St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Campus life: God in college

Times Staff Writer
Published May 4, 2004

A recent survey of 3,680 college students found that religious commitment runs strongest among fine arts, education and humanities majors, and lowest among biology, history and sociology majors.

The national survey, conducted by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute, defined "spiritual commitment" through a series of questions that measured the personal value of religion, attendance at worship services, belief in a higher power and applying religious values to everyday life.

Sixty-two percent of fine arts majors rated high on "spiritual commitment," compared to 52 percent of journalism majors, 44 percent of business majors, 43 percent of biology majors, 41 percent of political science majors and 37 percent of sociology majors.

The survey found that arts and humanities majors were twice as likely to exhibit signs of "spiritual distress" - questioning beliefs, struggling to understand evil, wrestling with religious upbringing - as business or computer science students.

Only 29 percent of college juniors attend religious services. That compared to 52 percent of incoming freshmen.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.