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Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methods research was to measure sense of coherence of convenient sample of college Muslim students in Tennessee and to investigate from their perspective, meaning attached to faith as a source of strength, motivation and courage. This research was framed in salutogenic model (sense of coherence). Two questions guided the research,1) to what degree do Muslim students indicate, through their education, age groups, place of birth, gender and marital status a sense of coherence? 2) Why and how is their faith important to them-when dealing with stressors- as sources of strength, meaning and courage to cope with challenges? In multiple regression analysis, sense of coherence (SOC) related to the 5 predictors together (R² = .279, F (5, 47) =3.64, p < .05). Except for gender, all other predictors were not related to SOC individually. When the variables measured are consider together as predictors, the results indicated salutogenic model responded positively to this diverse group of students with similar faith but different backgrounds. Qualitative content data analysis revealed five themes that related how religious practices were important to the participants in managing and comprehending events in their lives. The results suggest, educators should not dismiss religious world view of students, for their faith works as a regulator when these students experience stress.

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