In 2003, a seven-year study began examining how students change during the college years and the role that college plays in facilitating the development of their spiritual and religious qualities. Funded by the John Templeton Foundation, “Spirituality in Higher Education: Students’ Search for Meaning and Purpose,” is the first national longitudinal study of students’ spiritual growth. Now I know that may sound strange for one of my blogs but stay with me.
The findings provide a powerful argument for the idea that higher education should attend more to students’ spiritual development, because spirituality can often be critical to students’ lives. So if it is good for students in higher education it can be good for all of us. Tending to our spiritual wellbeing, which is the hope and intent of my blog, is something we can all benefit from.
Assisting young adult in the process of spiritual growth can help create future generations who are more caring, more globally aware, and more committed to social justice while enabling young people to respond to the many stresses and tensions of our rapidly changing technological society with a greater sense of personal peace and civility.
As I said before, what’s good for students can be good for all of us. I will take a look at this tomorrow in a little more detail but here are the areas that spiritual growth can help us with…
- Spiritual Journey
- An Ethic of Caring
- Charitable Involvement
- Ecumenical Worldview
- Religious Commitment
- Religious Engagement
- Religious Skepticism
- Religious Struggle
For more information you can take a look at the detailed findings from the study presented in a book by Alexander W. Astin, Helen S. Astin, and Jennifer A. Lindholm, entitled, “Cultivating the Spirit: How College Can Enhance Students’ Inner Lives.”
As the Bible says, “Wisdom is more precious than rubies. Nothing else you could ever want is as valuable.” Prov 8:11