Thursday, July 24, 2008

Evangelicals in academia

Here's an interesting article about Evangelicals in elite academic institutions. It turns out that an increasingly high number of evangelical students are going to top universities.

It sets the scene as follows:

"On campuses across the country, evangelicalism is rebounding. Evangelical students make up larger and larger portions of the incoming classes at Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford. They join robust campus-ministry groups that sponsor everything from debates to spring-break "mission" trips. And while they still fall slightly below the national average, the percentage of evangelicals receiving bachelor's degrees has climbed 133 percent from 1976 to 2004, according to the General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Corporation, more than doubling the change within the general population.

Nowhere has this phenomenon been more evident than on America's top campuses. In 2003, Peter Gomes, the Pusey Minister at Harvard's Memorial Church, said, "There are probably more evangelicals [on Harvard[']s campus today] than at any time since the 17th century."

Thanks for the link, Mark!


J. R. Miller said...

Would this trend have any connection to the research that also suggests Evangelicals, especially younger ones, are becoming more politically diverse and embracing more social causes that would be traditionally connected with these universities?

Crockhead said...

I'm not impressed with the statistics. The article seems to be based on the number of evangelicals increasing by 133 percent. So, now instead of three evangelicals in academia, there are four? I would have liked to see what the percentage is of college freshmen who self identify as evangelicals and what the percentage is of graduating seniors who self identify as evangelicals. If that percentage is going up, then I'd be impressed.

jeremy said...


I think the situation you described, increasing from 3 to 4 students, is a 33% increase. A 133% increase would be going from 3 to 7. But your point is still valid. In the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a nationally-representative survey of young adults, 22% of 4-year college students affiliate with an evangelical Protestant denomination. Among 4-year college graduates, 17% affiliate with an evangelical Protestant denomination. This isn't exactly what you were asking for, but it's close.

Brad Wright said...

Thanks Jeremy.