Church Attendance and College Enrollment—Study Suggests The 2 Are Related

Today’s guest post comes to us courtesy of Jessica McMann. Learn more about Jessica at the end of this post.

George Fox University, the largest Christian college in Oregon

When people think of religion and going to church, they likely think of the spiritual and emotional healing that comes with it. They think of their soul being saved, their heart being made pure, but I’d take a guess that few, if any, of these people would say it has had or will have the same, profound impact on the study habits of them or their children. However, a study from sociologists out of Brigham Young and Rice Universities shows evidence to the contrary.

The Numbers

According to the study, “church-going” teens are 40% more likely to graduate from high school and 70% more likely to enroll in college.

The study, which drew information from more than 8,000 teens across America, went further to analyze the patterns of specific religious affiliations. For instance, Mormon and Jewish teens were found to have the greatest odds of graduating from high school and enrolling in college, although, Catholic and Protestant students weren’t far behind. The sociologists found that teenagers in these groups were twice as likely to finish high school and 80% more likely to enroll in college when compared to their unaffiliated peers.

What’s The Cause?

Analysts have their own theories about the cause of this trend, but the lead-author of the study believes that the mentorships available for teens in the church could be responsible.

The odds of college enrollment were three times better when a religious mentor was actively involved in a student’s life. It’s believed that these mentorships form a sense of community within the adolescents and gives them a larger, more reliable network of support on which to depend.

Don’t Let the Religion Stop There

So that strong religious network helped you get into college, but now what? Keeping in touch with them can prove difficult, especially if you end up attending a college or university far away from your hometown. Sure, holidays and breaks are a chance to reconnect, but many need more involvement than that, especially when attending a public, secular institution.

For students that fall into this category, all hope is not lost. Many schools have religious groups and clubs on campus for students to join. This helps broaden the students’ network and horizons, as they meet others from all over the place that share their beliefs.

If for some reason your school does not have these organizations already in place, there are likely ways you can start them up yourself. Just speak with a campus official to ensure you are taking the appropriate measures. As long as you stay within their guidelines, you should be fine. It is a free country after all.

In Closing

As time goes on, there will likely be more studies done on the matter, but the sociologists at Brigham Young and Rice have certainly gotten the ball rolling. Who knows what else we will find in the future. This just goes to show you how much influence God has over our everyday lives.

Jessica McMann is a freelance writer trying to change the world one step at a time through blogging. Find some of her work over at christiancolleges.com. Jessica welcomes any and all comments!

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