Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education

Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education

The mission of the Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education Knowledge Community is to enhance and contribute to the conversations about spirituality in higher education across all types of post secondary institutions.

Message from the Chairs

Welcome to the Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education Knowledge Community. Our leadership team works to support and network professionals, students, faculty, and other stakeholders who are invested in enhancing conversations, research, and best practices for spirituality, secularism, and religion in higher education. We look forward to your engagement and feedback and please let us know how we can best support you in this work.



The mission of the Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education Knowledge Community is to enhance and contribute to the conversations about spirituality in higher education across all types of post-secondary institutions.

This knowledge community welcomes practitioners, students and faculty members from the profession of student affairs as well as persons for whom spirituality and religion constitute a major element of their work in higher education.


Our vision is to integrate intentional resources to support students’ secular, spiritual and/or religious development as a core competency across all institutions of higher education.


 The Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education Knowledge Community adheres to NASPA’s guiding principles as values that guide our work. https://www.naspa.org/about

Integrity: Committed to high moral principles exhibiting authentic, honest, just, and ethical behavior.

Innovation: Continuously seeking improvement through new and creative approaches.

Inclusion: Seeking ways to ensure access, voice, acknowledgement, opportunity, and participation at all levels.

Inquiry: Supporting research and scholarship to add to the knowledge base of the profession and ensure that data informs practice.

2016-2019 Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education Knowledge Community Strategic Plan. 

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Get Involved

Please refer to Volunteer Central for list of open volunteer positions. For questions on how to get involved, please contact Co-Chairs Zachary Cole and Ross Wantland


One of the best resources available to you is the wide range of professional development opportunities. This list contains both our “Hosted Events,” workshops and webinars that we plan and manage, and some “Related Events,” hosted by the NASPA Central Office or other NASPA Constituent Groups. To see a full listing of NASPA events, please see the Events page.

Leadership Team

Knowledge Community leaders are NASPA volunteers who have generously devoted their time to their Knowledge Community. Chairs are elected by the Knowledge Community members while Regional representatives are selected from within the Region. Additional roles are selected by the Knowledge Community.


To receive our monthly e-newsletter, please join the SRHE KC in your NASPA profile. Sign in at NASPA.org. Click on "My NASPA" in the top right corner and select "Edit Profile" from the dropdown menu. Select "Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education" under the "Knowledge Community" section of your profile. Save your preferences and you will receive our monthly e-newsletter.

Monthly newsletter includes:

- Upcoming programs and events

- Research spotlights and resources on best practices

- Opportunities to get invovled with the KC

- Social media links

- Blog posts from SRHE members



  • Character Clearinghouse
    An online center for research, curricula, and student affairs resources relating to moral development of college students. 
  • Journal of College & Character
    "a professional journal that examines how colleges and universities influence the moral and civic learning and behavior of students." 
  • Education as Transformation
    An international organization that works with colleges, universities, K-12 schools and related institutions exploring the impact of religious diversity on education and strategies for addressing this diversity, and the role of spirituality in educational institutions, and particularly its relationship to teaching and learning pedagogy; the cultivation of values; moral and ethical development; and the fostering of global learning communities and responsible global citizens. 
  • Interfaith Youth Core
    Promoting pluralism on campuses 
  • Spirituality in Higher Education
    A National Study of College Students' Search for Meaning and Purpose 
  • Association of Religion Data Archives
    Quality Data on Religion, providing free access since 1998 


