The Board of Friends Council on Education affirms that its membership is comprised only of religious schools based on the faith and practice of the Religious Society of Friends. Member institutions are those Friends schools that have been approved by the Board of the Friends Council on Education for membership.
All member schools meet the criteria for membership (A – H) below.
As established in 1996, in order to encourage and welcome the diversity of Quaker education that exists within the Religious Society of Friends, there are currently three pathways for schools to enter and affirm membership in Friends Council on Education. These three pathways equally assure the religious nature of any given Friends school.
The school has followed at least one of three pathways to membership.
- Board Pathway: At least half of the board members are members of the Religious Society of Friends.
- Meeting Pathway: The school is in a care relationship with a Quaker meeting.
- Membership Renewal Process (MRP) Pathway: Designed to be a rich learning and growth experience for a school community, the Membership Renewal Process involves a year-long Quaker self-study followed by a school visit from Friends Council on Education at least once every ten years.
The school acknowledges in its catalogues and other published statements of purpose the intent to be guided by the basic tenets and educational aims of The Religious Society of Friends.
The school has given evidence of putting those aims and tenets into practice including:
- Weekly Meeting for Worship is fundamental to the Quaker essence and character of the school.
- Some members of the school’s board participate in a committee or task group whose function is to nurture the Quaker dimension of the school.
The school's by-laws or other documents clearly describe the school's affiliation with the Religious Society of Friends.
A team from Friends Council has visited the school, made recommendations to the school and to the Friends Council board, and the board has approved the school for membership.
The school has been in operation with students in attendance for at least two years prior to its first team visit for membership.
The school completes the annual school governance survey and contributes annual membership dues to Friends Council on Education.
- The school completes a Quaker self-study and Membership Renewal Process at least once every ten years.
Our Friends schools' most fundamental strength and source of renewal is our Quaker faith and practice. There is a profound and hopeful ambition in the Quaker vision of schools as spiritual communities. When we approach this potential, our schools are places rich in love, challenge, collaboration, fruitful conflict, and a generative sense of what is possible in the classroom, in the community, and in each other. We are able to help children and adults bring the light of the spirit to each other and out into the world.
To engage in the Membership Renewal Process (MRP), the school will form a self-study committee that includes representation from all constituency groups – faculty, administration and staff, board, parents, alumni/ae, Friends Meeting members as appropriate, students as appropriate. Friends Council has compiled a list of resources to support the school in the self-study process and is available to consult with the self-study team. The focus of the self-study is to affirm the Quaker identity of the school.
Our ability to truly live this ideal, to sustain clarity of focus on the Quaker life of our schools, comes and goes amidst the many challenges of contemporary schooling. Indeed, healthy spiritual life in schools seems to unfold in cycles: periods of active focus and attention to this dimension of the community, sharpening our vision for it, developing key skills, consolidating our efforts of faith and practice, and strengthening the commitment of the community to our most fundamental values. This vital work is often followed by a quieter period of living out the fruits of this labor, using the community's renewed strengths to turn to other important agendas. In time, the need for a new cycle of community reflection and inquiry into Quaker faith and practice comes around again.
The school will confirm faithfulness to its Quaker identity as evidenced by its commitment to the Principles of Good Practice for Friends Schools: Affirming the Quaker Identity with the confirmations through a brief, clear report to Friends Council on Education supported by documentation confirming the six principles. After a school visit, Friends Council Membership Committee will provide commendations and recommendations to the school, and to the FCE Board, which gives final approval for membership renewal.
Gathering all in a Friends school community in this reflective work, engaging the full range of voices in this dialogue, and making new the meaning of Friends faith and practice in the school's life is a process that can be tremendously rewarding and renewing. We hope that you will consider where in the cycle of spiritual work your school is right now and when among the other rhythms of school life it may be the right time within the next ten years for the school to undertake a self-study process for renewing membership in the Friends Council on Education.
The Membership Renewal Process (MRP) is designed to be a rich learning and growth experience for a school community. It involves a year-long self-study followed by a school visit from Friends Council on Education at least once every ten years.
