Centenary Named One of Nation's Leading Colleges that Encourage Character Development

Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Centenary has been recognized for leadership in the field of student character development in The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development, a guidebook released nationwide this fall.

Designed for students, parents and educators who believe that character matters, The Templeton Guide contains profiles of 405 exemplary college programs in 10 categories; 50 college presidents who have exercised leadership in character development; and 100 colleges and universities named to the Templeton Honor Roll for their record of commitment to inspiring students to lead ethical and civic-minded lives.

Centenary is profiled in the Volunteer Service section for its Service-Learning Program. The Centenary program, which began in 1993, requires each Centenary student to complete at least 30 hours of service during one semester of his or her college career.

In its "Rationale for Service-Learning," the college states that education rarely takes place in isolation, but instead occurs within a community. It states that "individual development is made possible not only by the college community, but also by other communities that surround us ... Thus, as we become educated within the apparent seclusion of the college, we, in fact, incur a substantial obligation to those communities that have made that education possible. To increase our own awareness of these obligations, to return service to those who serve us, and to affirm that service is itself an inherently valuable activity, Centenary has integrated a community service-learning project into its curriculum."

"We are very proud of Centenary's work through Service-Learning to help students develop the strong values that will serve them well beyond their college years," said President Kenneth L. Schwab. "Character development is a lifelong process, and we believe that colleges and universities have a very important and unique role to play. We are delighted to be among the institutions profiled in The Templeton Guide."

More than 300 four-year public and private colleges across the country are included in The Templeton Guide. Individual programs were selected in the following categories: First-Year Programs; Academic Honesty Programs; Faculty and Curriculum Programs; Volunteer Service Programs; Substance-Abuse Prevention Programs; Student Leadership Programs; Spiritual Growth Programs; Civic Education Programs; Character and Sexuality Programs; and Senior-Year Programs.

"Centenary's strong commitment to character development and the strength of its program make it a model for colleges and universities nationwide," said Arthur J. Schwartz, Ed.D., director of character development programs at the John Templeton Foundation. "With The Templeton Guide, we hope to help prospective college students and their parents who want to know what colleges are doing to promote the core values of honesty, self-control, respect, and service to those less fortunate. The Templeton Guide identifies colleges that encourage students to understand the importance of personal and civic responsibility, which will help them succeed in college and beyond. Centenary's work in this area is most impressive."

Intended for high school students, parents, guidance counselors, college administrators, trustees, faculty, and alumni, The Templeton Guide recognizes programs that represent the best practices in the field of character development during the college years. The programs were chosen through a highly selective process that considered clarity of vision and statement of purpose; institutional resources; involvement of institutional leaders; impact on students, faculty, campus, and community; integration into the core curriculum or academic study; longevity; external awards and recognition; and assessment.

Established in 1987, the John Templeton Foundation works closely with educators, scientists, theologians, medical professionals, and other scholars throughout the world to support more than 100 programs serving three chief purposes: to encourage character development in schools and colleges; to encourage an appreciation for the benefits of freedom; and to stimulate serious and scientific research on the relationship between spirituality and health. The Foundation's College and Character Initiative supports national programs that offer meaningful opportunities for college students to learn about, reflect upon, and practice the virtues of personal and civic responsibility.

The Foundation has created a College and Character website -- -- which provides information on the initiative, links to the home pages of colleges selected for The Templeton Guide, and other features.

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