Thursday, December 20, 2007

College Students and Faith

A continuing study into the spiritual and religious lives of college students confirms what many of us already know. College students lose their faith more often than they gain it at most schools. But, there is good news.

First the bad news:
Among incoming freshmen, for example, 43.7% said they frequently attend services; by the end of their junior year, that was down to 25.4%. Also, 37.5% of juniors said they did not attend services, up from 20.2% who said so as new freshmen.
Some good news:
One area of potential opportunity: in the classroom. Nearly 60% of students said their professors never encouraged discussions of religious or spiritual matters, and fewer than 20% said their professors "frequently" encouraged exploration of questions of meaning and purpose.
Now, they also say that juniors/seniors seem to be more concerned with helping others and they haven't figured out why. I can tell you in one word - maturity. Most freshman are teenagers. Most seniors are adults (notice "most" is an important word here) in their maturity levels.

We have a long way to go to overcome the obstacles that are in the way of faith in higher education.

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