Faith-based higher education and the religiosity of Christian college students.
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Davignon, Philip P.
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While many Christian colleges and universities in the United States have lost their religious character over time, members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) actively seek to make Christian identity their defining feature. This dissertation begins by examining students from CCCU colleges and universities to determine how the Christian identity of their institution influences their college choice and satisfaction. Next, this dissertation examines the religious preferences that influence students’ choice of college congregation, thereby further revealing the religious values of Christian college students. Finally, this dissertation examines how characteristics of these institutions themselves, such as evangelical homogeneity, the integration of faith and learning, and the availability of spiritual mentors influence the faith lives of students. The results from this dissertation suggest that the religious identity of these colleges and universities is very important to students, and that students who base their choice of college on its Christian identity are more likely to be satisfied with their experiences. Another key finding is that denominational affiliation is relatively unimportant to these students when choosing both their college and their college congregation. Finally, this dissertation finds that institutional characteristics do indeed influence the faith lives students, especially the availability of spiritual mentors. This dissertation concludes by discussing how these findings affect this sector of Christian higher education that seeks to maintain a vibrant religious identity.