In his latest blog entry, Rainer discusses the impact of secular colleges on the faith of Christian students. There seems to be a common belief that students who attend these types of colleges are at greater risk of losing their faith than those who do not. Here is what Rainer had to say about this:
Our research has debunked the myth that the influence of the secular university pushes young adults out of the church. No significant difference exists between the dropout rates of those who attend at least a year of college and those who do not. For those that attend college, 69% of active churchgoing youth stop attending church for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22. Yet 71% of active youth who do not go to college stop attending church during the same period.
So overall, the college itself is not to blame for the dropout issue. What about analyzing different majors? New research from the University of Michigan reveals some surprising results on religiosity and the college major. They measure religiosity by religious attendance and how important students consider the importance of religion in their lives. Here are some highlights from the study:
- The odds of going to college increase for high school students who attend religious services more frequently or who view religion as more important in their lives.
- Being a humanities or a social science major has a statistically significant negative effect on religiosity.
- Students in education and business show an increase in religiosity over their time at college.
- Majoring in the biological or physical sciences does not affect religious attendance of students.
Are you surprised by this finding? I have to admit that I am a little. Does this change your feelings about attending a secular university or sending your children to one?