The Catholic Conversion Process Among University Students: An Exploratory Study
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This exploratory study used a qualitative research methodology to investigate the spiritual and life experiences of undergraduate students who convert to Catholicism at Texas State University in San Marcos. Specifically, it explores the conversion narratives to the Catholic faith through their involvement at Our Lady of Wisdom University Parish (OLOW), which is adjacent to the university. Data consisted of individual interviews with five current Texas State students, one life story narrative submitted by a recent Texas State graduate via Facebook, individual interviews with the priest and deacon of OLOW, a focus group comprised of three individual interview participants, and the researcher's own observations. The findings were analyzed using qualitative methodology and yielded an initial model relating to the process of conversion with four stages comprised of multiple themes within each stage. Participants were selected through non-random convenience sampling. Data was collected using a semistructured format. This study is important since it adds to the scholarly literature investigating the religious conversion process for contemporary university students, particularly regarding the Catholic faith.