As religious diversity becomes an increasingly salient and divisive reality in American public discourse and civic life, many college and university leaders are encouraging their campsues to cultivate a more inclusive environment. While there are a number of campus climate instruments that can help them assess various dimensions of diversity (i.e. race/ethnicity, gender, etc.) few focus expansively on religious and spiritual climate.
Therefore, campus leaders have turned to the Campus Religious and Spiritual Climate Survey (CRSCS) for assistance as they navigate the opportunities and challenges that religious and worldview diversity brings to higher education institutions. The CRSCS was developed in 2008 and piloted by higher education scholars Drs. Alyssa Rockenbach (North Carolina State University) and Matthew Mayhew (New York University). In 2011 Dr. Mayhew and Dr. Rockenbach partnered with Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) to integrate the campus climate dimensions of the instrument with new measures specifically intended to assess interfaith action and attitudinal outcomes. The partnership led to the development of the CRSCS as a comprehensive instrument designed to respond to the many questions and challenges with which postsecondary administrators and educators contend.
From 2011-2015, the theoretically based and empirically validated survey tool examined how campus structures and educational practices influenced students' ability to engage across religious and secular worldview differences. (See below for a discussion of the theoretical basis.) Administered to over 16,450 undergraduate students at over 60 campuses nationwide, the CRSCS made it possible to compare the experiences of students holding different worldviews. Campuses and researchers continue to analyze CRSCS data and use them to inform programmatic interventions.