The Higher Education Research Institute HERI) at is conducting a comprehensive multi-year project to study the trends, patterns, and principles of spirituality and religiousness among college students, and how the college experience influences spiritual development. Funded by the John Templeton Foundation, the study was launched in 2003. The project, called “Spirituality in Higher Education: A National Study of College Students’ Search for Meaning and Purpose,” has thus far provided considerable insight into students” levels of interests and involvement in spirituality, what they expect from colleges and universities in terms of spiritual development, and how faculty view the place of spirituality in the academy.
The first phase of the project had three main components:
- A pilot survey completed by 3,700 juniors at 46 colleges and universities;
- A revised survey administered to more than 112,000 entering freshmen at 236 colleges and universities; and
- A survey of more than 65,000 faculty at 511 colleges and universities nationwide.