College student’s beliefs, values, and spirituality have become the focus of a major national research project in recent years, conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) housed at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and sponsored by a substantial grant from the John Templeton Foundation (HERI website). After a pilot survey conducted in 2003, the College Students' Beliefs and Values Survey (CSBV)was administered in the fall 2004 to 112,232 entering freshmen students of 236 colleges and universities in the United States, with a follow up sample of 15,000 of these students in spring 2007. As a nationally representative sample of institutions of higher education, the study included both quantitative and qualitative focus group interview approaches. The results of this general national sample have demonstrated a strong demand for more support to the religious and spiritual needs and expectations of college students by their institutions, and a high percentage of students from public and private institutions reported strong convictions such as believing in God (79%), believing in the sacredness of life (83%), having an interest in spirituality (80%), searching for meaning and purpose in life (76%), seeing spirituality as a source of joy (64%), and seeking out opportunities to grow spiritually (47%) (The Spiritual Life of College Students, 2008). Applying a shorter version of the same survey to Seventh-day Adventist institutions in two different countries (USA and Brazil), this article discusses specific findings about the spiritual and religious experience of college students at Adventist institutions.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/robson_marinho/5/