NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ791398
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1086-4822
Understanding Christian Privilege: Managing the Tensions of Spiritual Plurality
Seifert, Tricia
About Campus, v12 n2 p10-17 May-Jun 2007
As a facet of learning and a means to accomplish the larger goals of higher education, spiritual development is important for students of all faiths. One obstacle that can get in the way of this development is "Christian privilege"--the conscious and subconscious advantages often afforded the Christian faith in America's colleges and universities. In this article, the author suggests that Christian privilege must be acknowledged and dismantled before environments truly conducive to spiritual development for all can be created. Christian privilege--as well as other kinds of privilege--hinders the development of all students. It may forestall or foreclose Christian students' critical examination of themselves and their own traditions while simultaneously stifling non-Christian students' expression of their spiritual identity. Helping students recognize the existence of Christian privilege and how it impinges on learning is an important first step in managing both the subtle and apparent tensions that exist on a spiritually plural campus and in openly exploring the ethical and existential questions important to life in the twenty-first century. With that recognition, the higher education community can begin to create spaces for dialogue in which non-Christian and Christian students alike feel free to openly share and learn with others. The author's intent in writing this article is to help start a community dialogue about how to manage spiritually plural campus environments, beginning with a definition of Christian privilege and examples of student experiences. The article concludes with recommendations for applying specific principles in order to create communities of dialogue on individual campuses. (Contains 19 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A