The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Religion on campus opens new doors

A study that indicates increased interest in religion on college campuses rings true for Lutherans too, say ELCA college experts.

"It's a changing landscape," says Patricia Lull, ELCA director for campus ministry. "Among many students there's a huge hunger for things spiritual, but not always in a traditional form. It's different than a decade ago."

Funded by a Lilly Endowment grant, the 10-year study by Boston College surveyed representatives of institutions, most of them church-affiliated.

Lull says the increased openness to religion benefits students and campus pastors, who have in some places gained broader recognition as staff.

This awareness also benefits and challenges church-related schools, which try to honor their religious heritage as their campuses grow religiously pluralistic. That pluralism includes a conservative movement that creates its own tensions at Lutheran schools, says Arne Selbyg, ELCA director for colleges and universities.

"Certainly at some colleges this openness isn't happening," Selbyg says. "[But] faculty are getting better at helping students integrate ethics and faith into their classes whether they teach English or biochemistry or accounting."


Print subscribers and supporting Web members may comment.

Log in or Subscribe to comment.

text size:

this page: email | print