Influences of Large State Research University on Student Religious Beliefs and Practices* Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2018 Taylor & Francis. Our survey of 1,662 students of nearly equal gender and class standing revealed that our institution seems to affect both religious belief and practice in at least half of the students. The effects become evident after just 1 year and were generally sustained until graduation. Over all 4 years, 10 aspects of university culture enhanced religious beliefs in 33% of students, and 48% reported increased five religious practices. Smaller numbers reported diminished belief (18%) and practices (22%). Precollege religiosity was amplified. Believers strengthened their beliefs, and skeptics became more skeptical. The same was true for all practice factors, except discussion with peers, who had a huge influence, even on enhancing religious practices by atheists and agnostics. Finally, regardless of precollege religiousness, active believers and evangelicals were significantly more likely than atheists and agnostics to have enrolled in nontechnical academic majors.

author list (cited authors)

  • Patel, A., Hartberg, Y., & Klemm, W. R.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • May 2018