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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nonsectarian, in its most literal sense, refers to a lack of sectarianism. The term is also more narrowly used to describe secular private educational institutions or other organizations not affiliated with or restricted to a particular religious denomination.

Academic sphere

Examples of private universities that identify themselves as nonsectarian include Cornell University, Washington University in St. Louis, New York University, the University of Southern California, Boston University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Syracuse University, Hofstra University, Kwansei Gakuin University, Howard University, George Washington University, Brandeis University, Reed College in Oregon, Tulane University, Berea College, Northwestern University, Rice University, and Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Private primary and secondary schools also self-identified as nonsectarian include Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School in New York and Germantown Academy, in Fort Washington PA. (the oldest nonsectarian school in the U.S.), Friends School Mullica Hill in New Jersey, Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, as well as The Pembroke Hill School.

Pi Lambda Phi (ΠΛΦ or Pi Lam) is a college social fraternity founded by Frederick Manfred Werner, Louis Samter Levy, and Henry Mark Fisher at Yale University in 1895. It was founded as the first non-sectarian fraternity, "a fraternity in which all men were brothers, no matter what their religion; a fraternity in which ability, open-mindedness, farsightedness, and a progressive, forward-looking attitude would be recognized as the basic attributes."[1] It currently boasts 35 chapters and four colonies in the United States and one chapter in Canada. The fraternity founded the Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity Educational Foundation[2]

Non-Academic Institutions

Organizations that are explicitly nonsectarian include the Apex Clubs of Australia, those participating in the Ethical Culture Movement, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, the National Jewish Medical and Research Center, and the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia. In Northern Ireland, nonsectarian refers to groups identifying themselves as neither Nationalist/Republican or Unionist/Loyalist, such as the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.


  1. ^ The Founders' Period History of the Fraternity
  2. ^ Foundation Pi Lambda Phi Educational Foundation, Inc.


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