College students say they care about interfaith cooperation — are school leaders listening?

A new article by Kelsey Dallas of The Deseret News National Edition features the Time 1 results from IDEALS.  Check out an excerpt below:

All college students have the potential to experience this kind of transformation, say experts on religion and higher education. Colleges and universities are in a unique position to both increase students’ religious understanding and their exposure to followers of other faiths.

“‘We have an opportunity as educators to set the stage well and give college students as many opportunities as we can to grow in ways that affect global change,” said Matthew Mayhew, the Flesher professor of educational administration at Ohio State University.

College students hold a similar view of campus life, according to the Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey, or IDEALS. The first wave of this research, which analyzes responses from more than 20,000 students at 122 colleges and universities, reports that 71 percent of incoming college freshmen in the fall of 2015 expected their institutions to provide opportunities to get to know students of diverse religious and nonreligious perspectives.

However, many schools fall short of this expectation, and some students graduate with the same religious biases they brought to campus. IDEALS is an effort to energize interfaith programs on college campuses across the country and to remind school leaders of the value of interreligious dialogue in the real world.

“It’s going to become increasingly important … that (college students) have a working understanding of how to have productive exchange across religious differences,” said Mayhew, one of the project’s principal investigators.

Read the full article here.  In what ways can your institution can support students who care about interfaith cooperation?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *