Spirituality And Religion Among Black Men In College: A Potential Mechanism For Achieving Student Success
English, Brian L.
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As Black men continually face challenges while seeking to graduate from college, researchers and educational leaders have continuously sought ways to understand and remedy the issues. Spirituality and religion have been found to have positive influences on Black students' success in college. This study was designed to explore the role of spirituality and religion in the lives of Black men at a large and research-oriented Predominately White Hispanic Serving Institution in Texas. A general qualitative approach was used to examine how spirituality and religion among Black undergraduate men influenced their ability to persist and graduate. Interviews were conducted with 10 Black undergraduate men who identified as being spiritual and/or religious. A conceptual framework based on the major themes from Herndon (2003) and Wood and Hilton (2012) was used as a lens to interpret the findings. The major findings suggest there are both internal and external components of spirituality and religion that positively influence persistence and graduation for Black undergraduate men. Connecting students to their purpose, the importance of personal relationships, and institutional sources of support were key elements found to contribute to student success for Black men in college. This study helps extend the conceptual framework by adding new components and describing the influential role of spirituality and religion at large Predominately White Hispanic Serving Institutions.