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Research Initiatives

As American colleges and universities work to meet the challenges of a diverse 21st century, research-based insights into student identities, attitudes, and experiences are more important than ever. While various research projects have generated valuable data on racial, ethnic, and gender diversity, questions of student religious and worldview diversity remain largely unanswered.

Since 2011, IFYC has partnered with researchers to explore this complicated aspect of campus diversity; we provide educators, practitioners, and higher education policymakers with ongoing quality research to better understand emerging trends and address the complex dynamics that impact the campus climate and student interfaith engagement. The data generated through these studies offer institutions the information and evidence necessary to make wise decisions on how to better prepare students to positively engage worldview diversity in college and ultimately contribute to America’s religiously diverse democracy.

In partnership with research teams at The Ohio State University and North Carolina State University, this research program utilizes multiple surveys to explore various facets of students’ worldview identities and experiences on campus and tracks trends across the American higher education landscape. Key areas of exploration include:

  • Student worldview identities and commitment.
  • Student encounters with worldview difference on campus and attitudes toward others of different worldviews.
  • Student expectations of worldview diversity as part of the college experience and their perceptions of campus climate as related to worldview.
  • The intersections of worldview with other important aspects of identity such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and political affiliation.
  • Campus programs and practices that impact student development of interfaith outcomes including pluralism orientation and appreciative attitudes toward other worldviews.

Institutions and practitioners are using findings from this research to inform worldview diversity programming and integrate high-impact practices into various campus experiences.

We encourage you to dive in and learn more. Explore our latest research and ongoing opportunities to participate in this important conversation.

Friendships Matter 

New report finds that having 'interworldview' friendships during the first year of college has a positive influence on students' attitudes towards the worldview to which their friend belongs, and to all other worldviews too. Read the full report here.

Correlations Between Number of Interworldview Friendships and Outcomes in the First Year on Campus

You also can find more IDEALS reports here.

Research Initiatives


Learn more about the Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey and how it’s surfacing valuable knowledge about student experiences with worldview diversity and religious pluralism.


Learn more about the Values Interfaith Engagement and Worldview Survey and how it’s helping campuses better understand their students’ perceptions of and engagement with people of diverse religious worldviews at the local level.