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Impact on religion – 10-year evaluation

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After 10 years, the $15.6 million initiative in religion and higher education funded by the Lilly Endowment has met many of its goals in helping church-related colleges strengthen their religious identities and studies, a new study says.

A two-year evaluation by Boston College that was commissioned by the endowment finds growing interest in religion and spirituality on U.S. campuses.

Since the launching the initiative in 1989, the endowment has made 70 grants to fund 45 projects, ranging from programs to help faculty integrate faith and learning to funding religious research at secular universities.

The evaluation found the endowment’s initiative made important contributions by funding quality research about religion in higher education; encouraging church-related colleges and universities to strengthen their religious heritage; increasing access to religious groups among students and younger faculty; and fostering quality discussions about the relationship between faith and learning.   

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