School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Eric G. Lovik


Spirituality, Secularism, College Mission Statement, Disenchantment, Millennials, Religious Colleges


Christianity | Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Higher Education


The purpose of this study was to measure the perceived degree of spiritual development of graduating seniors at 26 denominational religious colleges and universities in the United States to analyze the possible effects of secularization on religious colleges. The study focused on the Millennial religious college student and suggests an approach towards improving the academic environment at religious colleges to promote a positive atmosphere for improving spiritual development. A question on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) was analyzed over an eight-year period to determine student and denominational college trends. The researcher determined the degree of perceived spiritual growth at religious institutions by denomination and identified strategies that higher scoring colleges are using to retain their religious purpose to promote spiritual development. Max Weber’s Secularization Theory was used as the theoretical framework to determine the effects of secularization on religious colleges and universities. The study used a convenience random ex-post facto non-experimental, causal-comparative design to analyze the differences in perceptions of senior students at these religious colleges regarding the degree to which they developed a deepened sense of spirituality. The study also analyzed differences between students responses as Catholic and Protest/Other Christian denomination colleges. The instrument used in this study was the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) developed by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research (IUCPR). The results showed significant differences of perceived student spiritual growth between all 26 religious colleges and indicated significant differences in perceived spiritual growth by denominational group when interacting with year groups.