Principles of Good Practice for Friends Schools: Affirming the Quaker Identity
These principles are offered as a guide for Friends schools to consider when engaging in a year-long self-study process of the school’s Quaker identity. Friends Council on Education encourages schools to form a self-study committee and to involve the whole school community in conversation about what makes the school a “Quaker school.” Each set of principles includes ways for a school to demonstrate confirmations of those principles. Some confirmations involve drawing from existing documents. Other confirmations are designed to encourage dialogue within the school community – in a similar way to considering a query.
- Pathways to Friends Council Membership
- Benefits of Friends Council Membership
- Affiliate Schools, Camps, and Educational Organizations
- Provisional Membership
- Affirming Quaker Identity Download
Pathways to Membership
At least half of the board members are members of the Religious Society of Friends.
The school is in a care relationship with a Quaker Meeting.
Member Schools & Organization Benefits
Directory of Schools – Inclusion in and access to the public, searchable list of member programs and in the printed edition.
- Job Listings – Free listing of your job openings on this web site.
Grants to schools – Opportunity to apply for Friends Council Grants and Tuition Aid grant.
Programs – Member rate (financial assistance available to members) for Friends Council workshops and peer networks. - Opportunity for faculty/staff to participate in Friends Council's Enrichment Programs (SPARC and Leadership Institute).
- Resources – A variety of free and discounted resources.
Bookstore – Discounts on bulk orders.
- Friends Council's Online Forum - Eligibility to network and join the conversation at www.friendscouncil.net.
- Chronicles of Quaker Education – A year’s subscription for every faculty, staff and board member. Access to back issues online.
- Member Logo – for display on your web site and print matter.
- Membership Certificate for display.
- Priority e-mail and mail notification of Friends Council workshops, events and resources.
Affiliation with the Friends Council on Education is for Friends schools outside of the United States and Friends educational organizations whose governance reflects having a connection with a Quaker meeting; or whose board membership includes sufficient representation of Quakers to model, support, articulate and advocate for the organization's continuing Quaker identity.
Affiliation is not for Friends schools in the United States.
Friends Council Services to Affiliates Include:
- Listing as a Friends College, Global Affiliate School, or an Affiliate Educational Organization in the Friends Council on Education’s Directory, which includes contact information for all schools and organizations affiliated with the Friends Council.
- Listing as an Affiliate on the Friends Council on Education website with linkage to the school, college, or organizational website.
- Opportunity to post job openings on the Friends Council on Education website.
- Opportunity to join www.friendscouncil.net, the Friends Council’s social networking forum for idea and information exchange and sharing of resources.
- A print copy of Chronicles of Quaker Education, the regularly published newsletter of the Council (text is also available on the website for reproduction).
- Information and access to workshops and seminars sponsored by Friends Council on Education.
- Access to Friends Council web resource materials and literature.
A school wishing to join the Friends Council on Education completes the application for Provisional Membership indicating its intention to follow the Membership Renewal Process (MRP) in the future.
With the application for Provisional Membership, the school submits material fulfilling the following:
- The school acknowledges in its catalogues and other published statements of purpose the intent to be guided by the basic tenants of the Society of Friends and the aims of Quaker education.
- The school gives evidence of putting this intention into practice including:
- Plans for a weekly Meeting for Worship in the manner of Friends (settling in, centering, silent reflection and speaking) for students and staff.
- Plans to establish a committee or work group, in which some members of the school’s board participate, whose function is to nurture the Quaker dimension of the school.
- The school gives evidence of a well-functioning board that includes sufficient representation of Friends and those familiar with Friends education to strengthen and support the school’s continuing Quaker dimension.
- The school’s by-laws or other documents that clearly describe the school’s affiliation with the Religious Society of Friends; financial statements that show evidence of planning for the future.
During the first year (with students), the school completes the annual school governance survey and contributes annual Provisional Membership dues to the Friends Council on Education.
By the end of the second yearthe school will be informally visited by a Friends Council staff, board, or membership committee member.
During the third year , the school addresses its Quaker dimension using the Queries for Provisional Membership from the Friends Council on Education.
During the fourth year, the Friends Council on Education’s Membership Committee sends representatives for a formal visit to the school to review the school’s responses to the Queries for Provisional Membership and to serve as resource and support for the growth of the school’s Quaker dimension.
In the fifth year, the Membership Committee of the Friends Council makes recommendations to the school and to the Friends Council Board, and the Board makes a decision regarding the school’s membership status.
By the fifth year, Friends Council recommends that the school begin its state or regional accreditation process.