Why Intelligent People Are Less Likely to Be Religious
I had slowly but surely inched over to join the company of those who chided those who believed. I decided I was not gullible, like those folks, and if they wanted to cling to wishful thinking, they could certainly do that, but I was at university, after all, where I had learned skepticism, and indeed I had decided that I had become a skeptic myself, joining most of my professors in that designation.
Fortunately, much work is being done to improve the situation in the academy. InterVarsity, Cru, Navs, Chi Alpha, Christian Union, and countless other campus ministries continue to help Christian students navigate their university context and lead non-believers to faith. Their discipleship helps raise a new generation of brilliant Christian thinkers.
I'm proud to work for The Veritas Forum, where we partner with campus ministries and Christian professors bring together students and faculty for open conversations about their religious beliefs. As we help to expose students to the most credible and articulate Christian intellectuals, often in dialogue with secular peers, so we have the opportunity to change the narrative surrounding faith.
And things are changing. The Social Science Research Council stated in 2007, "the academy is no longer the bastion of secularism it was once assumed to be." Those who attend college are actually more likely to stay religious now than those who forgo higher education. Note that Zuckerman and his research team found that intelligent people who don't attend college reject religion at the same rates as those who do, so education itself can no longer make the difference.
If these trends continue, I can imagine a world in which the prevailing narrative is not "go to college and lose your faith" but "come to college to save your faith." For just as the university taught me to think rationally, to question well, to delight in knowledge, it was the best place I could come to learn how to worship God with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind.
Jordan Monge is the northeast regional director of The Veritas Forum and a regular contributor to Fare Forward.