  • Astin, A.W., Astin, H.S., and Lindholm, J.A. (January/February 2011). “Assessing Students’ Spiritual and Religious Qualities.”  Journal of College Student Development, 52, 1: 39-61. 
  • Astin, A. W., Astin, H. S.,& Lindholm, J. A. (2011). Cultivating the spirit: How college canenhance students' inner lives.
  • San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Astin, A. W., & Astin, H. (2004). Spirituality development and the college experience (Research Report). Los Angeles: University of California, Higher Education Research Institute.
  • Bryant, A., Choi, J.Y., & Yasuno, M. (2003). Understanding the religious and spiritual dimensions of students' lives in the first year of college. Journal of College Student Development, 44(6), 723 - 745.
  • Cherry, C., De Berg, B., & Porterfield, A. (2001). Religion on campus. Liberal Education, 87(4), 6 - 14.
  • Chickering, A., Dalton, J., & Stamm, L.. (2006). Encouraging Authenticity & Spirituality in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
  • Eck, D. (2001). A new religious America: How a Christian country has become the world's most religiously diverse nation. San Francisco: Harper.
  • Fowler, J. W. (1976). Stages of faith: The structured developmental approach. In T.C. Hennessey (Ed.), Values and moral development (pp.176 – 234). New York: Paulist Press.
  • Fowler, J. W. (1982). Stages of faith and adults' life cycles. In K. Stokes (Ed.), Faith development in the adult life cycle (pp. 179 - 208). New York: W. H. Sadlier.
  • Gonzalez, R. G. (2008). College student spirituality at a Hispanic Serving Institution. Journal of College & Character, 9(4), 1-26.
  • Greenway, K. A. (2006). The role of spirituality in purpose in life and academic engagement. Journal of College & Character, 7(6), 1-5.
  • Hartley, H. V. (2004). How college affects students' religious faith and practice: A review of research. College Student Affairs Journal, 23(2), 111-129.
  • Hindman, D. M. (2002). From splintered lives to whole persons: Facilitating spiritual development in college students. Religious Education, 97(2), 165 - 182.
  • Hoppe, S.L. & Speck, B.W. (2007). Searching for spirituality in higher education. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Hurtado, S. (2005). The next generation of diversity and intergroup relations research. Journal of Social Issues, 61 (3), p 595 – 610.
  • Interfaith Youth Core. (n.d.) Interfaith cooperation and American higher education: Recommendations,best practices and case
  • studies. Retrieved October 28, 2011, from http://www.ifyc.org/sites/default/files/Best%20Practices%20Report_Interfaith%20Cooperation%20and%20Higher%20Ed.pdf
  • Kazanjian, V.H. & Lawrence, P.L. (Eds.), Education as transformation: Religious pluralism, spirituality & a new vision for higher education in America.  New York: Peter Lang.
  • Kocet, M. M., & Stewart, D. L. (2011). The role of student affairs in promoting religious and secular pluralism      and interfaith cooperation. Journal of College and Character, 12(1). Retrieved from http://journals.naspa.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1762&context=jcc
  • Lee, J. J. (2002). Religion and college attendance: Change among students. The Review of Higher Education, 25(4), 369- 384.
  • Lee, J. J., Matzkin, A., & Arthur, S. (2004). Understanding students' religious and spiritual pursuits: A case study at New York University. Journal of College and Character. Retrieved June 15, 2004 from http://www.collegevalues.org/articles.cfm
  • Love, P., & Talbot, D. (1997). Defining spiritual development: A missing consideration for student affairs. NASPA Journal,37(1), 361-375.
  • Love, P. (2001). Spirituality and student development: Theoretical connections. In M.A. Jablonski (Ed.), The implications of student spirituality for student affairs practice (pp. 7 – 16). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Love, P. (2002). Comparing spiritual development and cognitive development. Journal of College Student Development, 43(3), 357 - 373.
  • Magolda, M. B. B., Creamer, E. G., & Meszaros, P.S. (2010). Development and assessment of  self-     authorship: Exploring the concept across cultures. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing LLC.
  • Magolda, M. B. B., & Parks, S. D. (2009). Authoring your life: Developing an internal voice to navigate life's challenges. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC.
  • Moran, C. D. (2007). The public identity work of evangelical Christian students. Journal of College Student Development, 48(4), 418-434.
  • Moran, C. D., Lang, D. J., & Oliver, J. (2007). Cultural incongruity and social status ambiguity: The experiences of evangelical Christian student leaders at two Midwestern public universities. Journal of College Student Development, 48(1), 23-38.
  • Moran, C. D. (2006, June 14). Tangled in a web of assumptions: Are we silencing religious expression among faculty and staff in higher education? NASPA NetResults.
  • Moran, C. D. & Curtis, G. D. (2004). Blending two worlds: Religio-spirituality in the professional lives of student affairs administrators. NASPA Journal, 41(3), 631-646.
  • Nash, R. J., & Murray, M. C. (2010). Helping college students find purpose: The campus guide to meaning-making. San Fransico, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Nash, R. J. (2001). Religious Pluralism in the Academy. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.
  • Nash, R., Bradley, D.L., Chickering, A.W. (2008) How to talk about hot topics on campus: From polarization to moral conversation. San Fransciso: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Parks, S. D. (2000). Big questions, worthy dreams: Mentoring young adults in their search for meaning, purpose and faith. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Palmer, P.J. and Zajonc, A. with M. Scribner (2010) The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal.
  • Patel, E., & Meyer, C. (2011).  The civic relevance for interfaith cooperation for colleges and universities.  Journal of College and Character, 12(1). Retrieved from http://journals.naspa.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1764&context=jcc
  • Schwartz, A. (2001). Growing spirituality during the college years. Liberal Education, 87(4), 30 - 36.
  • Small, J. (2011). Understanding College Students' Identities: Different Faiths, Varied Worldviews. Hampton Press.
  • Speers, S. (2008). The Secular thesis revisited: Religious life on the secular college campus today. Journal of College & Character 10(2), 1-11.
  • Stamm, L. (2003). Can we bring spirituality back to campus? Higher education's re-engagement with values and spirituality. Journal of College and Character. Retrieved July 25, 2003 from http://www.collegevalues.org/articles.cfm.
  • Watt, S.K., Fairchild, E.E., & Goodman, K.M. (Eds.) (2009). Intersections of religious privilege: Difficult dialogues and student affairs practice.  New Directors for Student Services, 125.
  • Wunthnow, R. (2010). After the baby boomers: How twenty- and thirty-somethings are shaping the future of Amercian religion.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Young, J. R. (2003). Survey finds spiritual leanings among most college students. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 50 (14), 14a.
  • Zajonc, A. (2003). Spirituality in higher education: Overcoming the divide. Liberal Education, 89(1), 50 - 59.