Colleges with Strong Religious Identities Thrive in the US

February 14, 2005

Source: U.S. News & World Report

On February 14, 2005 U.S. News & World Report reported, "if the past two decades have been an era of religious revival in America--what some observers have called the fourth Great Awakening in the nation's history--the predominantly secular world of U.S. higher education seems at first glance to have been remarkably untouched by the spirit of the times. Large majorities of undergraduates, for instance, say they seek meaning and purpose in their lives, yet just 8 percent report hearing professors discuss spiritual or religious issues in or out of the classroom, according to a major study of campus religious life by University of California-Los Angeles researchers... But sometimes a picture of the forest may miss a vigorous new species of tree. That, in any case, was the hunch that put journalist Naomi Schaefer Riley on the trail to writing her new book, God on the Quad: How Religious Colleges and the Missionary Generation Are Changing America. After spending three years visiting colleges with strong religious identies, from five-year-old Patrick Henry College in rural Purcellville, Va., to Indiana's venerable University of Notre Dame, Riley found that these schools are providing intellectual heft to a generation of spiritual seekers that is already influencing American society, business, and government."