Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 3-16-1965


The purpose was to investigate and trace the establishment, growth, and philosophy of the Presbyterian church schools in New Mexico. It was also an attempt to determine the relationship of these schools to public education.

This was a historical research. Reports of the Governor and Superintendent of Public Instruction in New Mexico were used. Statistics were secured from the State Department of Education and from current church school teachers. Histories of the state, education, and church in books and theses were utilized. Other sources included: New Mexico Court Cases, Survey report of the church and General Assembly, Menaul yearbook, files of the church and Menaul, plus letters and interviews of former teachers and pupils of Presbyterian schools. The history of public education was followed by the study of the Presbyterian schools. The policy of the church and reasons for closing was followed by the Summary.

Difficulties of the state in establishing public schools included: indifference to education, sparsely settled areas and great distances, extreme poverty of Territory and State, lack of trained teachers, and sectarian troubles. Presbyterian schools were opened where there were no educational opportunities, used trained teachers from the East, held a nine month term, opened to children of all faiths. Schools were closed for lack of funds, Roman Catholic opposition, and because public schools became available to the children.

Because the policy of the Presbyterian Church was to cooperate with the public schools, Presbyterian schools were an aid to education in the state and were not in competition to the public school. Two of the remaining three schools have plans to close when public facilities are adequate. Menaul High School is still meeting the need of pupils who live far from a high school.

Document Type


Level of Degree


First Committee Member (Chair)

Harold Dean Drummond

Second Committee Member

James Gordon Cooper

Third Committee Member

Frank Angel Jr.