The Princeton Review has released its annual set of lists ranking 379 American colleges. Categories include "Happiest Students," "Most Beautiful Campus" and "Most Accessible Professors."
Two lists of particular interest to readers who follow religion news are the "Most Religious Students" and the "Least Religious Students."
The results are drawn from surveys that the Princeton Review makes available to students throughout the year. "The survey asks students 80 questions about their school's academics, administration, student body and themselves," the press release explained. This year's lists report the findings of 130,000 student submissions.
**"Most Religious Students" **
The announcement of BYU's campus as the home of America's most religious students wasn't much of a surprise, given the school is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The university's website includes a link to "service and faith" opportunities on its homepage.
This 350-student school in Santa Paula, California, is closely aligned with the Roman Catholic Church. Its fact sheet reports that "11 percent of graduates have entered the priesthood or religious life."
Wheaton College is a Christian liberal arts college in Wheaton, Illinois. Students must abide by a community covenant, filled with biblical references, that includes proscriptions against pre-marital sex and immodest clothing.
Wheaton's northern neighbor, Hillsdale College, is a 1,400-student school in Hillsdale, Michigan. Although founded by Freewill Baptists, Hillsdale "has been non-denominational since its inception," its historical profile explains.
Gordon College's website advertises 61 different mission and ministry opportunities. Students have access to a liberal arts education grounded in "an informed Christian faith." This school north of Boston was in the news this summer for its president's faith-based petition for a religious exemption to President Obama's executive order against sexual orientation-based discrimination.
To check out the top 5 schools with the least religious students, click on the slideshow at the top left of this page.
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