The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Study examines religion on an ELCA campus

The underlying religious tensions at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, mirror what Conrad Cherry, co-author of Religion on Campus (University of North Carolina Press, 2001), found in an ethnographic study of religion on another ELCA campus.

Cherry and his co-authors identify the campus only as an ELCA college in a northern state, one of four U.S. schools the researchers visited.

At the ELCA campus, researchers found that not only was religion alive and well for most Lutheran students, "Lutheran identity wasn't a major concern," said Cherry, professor emeritus of religious studies at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis.

"It's more often pastors and school presidents who are concerned about that," he said. "For students, the burning question was, 'How can I be a spiritual person?' "

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