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The Christian Life Survey was developed across a decade of research that involved 46 different Christian college campuses between 2010 and 2019. Over 18,000 students used it to think about their own Christian walk. In that decade the survey was administered and refined through reliability analyses and factor analyses.

Questions about centers of the Christian life indexes were constructed around commonly accepted understandings in the church: Love the Lord your God; Love your neighbor; and center your life around the scripture. Rather than seek to quantify “love” I elected to measure the extent to which each of these (God, others, the Bible) were central to the person’s spiritual life. The Christian lifestyles indexes were created by beginning with widely accepted classic works like celebration of the disciplines and spirit of the disciplines to create a large list of practices common to the Christian life. Through factor analyses and reliability analyses (and years of administrations) the final questions were selected for orthogonal indexes. The Bible engagement indexes were created through the same process as the Christian lifestyles indexes. Example methodological statements from 2012 and 2014 are provided below.

2020–2021 Methodologies

2014–2015 Methodologies

2012–2013 Methodologies

Participant Universities

After a pilot study in 2010, the following administrations were used to refine the measures.

Alphabetical list of colleges 2012 2014 2016 2018
Arlington Baptist College X
Barclay College X X
Bethel University MN X
Biola University X X
California Baptist University X
Calvin University X
Charleston Southern University X
Corban University X X X
Cornerstone University X X X X
Crown College X X
East Texas Baptist University X
Eastern Nazerene College X
Eternity Bible College X
Faith Bible College X
Family of Faith College X
Fresno Pacific University X X
George Fox University X X
God’s Bible School and College X X
Gordon College X X
Goshen College X
Houghton College X
Johnson University X
Johnson University X
Judson University X
Kentucky Mountain Bible College X
The King’s College X X X
The King’s University X X
Kingswood University X
Lee University X
LeTourneau University X X X
Lincoln Christian University X
Mid-South Christian College X
Northwest Nazarene University X X
Nyack College X
Oak Hills Christian College X
Ouachita Baptist College X
Patrick Henry College X
Rosedale Bible College X
Southeastern Bible College X
Spring Arbor University X
Tabor College X X
Taylor University X X X X
Union University X X X X
Waynesburg University X
Westmont College X X
Wheaton College X X
William Jessup University X
Number of participants (all full-time, traditional-age Christian first year through senior students were use in the analyses 4,209 6,074 5,329 3,077