College Enhances Faith

Last but not least, higher education is not especially damaging to religious faith. Given the wealth of religious options available on campus, it should not be surprising to learn that college students are less likely than other young adults to lose their religion. Though religious participation tends to decrease in the young adult years, a University of Texas study found that going to college decreased the risk of religious decline.<sup>46</sup> Such findings suggest the need for a new evangelical advice book: How to Stay Christian Outside of College. In the final analysis, the student union may be one of the most religious places in American society. Footnote <sup>46</sup> reads: Jeremy E. Uecker, Mark D. Regnerus, Margaret L. Vaaler, “Losing My Religion: The Social Sources of Religious Decline in Early Adulthood.” Unpublished paper, Department of Sociology and Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 7 March 2006. In a related study, the University of Notre Dame sociology graduate student Jonathan Hill found that college graduates were more likely to attend church than those with less education, arguing that there is “little support to the notion that college secularizes individuals.” See Hill, “Higher Education and Change in Religious Belief and Practice: A Longitudinal Analysis.” Paper delivered at the annual meeting of Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, November 2006.

source: Campus Ministry: A Statistical Portrait, by John Schmalzbauer, http://religion.ssrc.org/reforum/Schmalzbauer/index.html tags: Campus Ministry