Records of the Christian Education Movement

Scope and Content

Records of the Christian Education Movement, 1965-; and of the two predecessor organisations, the Institute of Christian Education at Home and Overseas, 1935-1965 and the Student Christian Movement in Schools, 1943-1965. These records include minutes of the organisations, administrative files and correspondence, printed material including pamphlets, leaflets and other publications.

The records also include minutes of the Association of Teachers of Religious Knowledge (the forerunner of the ICE), 1931-1934; and minutes and other papers of the Federation of University Women's Camps for Schoolgirls (which amalgamated with the Student Christian Movement in Schools), 1902-1964.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Christian Education Movement (CEM) was inaugurated at a service in St Margaret's Church, Westminster on 22 January 1965. The Movement was formed by combining two predecessor organisations whose work had increasingly overlapped: the Institute of Christian Education at Home and Overseas (ICE) and the Student Christian Movement in Schools (SCM in Schools). The ICE was founded in 1935 and it worked with teachers, education officials and clergy and ministers closely concerned with education to bring scholarly knowledge, skill and imagination to religious education. It also recruited teachers for schools and colleges overseas on a considerable scale.

The SCM in Schools was established as a separate body from the university Student Christian Movement in 1943. It was active at first mainly in grammar schools, amongst fifth and sixth formers at conferences during school time, school groups and holiday activities. However, after a few years, at the urging of some local education authorities and of many teachers, it began to work experimentally with younger boys and girls and in secondary modern schools.

Both these bodies were concerned with the same people, SCM in Schools increasingly with teachers and the ICE increasingly with pupils. Both had high academic ideals; neither claimed to be more than an ally of the teachers who carry out the principal responsibility in school; and both were international and interdenominational in scope. The two bodies therefore combined together to form the CEM in 1965 so as to provide a more effective and inclusive movement which was responsive both to young people at school and to Christian teachers and other adults working with young people.

The CEM combined in January 2002 with the National Christian Education Council (NCEC, formerly the National Sunday School Union) to form Christian Education in order to maximise the delivery of high quality training and resources for Christian educators and teachers of Religious Education in schools.

Reference: CEM Annual report , 1965/66; website of Christian Education ( accessed July 2002


The archives are arranged by organisation: y="Student" Christian Movement in Schools (which also includes some records of the Federation of University Women's Camps for Schoolgirls (FUWCS); z="Institute" of Christian Education; q="Christian" Education Movement.

Access Information

Open to all registered readers

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited with Selly Oak Colleges in 1979 by the Christian Education Movement. Subsequent deposits have been added at regular intervals.

Other Finding Aids

See full catalogue for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Custodial History

The first deposit was made with Selly Oak Colleges Library by the Christian Education Movement in 1979 and subsequent additions have been received at regular intervals. The collection was transferred to the Orchard Learning Resources Centre which was opened in 1997 following the merger of the Selly Oak Colleges Library and the Westhill College Library. In 2000, the custodianship of all archive collections held at the Orchard Learning Resources Centre was transferred to the University of Birmingham, and the records held at the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections.


Further deposits are expected.

Related Material

The records of the Student Christian Movement, also held at the Orchard Learning Resources Centre, include material relating to work amongst schools, including administrative files of the Schools Department and records of the University Camps for Boys (GB 150 DA1). The Special Collections Department has recently acquired the records of National Christian Education Council (formerly the National Sunday School Union) (GB 150 NCEC).

The University of Birmingham, Special Collections Department holds a rich collection of archives relating to missions, charities and other religious and ecclesiastical organisations and individuals.