Education as Transformation: History of a Movement

April 1, 2004

Author: Peter Laurence

Source: Spirituality in Higher Education Newsletter

Early development

"I came here because I knew that a movement was starting÷" declared Cheryl Keen of Antioch College at the first national gathering sponsored by Education as Transformation in 1998. According to Victor Kazanjian, Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life at Wellesley College, "This movement is about awakening the desire for wholeness that lies deep in every human heart." And Diana Chapman Walsh, president of Wellesley College, announced that "Our task is to envision a whole new place for spirituality in education." This is the story of that movement, a partial history at best.

This particular stream of history began in late 1996, when a survey was sent to approximately 650 chaplains and campus ministers throughout the United States to determine whether or not religious diversity among students in higher education was on the rise. Seventy-four percent of the respondents said that it was, and many indicated that programs to address that diversity, where they did exist, were less than adequate.