Engaging Religious Minority Students Week 6

As someone who is not religious, I have never noticed how extensive Christian privilege is in American higher education. I feel a little ashamed that the presence of chapels on college campuses and breaks being built around Christian holidays never crossed my mind as exclusion because I'm so used to glazing over things like that. This is especially compounded by the fact that my undergraduate institution (where I still work) is very Southern and therefore, Christianity is the most prominent sector of religion on campus. Additionally, religion is something that I find to be very personal, and never really considered the importance of having discussions surrounding them on campus. The Collins, Hurst, & Jacobson article (1987) in particular changed my perspective on the place of religion in higher education. The authors discuss the idea of religion as a part of the academic experience and that it should be treated as a legitimate part of student development. Collins, Hurst, & Jacobson (1987) also summarize the need to provide opportunities for spiritual development when they state, "...it seems ironic that institutions ignore 'spirituality' although they are immersed in the human condition that deals daily with spiritual issues." Moving forward, higher education institutions must further offer these opportunities and cover a wide range of faiths in an effort to be more inclusive.

Reference

Collins, J.R., Hurst, J.C., & Jacobson, J.K. (1987). The blind spot extended: Spirituality. Journal of College Student Personnel, pp. 274-276.

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