Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mormons and Education

A non-LDS friend recently asked on his blog if anyone knew of someone his age (25 or so?) and educational level (M.S. degree in computer science) who had converted to the LDS church.

I couldn't think of anyone off the top of my head, but it made me curious and I did a little research. Apparently, Latter-day Saints are somewhat unique among religions in that education makes us stronger in our religion instead of weaker.

"A study by Stan Albrecht and Tim Heaton published in the Review of Religious Research in 1984 reported that opposite to the experience of most churches in the United States, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints become more religiously active as they become more educated."

Not being on campus, I don't have easy access to the study in question, but it's titled, "Secularization, higher education, and religiosity," Review of Religious Research, 1984.

I also found something more recent:

"Consistent with previous research, we did not find education to have a secularizing influence on Mormons, but rather to have a positive association with religiosity for both Mormon men and women."
- "Lack of a Secularizing Influence of Education on Religious Activity and Parity Among Mormons", Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol 42, Iss. 1, pp 113-124, 2003

Unfortunately, there's no real data I could find on educational levels, majors, or similar things.

1 comment:

Lexi said...

That's really interesting. When I was younger I had serious doubts about how intellectual a church member could be, until I realized my own family is full of them. It is pretty cool how much education is emphasized and pursued among many church members. Thanks for posting this, I enjoy reading your blog. :)