Campus climate assessment has been instrumental in helping colleges and universities grapple with issues of religious and worldview diversity. With religious diversity being a salient and potentially divisive reality in American public discourse and civic life, many colleges and universities are asking how their campuses can cultivate environments that foster appreciative attitudes and encourage students to build bridges with people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions. The Values, Interfaith Engagement, and Worldview Survey (VIEWS) is a theoretically-based and empirically-validated assessment tool designed to help campus leaders understand students’ perceptions of, and engagement with, people of diverse religions and worldviews.

About the Survey

Designed by Drs. Alyssa Rockenbach (North Carolina State University) and Matthew Mayhew (The Ohio State University) in partnership with the Interfaith Youth Core, VIEWS builds on the Campus Religious and Spiritual Climate Survey (CRSCS) and the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) to provide colleges and universities with a snapshot of students’ perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors related to the campus climate for worldview diversity. VIEWS contains myriad items and scales from CRSCS and IDEALS that have been well tested to measure students’ interfaith experiences and outcomes in college.

VIEWS can help you answer such questions as:

  • To what degree do students perceive your campus as welcoming for people of diverse religious and non-religious perspectives?
  • In what ways do students engage across worldview differences on your campus? Who is engaging in interfaith activities and who is not?
  • To what degree do students hold appreciative attitudes toward others of diverse worldview identities? How are those attitudes different for students of various beliefs or backgrounds?
  • In what ways are students ready and willing to engage with religiously diverse others?

Participation

Registration for Spring 2018 administration is now closed. Limited space will be available for the Spring 2020 administration of VIEWS and campuses will be accepted into the administration on a first-come, first-served basis. Participating campuses receive support for survey administration preparation, a custom report for their institution, and individual guidance for understanding and using survey results.

Costs to participate:

Early Registration: $3,500*

Early Registration Deadline: Fall 2019 (date TBA)

Final Registration: $4,500*

Final Registration Deadline: Winter 2019 (date TBA)

*Survey pricing and availability is subject to change.

Survey Composition

VIEWS includes three distinct components, all of which are derived from CRSCS or IDEALS. Below you will find a brief overview of each component: climate indicators, campus experiences, and outcomes.

Climate Indicators

VIEWS captures student perceptions of the campus climate related to religious and worldview diversity. Specifically, the survey includes items designed to address both positive and negative aspects of the worldview climate. For example, students answer questions about perceived support for their own worldview identity and the extent to which they feel their campus is welcoming for a range of other worldview identities. Additionally, several items on the survey capture students’ perceptions of coercion, divisiveness, and insensitivity on campus. These climate indicators help institutional leaders understand what opportunities and challenges might be shaping students’ willingness to engage with people of different worldviews.  

Campus Experiences

In addition to understanding students’ perceptions of the climate for worldview diversity, VIEWS collects information about how students interact with religiously diverse others. The survey includes a series of items ascertaining whether students have experienced provocative encounters with worldview diversity--that is, challenging yet stimulating interactions with diverse others. It also measures the frequency of students’ negative interworldview engagement (e.g., how frequently they have had tense, somewhat hostile interactions). In both of these cases, VIEWS helps institutional leaders better understand the quality of their students’ interfaith experiences.

VIEWS also asks a wide range of questions about activities in which students participate on their campuses. Activities of interest include general religious/spiritual activities (e.g., utilized a multi-faith space on campus), formal interfaith programs (e.g., attended religious services for a religious tradition that is not your own), informal engagement with diverse peers (e.g., had conversations with people of diverse religious or non-religious perspectives about the values you have in common), and curricular engagement (e.g., discussed religious diversity in at least one course for your major).

Outcomes

There are three primary outcomes of interest measured in VIEWS: self-authored worldview commitment, appreciative attitudes toward diverse others, and pluralism orientation. These three outcomes are critical components of productive interfaith engagement.

  • Self-authored Worldview Commitment measures the degree to which students rely on an internal “script” when making meaning of beliefs, identities, and relationships (Mayhew & Bryant Rockenbach, 2013).
  • Appreciative Attitudes Toward Diverse Others measures how positively students view individuals from different worldview groups. There is a four-item scale measuring attitudes toward each of the following groups: Atheists, Buddhists, Catholics, Evangelical Christians, Hindus, Jews, Latter-day Saints/Mormons, Muslims, politically conservative people, and politically liberal people.
  • Pluralism Orientation reflects the extent to which students are globally oriented, have goodwill toward others with different worldviews, consider it important to understand both differences and commonalities between worldviews, and are committed to interfaith leadership and service. Further, someone with a pluralism orientation actively engages with diversity, moves beyond tolerance toward acceptance of others, and feels it is possible to have strong relationships with diverse others while being rooted in their own worldview (Eck, 1993).

 


References

Eck, D.L. (1993).  Encountering God: A spiritual journey from Bozeman to Banaras. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. 

Mayhew, M. J., & Bryant Rockenbach, A. (2013). Achievement or arrest? The influence of the 
collegiate religious and spiritual climate on students’ worldview commitment. Research in Higher Education, 54(1), 63-84.

 

Download an overview of the survey components here.