Jay Winters's Reviews > A Guidebook Of Promising Practices: Facilitating College Students' Spiritual Development

A Guidebook Of Promising Practices by Jennifer A. Lindholm
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's review
Sep 02, 2011

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Read from September 02 to 09, 2011

Book Closing:
This book is a guidebook or a compendium of ideas more than it is a book seeking to bring to you a certain idea. The assumed idea behind the writing of this book, however, is somewhat revolutionary for your typical state-run college or university. That idea is: “College students need to address their spiritual lives to truly be whole by the time that they graduate.”

That idea has been a part of campus ministries and campus churches throughout the nation, but rarely has it been a part of university programming. This guidebook shows you the result of research into over 400 universities that are currently providing “spirituality programming” as a part of their institutional life. The universities and colleges are a mix of state-run and private schools, but all encourage some level of “spiritual growth” happening alongside intellectual and social growth.

While my personal definition of what spirituality is differs somewhat from the 5 point “wide” definition of spirituality ( Spiritual Quest, Ecumenical Worldview, Ethic of Caring, Charitable Involvement, and Equanamity ), it is helpful to see how a group of people dedicated to an ironic “secular definition of spirituality” go about doing that and providing programs that live up to those definitions.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in engaging their campus community as a whole in an exploration of what “spiritual life” has to offer the student without the benefit of clarity of a doctrinal position. That means that campus ministers may find this helpful, but only if they are trying to work with their university on their university’s own terms of not having a clear doctrinal position elucidated for the sake of separation of church and state. It would also be helpful for those who are in university administration, faculty, and staff, to see opportunities to bring open debate and exploration of spiritual matters to their campus.

Book Opening:

After flipping this book open and looking through it, I’m pretty sure I got robbed. There are 110 pages, but most of those don’t look like they’re readable - indexes and appendixes of questions to ask people at your campus.


This book is from the Spirituality in Higher Education project out of UCLA, and I haven’t read much from the project, so it will be interesting seeing what they have to say about these “promising practices”. It will be additionally interesting because FSU is usually considered to be one of the more forward-thinking public universities. It will be interesting to see what stuff I recognize.

Should be a pretty short read. See you in a bit.

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Reading Progress

09/02/2011 page 42
09/08/2011 page 60
48.0% "Meh..."

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