Religious schools - American Education
A wide variety of parttime and full-time elementary and secondary schools sponsored by or affiliated directly or indirectly with individual churches and religious groups. Part-time religious schools, such as Sunday schools, usually offer instruction devoted entirely to religion. Although instruction at some full-time religious schools is intensively religious, the majority of such schools offer general academic as well as religious instruction. There are nearly 21,500 fulltime religious elementary and secondary schools in the United States—about 18% of all primary and secondary schools—and they hold more than 4.35 million students, or more than 8.2% of the student population. Religious schools make up nearly 80% of all private schools and enroll more than 85% of the private school student population. Roman Catholic schools make up the largest percentage of religious schools—nearly 30%. Of the more than 4,000 “bricks-and-mortar” (that is, freestanding, non-Internet) institutions of higher education in the United States, 880, or 21.6%, are religiously affiliated, and their 1.6 million students make up almost 9.5% of the more than 17 million college students in the nation.
Religious schools do not necessarily limit their enrollments to students of the faith with which the school is affiliated. Indeed, many are open to students of all faiths, although they include clergy on their faculties and some, at the elementary and secondary levels, require all students to attend services and classes in religious instruction.
(See also PAROCHIAL SCHOOL.)