Friday, July 10, 2009

Post-Centre Religion

From the Centre College Alumni Survey.

Almost half of the alumni report that religion is very important in their lives, while a fifth take the opposite position.
46% Very important
21% Somewhat important
14% Slightly important
19% Not important

When asked which religion, they said:
52% Protestant
14% Roman Catholic
11% Christian, no denomination
<1% Jewish
2% Other religion
10% Spiritual, not religious
9% No religion

Those Protestants specifying a denomination (345 total) broke out this way:
25% Presbyterian
21% Methodist
20% Episcopalian
14% Baptist
8% Christian Church/Disciples of Christ
8% Evangelical or Pentecostal denomination
4% Lutheran


Anonymous said...

I wonder how this compares to Americans in general?

TallCoolOne said...

Is there any way of telling how many denominational shifts there have been among the alums since graduation? The numbers seemed a bit skewed to me...toward main-line Protestants, and away from RCs and evangelicals.

Or am I misreading something here?

Gruntled said...

Americans as a whole are about 1/4th Catholic and 60% Protestant, including evangelicals.

I didn't ask about denominational shifts. These numbers seem reasonable to me for their time and place. Catholics did not start coming to Centre in normal numbers until the early '70s, and the South is significantly less Catholic than the country as a whole (Centre is on the border). That college graduates, especially elite college graduates, would be more mainline and less evangelical than average also seems plausible to me.

TallCoolOne said...

Centre is "elite"? You mean "in the same league as Amherst and Williams" elite? A quick look at the recent college rankings -- apart from Forbes' rather bizarre one -- suggests otherwise.

Good, yes, maybe even very good; elite, not even close.

Gruntled said...

U.S. News tiers are a decent rough measure of elite.

TallCoolOne said...

I agree. The top USNaWR 15 ranked colleges and universities in each category deserve to be called "elite." But to have the top 100, as currently listed, under that moniker...I demur.