Changes in religious and spiritual trends over the past few decades are contradicting previously held assumptions in academia pertaining to personal religious and spiritual definitions, identities and how these religious and spiritual identities are affected by higher educational attainment. In addition, there is limited research on how students may resolve cognitive dissonance if it develops due to discrepancies between their college experiences and their personal spiritual or religious convictions. The intent of this thesis is to explore the effects of college experience and higher educational attainment on students' religious and spiritual identities; to explore the growing trend to identify as 'spiritual, but not religious;' and to explore whether any changes in their religious and spiritual identity are as a result of adjustments spurred by cognitive dissonance. This study helps fill in gaps in current literature about the effects of higher education on religious and spiritual identity and their resolutions of cognitive dissonance.
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Gay, David A.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Gaulden, Shawn, "Sacred changes on campus the effects of higher educational experience on religiosity and spirituality, and resolving cognitive dissonance" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1266.