Faith in society and education news

Faith in society and education

The impact of faith on society and culture has been a topic of conversation over the centuries, especially for institutions of Christian higher education.

If you’re deciding between attending a Christian university and a secular one, or you’re already invested in the North Central community, you may be interested in this recently released study on the positive contributions of religion in general on society, and an article by David Brooks about the cultural and moral significance of Christian higher education.

On September 13, the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion (IJRR) published a study by Brian J. Grim (Georgetown University) and Melissa E. Grim (Newseum Institute) entitled, The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis.

Report highlights include:

  • Religion in the U.S. contributes $1.2 trillion annually to the economy – that’s more than the annual revenues of the top 10 tech companies (including Apple, Amazon and Google) combined.
  • Congregations coordinate 7.5 million volunteers annually to help run 1.5 million social programs.
  • Even though religious affiliation has declined in the U.S., religious organizations have tripled their spending on social programs in the last 15 years – up to $9 billion.

Religion in higher education

Not only does religion in general impact society, Christian higher education also contributes positively to our culture. A transcript of the speech, “The Cultural Value of Christian Higher Education,” given by David Brooks, was included in the most recent issue of the CCCU Advance (, a publication of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. In his speech Brooks, a New York Times columnist, author, and Yale professor, contends that “Christian colleges can develop students in ways few other institutions can.”

Learn more about religion in society

Brian Grim offers an overview and highlights from The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis in a video shown below. You can access the full report on the IJRR website.

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