As the divisive rhetoric presently dominating U.S. politics reverberates into citizens’ daily interactions, institutions of higher education are faced with an ever-pressing call to develop citizens capable of addressing society’s complex problems. Central to higher education’s responsibility in this regard is educating and equipping students to effectively reach across lines of difference, including those related to religion. A deep-seated component of U.S. society, religion is sometimes seen as divisive; yet, it has great power to catalyze individuals toward positive aims. As such, key questions for educators and leaders include: How do students make meaning of their worldview identities? And, importantly, how do college students meaningfully engage across lines of worldview difference?
Emerging Interfaith Trends is the first release of IDEALS findings, and provides an overview of the initial survey administered to first-year students as they started college. This report provides insights into students’ behaviors and perspectives on interfaith engagement prior to college and outlines recommendations for higher education professionals to better meet their needs.