Despite certain claims to the contrary, a recent survey from UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute indicates that college students in the early 21st century maintain a strong interest in spirituality and self-discovery. Released this Wednesday, the study noted that, of more than 100,000 freshmen who started college in 2004, four in five reported an interest in spirituality. Additionally, the news release from the Institute noted that three in four of those surveyed were searching for meaning or purpose in life. Commenting on these results, the Institute's Helen Astin, remarked that "They are looking inwardly and they are searching for ways to cultivate their inner selves." Those students surveyed who exhibited high levels of religious engagement were generally more likely to have conservative social views, although some issues (including affirmative action) did not often corroborate with some of the standard issues that are sometimes taken in the whole to be representative of a conservative ideology.
The first link leads to a news piece from the Guardian that discusses the findings of this spirituality survey. The second link will take visitors to a well-written article from the University of Wisconsin's student newspaper The Daily Cardinal that talks about the ways in which campus groups work to support students of diverse faiths. The third link leads to the homepage of the Spirituality in Higher Education research group at UCLA, where visitors may learn about the recent findings and read some of the group's other reports. The fourth link leads to the homepage of the REBOOT organization, which is a group committed to exploring the nature of Jewish identity, with an emphasis on young people. The fifth link leads to a radio feature from National Public Radio that offers a bit of recent historical perspective on the subject of young people and spirtuality, as it was originally broadcast in December 1998. The sixth and final link leads to a helpful guide for public school teachers on teaching religion in the classroom, offered by the Freedom Forum organization.