Daniel Wilson


Presentation: 4:30-6:30 p.m., LTC Forum



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High sense of belonging in college is linked with higher academic and social success for students. Defined as social support and connectedness, belonging is seen to be lower in the minority groups on campus, such as those that do not identify as White, heterosexual, and Christian. The purpose of this study is to investigate the lived experiences of non-Christian students at a private, Catholic university to find how they develop a sense of belonging at an institution that does not align with their own identities. This study includes qualitative data from 10 interviews with undergraduate, non-Christian identifying students at the University of Dayton. Findings suggest that a need for greater representation of alternate faiths, some mental or emotional strain on students as a result of non-conformity, and a reliance on other identities to build connections. Insights from this study can help inform religious diversity professionals at private, Catholic universities to build better, more creative ways to include the non-dominant student group into the community of the institution.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Graham Hunter

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education


Stander Symposium, School of Education and Health Sciences

Faith Identity: Exploring the Lives of Non-Christian Students at a Private, Religiously-Based University