Religious Commitment

Religious Commitment is an “internal” quality that reflects the student’s self-rating on “religiousness” as well as the degree to which the student seeks to follow religious teachings in everyday life, finds religion to be personally helpful, and gains personal strength by trusting in a higher power.

In particular, it measures the extent to which “my spiritual/religious beliefs” play a central role in the student’s life. Students’ average level of Religious Commitment changes very little during college. By far the most powerful factor affecting Religious Commitment is Religious Engagement, which includes activities such as praying, reading sacred texts, and religious singing or chanting.

The positive influence of prayer on Religious Commitment is one of the strongest experiential effects found in the entire study. Two activities associated with declines in students’ level of Religious Commitment are alcohol consumption and partying.