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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

“Good and Faithful Service: Findings from the Boston College Survey of Undergraduate Experience and Implications for Religious Mission of Catholic Universities”

James Fleming, Lynch School of Education and Office of University Mission & Ministry, Boston College
Date: March 15, 2005
Location: 24 Quincy Road, Boisi Center

Event Recap

Father James Fleming, from the Office of the University Mission and Ministry at Boston College, offered a presentation titled “Good and Faithful Service: Findings from the Boston College Survey of Undergraduate Experience and Implications for Religious Mission of Catholic Universities.” His March 15th, talk offered some preliminary findings from a recent survey of Boston College undergraduates. The survey, known commonly as BC-QUE, seeks to understand the kinds of activities that shape the vocational and spiritual formation of undergraduates at Boston College. In particular, it tries to find out what experiences the students find most “meaningful” as they look back as seniors at the past four years. Among the many results that Fleming reports are findings that while a large proportion of students stop going to worship services once they enter college, reports on measures of spirituality increase dramatically, from 38% to 80%. Along with this, practices of prayer and meditation increase as do conversations about spirituality. Fleming also finds that Boston College appears to have a very strong culture of volunteerism, even higher than might be expected at a Catholic university. Fleming argued the usefulness of separating concepts of religiosity and spirituality, and also to break down these measures further into indicators of worship attendance, frequency and practice of prayer, identification with religion, and spiritual practices. These separate indicators provide a more nuanced portrait of the religious and spiritual life of undergraduates.