Glanzer, P. L., Cockle, T. F., Martin, J., & Alexander, S. (2022). Understanding the Diversity of Catholic Higher Education: A New Empirical Guide for Evaluating the Influence of Catholic Identity. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 0(0), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1111/jssr.12815
Although scholars have often described faith-based universities in America as “church-related,” we argue this classification tells us virtually nothing about how the Catholic identity influences the mission, rhetoric, curriculum, or policies of Catholic institutions. Although Morey and Piderit (2006, Catholic higher education: A culture in crisis) created a more sophisticated four-part typology of Catholic institutions, we find that students, parents, administrators, and scholars, particularly scholars interested in institutional secularization, need a better means of empirical analysis to determine the degree to which the Catholic identity of an institution influences key administrative decisions of the university. Thus, we propose a method of content analysis that can quantify how the Catholic identity shapes key administrative, curricular, and cocurricular decisions and thereby places Catholic institutions upon a continuum. We then apply our new Operationalizing Faith Identity Guide (OFIG) to Catholic institutions in the United States to demonstrate the helpfulness of its application.