Though increasingly successful in attracting adult students, faith-based colleges are less successful at influencing their religious behavior, according to a national survey of graduates.
Many respondents reported they were unaware they had attended a Christian school, and said religious ideas were not emphasized in their school's curriculum.
"These students come to school at night and mostly associate with other nontraditional students, and the programs don't communicate very effectively the distinctive religious mission of these schools to them," said John Green, who conducted the survey. Green, director of the Ray Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron in Ohio, said that in some cases schools may downplay their religious mission to attract a broader pool of students.
"In many schools the programs for nontraditional students are moneymakers," he said. ". . . it may well be the schools are not stressing a distinctive religious mission because they're interested in having a larger number of people sign up for their programs."
The report surveyed 1,600 college graduates between 1998 and 1999. The students were graduates of adult bachelor's degree programs at 16 colleges and universities (four Roman Catholic, four Protestant and eight secular).