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date: 17 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

While religion and spirituality have played pivotal roles in shaping US higher education since its inception, empirical studies on college student spirituality are a relatively recent phenomenon, gaining steam in the early 2000s with landmark national studies. These studies reflect a growing interest in the inner lives of college students and their journeys for meaning and purpose. This chapter provides an overview of key studies addressing religion and spirituality in the lives of US college students. Unique patterns related to religious worldview, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender are discussed, reflecting the tremendous range of experiences among college students. The chapter also addresses the impact of college on religious and spiritual development, including the role of different campus environments and experiences, reflecting the role of peer socialization and institutional dynamics.

Keywords: spirituality, religion, worldview, inner life, meaning, purpose, college student

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