|Study shows link among education, religion|
|Written by Katie Klein, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Wednesday, 31 August 2011 21:11|
According to a recent study presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting last week, church attendance for white Americans without college degrees dropped 13 percent while the percent of those with degrees fell 5 percent.
CNN Belief blog reported researchers used data from the 1970s to 2000s and based the study on white Americans since “church attendance among blacks and Latinos is less divided by education and income,” the blog stated.
Phil Grizzard, Baptist director with Campus Ministries, found the research not as shocking once given some thought.
“It does make sense to me because I think people who are more educated tend to explore more about truth and life,” Grizzard said. “I think that those who don’t want to go on to higher education typically don’t want to find higher answers.”
The researchers told CNN Belief blog that values like education, marriage and parenthood are promoted by modern religious institutions, which may leave the less-educated feeling excluded.
In a similar study by University of Nebraska-Lincoln, sociologist Philip Schwadel, soon to be published in an upcoming Review of Religious Research, said with each year of education beyond high school the likelihood of attending religious services increased 15 percent and occasional Bible reading increased 9 percent, as reported by CNN.
Schwadel analyzed data from the General Social Survey (GSS), a national survey conducted bi-annually in Chicago. The GSS provides cumulative research from 1972 to 2010.
The studies suggested students should show signs of openly exploring their faith more during their college years, but some ISU students disagreed with the research.
“The study seems too broad and basic for me to care about it,” Daniel Leibovitz, freshman interactive media major, said.
Junior history major Chris Taylor thinks the study should show the opposite results.
“I disagree with the study because part of going to college gives people more room to question beliefs and explore the world,” Taylor said.
College looks to be the time where students step away from the church, Grizzard said, and a reason why college students feel disconnected with faith has a lot to do with the overall college experience.
“Typically when [students] went to church as kids it was because their parents made them. Now they are in college and can do whatever they want,” Grizzard said.
Alex Bingham, senior political science major, said it was not until college when he made his mind up about faith.
“I’m not the most religious person in the world, but I used to go to church before I came to college. Once I started to pursue academics, I knew it wasn’t for me,” Bingham said.
For students who fall under the statistics of the research, Grizzard added Campus Ministries is still striving to create a space where students can be themselves and are welcomed by others, despite what research may say.