"...those who never attended college had the highest rates of decline in church attendance (76.2 percent), diminished importance placed on religion (23.7 percent), and disaffiliation from religion (20.3 percent). Students who earned at least a bachelor's degree, on the other hand, had the lowest rates on those three factors with 59.2 percent indicating decreased church attendance and 15 percent placing less importance on religion and disaffiliating from religion."I think their findings hold up what many of us that work with college students have found to be true. Most college students that have been exposed to Christianity at a young age but aren't currently interested are more disillusioned with the institutional church than they are with Jesus. Many of them have been introduced to a brand of Christianity that is a rules-based religion rather than a love-based relationship. I think my job (as well as others that minister to students) is to introduce them to the Jesus of the Bible, whether they have been familiar with Him previously or not.
"Overall, the overwhelming majority (82 percent) of college students maintain at least a static level of personal religiosity in early adulthood and 86 percent retain their religious affiliation."
Thanks to the World Magazine blog for cluing me into this story. By the way, if you know a student going away to college this fall for the first time, you might want to direct them to LiveAbove.com, a website which can help them in connecting with Christian groups on their campus like The Impact Movement and Cru.