NEW YORK (ABP) — Baptist-supported William Jewell College ranked in the top 20 of most religious campuses in the Princeton Review's annual ranking of The Best 373 Colleges in the United States.
Affiliated with the Alabama Baptist Convention and located in Birmingham, Samford University at No. 6 was the highest-ranking Baptist school among the top 20 campuses having the most religious students.
Baylor University, affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, ranked 10th followed by Furman University, a private liberal-arts school which severed formal ties with the South Carolina Baptist Convention in 1992, at No. 11. William Jewell College (right), which receives support from the Baptist General Convention of Missouri, came in at No. 19.
All of the 20 most religious campuses are private schools except one. The United States Air Force Academy ranked 14th. The Academy, located in Colorado Springs, Colo., has in the past been investigated for charges that it uses taxpayer dollars to indoctrinate cadets in evangelical Christianity.
The religiosity ranking is one of 62 categories included in the annual report. Editors selected 373 institutions based on their high opinion of their academics and surveyed more than 122,000 students about their impressions of the schools.
"Each of our 373 best colleges offers great academics and we salute them for that," said Robert Franek, senior vice president and publisher of Princeton Review. "However, they differ widely in their program offerings and campus culture."
Franek said the purpose of the study is to help applicants select their "best fit" for college.
Samford also ranked near the bottom in use of hard liquor and marijuana. Both Samford and Baylor were among the 20 least-friendly campuses toward gays and lesbians.
Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.