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Jewish Journal

College juniors on deeper spiritual quest than freshmen

by Brad A. Greenberg

December 19, 2007 | 11:37 am

UCLA today reported the follow-up to its national survey of spirituality among college freshmen, which I wrote about here and here.

Compared to when they were entering freshmen, college juniors are more likely to be engaged in a spiritual quest, are more caring, and show higher levels of equanimity and an ecumenical worldview.  While 41.2 percent of freshmen in 2004 reported they considered developing a meaningful philosophy of life “very important” or “essential,” just three years later in 2007 a 55.4 percent majority of those same students agreed.  Additionally, “attaining inner harmony” was reported as “very important” or “essential” by 48.7 percent when they were freshmen in 2004, and jumped to 62.6 percent by 2007.

“Many students are emerging from the collegiate experience with a desire to find spiritual meaning and perspective in their everyday lives,” said UCLA Emeritus Professor Alexander W. Astin, Co-Principal Investigator for the project. “The data suggest that college is influencing students in positive ways that will better prepare them for leadership roles in our global society.”

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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