BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (TAB, RNS) — With the “Back to Campus” issue for Aug. 14 in the works at The Alabama Baptist, a new generational study shows the opposite of a common thought — higher education leads students away from organized religion. Philip Schwadel, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, found in his study that it’s the least-educated members of Generation X that tend to walk away from their faith. He noted a clear historical shift. “Americans born in the late 1920s and ’30s who graduated from college were twice as likely to drop out of religion than people who didn’t graduate from college. The postwar baby boomers proved to be ‘the last holdout of the dropouts,'” Schwadel said. However, for the generation born in the 1960s, there’s no difference between those who did and those who did not go to college in their likelihood of religious affiliation. In other words, a college degree used to mean people were more likely to lose religion. Now, some people are losing religion whether they went to college or not but it’s especially true for those who didn’t go to college, the study found.
Look for the “Back to Campus” issue Aug. 14 with tips for returning to campus, features on Alabama Baptist-affiliated colleges and universities and more.