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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

The most and least religious schools in the country

Compiled by Kelsey Dallas, Deseret News National Edition

Published: Wed, Aug. 6 9:19 p.m. MDT

 Student Diane Bailey poses outside the Marriott Center on the Brigham Young University campus Monday, April 2, 2007, in Provo, Utah.

Student Diane Bailey poses outside the Marriott Center on the Brigham Young University campus Monday, April 2, 2007, in Provo, Utah.

(Douglas C. Pizac, Associated Press)

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"

1. Brigham Young University

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.

2. Thomas Aquinas College

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."

3. Wheaton College

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.

4. Hillsdale College

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.

5. Gordon College

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.

Email: kdallas@deseretnews.com Twitter: @kelsey_dallas

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1. FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT,
Aug. 6, 2014

I noticed that the most religious schools were also the most LGBT-unfriendly.

2. Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 6, 2014

I noticed the least religious schools were also the most Dependent on Government.

3. Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 6, 2014

@FatherOfFour

Define unfriendly?

4. Pendergast
Salt Lake City, UT,
Aug. 6, 2014

What? That school on the hill isn't one of the least religious?

5. FatherOfFour
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT,
Aug. 6, 2014

@Liberal Ted, The survey itself defines unfriendly and explains their scoring methodology. It is mostly centered around bullying, ostracism, and aggressive, confrontational behavior.