a college in 1877 and was operated directly by the above-named Board until the mid 1960s, at which time the church turned over management and some of the property to the Board of Trustees with the balance of the property being transferred in 1979. After the loss of accreditation in 1997 the school leadership took a unique approach to formal education by becoming the first Historically Black College or University (HBCU) that is a work college. A work college is designed to assist the students maintain employment to pay for their education. Learn more
Presbyterian missionaries founded the school in 1881, and it operated as a school for Native Americans until 1891. It operated as a boarding school from 1896 until 2000 at which time Menaul became a day school. Its student body is comprised primarily of majority Hispanic/Latino and Native Americans. A change in leadership, a strong Board of Trustees, a loan from the General Assembly Mission Council, sale of some of its property and steady increase in enrollment has enabled the school to remain open and viable. At least 80 percent of its students continue their education beyond high school. Learn more
Presbyterian Pan American School
The Presbyterian Church in the United States founded the school as the Texas-Mexican Institute in 1911 and changed the name to Presbyterian Pan American School in 1956. The school is an institution that serves primarily Hispanic/Latino students that live south of the U.S. border. The institution prepares young people to be leaders in their native countries and in a society that is increasingly becoming multicultural and multilingual. The administrators of the school say, “The school has been called into being and exists to serve the Church rather than its own life and to develop Christian leadership for all the Americas and beyond. The success of the school is to be measured in the lives of its graduates who fulfill its purpose in their lives.” More than 85 percent of its students continue their education beyond high school. Learn more
A group of Presbyterians, led by the Reverend Charles Allen Stillman, submitted an overture to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) requesting the establishment of a training school for Negro ministers, and in 1876 Stillman College was founded. This institution has evolved into a coeducational college that serves primarily African-American students. Dr. Ernest McNealey, the current president, states, “We must constantly seek to be and do better than we are today. It is noble for individuals to aspire to achieve at the fullness of their potential, while embracing collective expectations without limits. The aim must be performance at the highest level, using the yardstick that governs the larger domain.” Learn more