Collection inventory

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John McKinley Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

The adult education holdings are collectively known as the
Alexander N. Charters Library of Resources for Educators of Adults.

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 8 Dec 2008

Biographical History

John McKinley (1921-2011) was an American adult educator, proponent of Participation Training, and developer of the Indiana Plan (for adult education in the church).

McKinley received his Bachelor's degree from Indiana State University (1947) and his M.A. (1949) and Ed.D. (1960) from Indiana University. He joined the faculty of Indiana University in 1952 and taught for more than thirty years, retiring as Professor Emeritus in 1983. His focus areas were in diagnostic theory and practice in group and organizational settings, and in small group training and development. He was also interested in adult education in the church, for which he developed the Indiana Plan to assist denominations in planning adult education.

He authored numerous books, book chapters, articles, and papers, including Design for Adult Education in the Church and Participation Training for Adult Education. In 1975 he received the Outstanding Adult Educator of the Year award from the Adult Education Association of the USA (now the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, or AAACE).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John McKinley Papers consist of correspondence-subject files, memorabilia, and writings.

Correspondence-subject files contain book reviews, notes on lyceums in early America, and correspondence with two churches on McKinley's Indiana Plan. Memorabilia contains letters and tributes on the occasion of McKinley's retirement in 1983. Writings contains writings by McKinley (articles, books, a dissertation) and by others (books, one dissertation).

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence-subject files are arranged alphabetically. Writings are subdivided into those by McKinley, listed alphabetically by title, and those by others, listed alphabetically by author.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

The library holds a considerable number of collections related to adult and continuing education, as well as numerous other resources in the general collection. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing of manuscript collections, and to the Classic Catalog for circulating items.

Subject Headings


Bates, Bonnie.
Blumberg, Arthur, 1923-
Bode, Carl, 1911-1993.
Delalić, Ešref.
Golembiewski, Robert T.
Kadoya, Shinji.
Leskinnen, Heiki
Leypoldt, Martha M.
McKenzie, Leon.
McKinley, John, 1921-2011.
Peel, Donald.
Rock, Michael, 1942-

Associated Titles

Cyclical tradition.


Adult education -- Finland.
Adult education -- United States.
Adult education -- Yugoslavia.
Church and education.
Participation training.
Religious education of adults.
Research in religion and education.

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts (document genre)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John McKinley Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of John McKinley, 2008.

Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject files