Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., which is nearly 200 years old, was founded on the ideals of "piety, liberty, and learning." Originally affiliated with the United Methodist Church, it is now independent and this year underwent a study to determine the place of religious life on campus.
Some 775 undergraduates completed their "Religious Life" questionnaires. More than 90 percent indicated a religious preference, with Roman Catholic (26.2 percent) leading the way. In descending order: Jewish (14.7 percent); Presbyterian (11.6 percent); Methodist (9 percent); and Episcopal (8.8 percent).
Ninety percent of the students indicated they had formal religious training, and 63 percent said they had taken part in religious activities in high school.
Sixty percent said they attended religious services this year, either at the college of in Carlisle, and 31 percent said they were involved with religious activities on campus.
The questionnaire also asked about the possession of Bibles. Those who had their own Bible at home were 42.2 percent; with their own Bible at Dickinson, 42 .5; own Bible both places, 6.9; no Bible, 22.2. Lindsey Clapp, a junior, writing in the May issue of the Dickinson Magazine, analyzed the questionnaire, concluding: "Religious activities in themselves do not define the place of religion within the educational experience. A secular and humanistic, yet 'pluralistically religious,' atmosphere prevails at Dickinson in 1980.
"In summary, the integration of faith, learning, and college life seems to be an internal and individual process, rather than an institutional effort."