Your Education Level May Determine How You Pick A Church
Finding a church is not easy. While factors like a church’s theology play heavily into this choice, according to a recent Pew Research Report, income and educational levels are also significant indicators of if and how people choose churches.
The report found that “[about] six-in-ten (59%) college-educated Americans have searched for a new religious congregation, compared with only 38% of those with a high school education or less.” Similarly, those with higher income levels were more likely to look for churches than those with less income.
Among those looking for churches, or church “shoppers” as the study refers to them, their education and income levels also influenced the way they chose churches.
Shoppers with higher education levels, for instance, were more likely to utilize online resources like the church’s website, to gather information before deciding on a church. The same held true among those with higher income levels ($75,000 or more); they used online resources more than those who were less affluent ($30,000 or less).
The study also discovered that shoppers with higher education levels prioritized location the most, compared to those with lesser education who valued worship style the most.
While the study offered no definitive explanation for why location was more important for one group, it speculated that this may be “due in part to the fact that highly educated and affluent Americans tend to be more geographically mobile.”
When it came to other potential offerings of churches, lower income and less educated shoppers valued congregations where their family or friends already attended, as well as those congregations with volunteering opportunities. Religious education also held greater weight for them versus their more affluent and educated counterparts.
“Roughly six-in-ten (62%) of those with a high school degree or less say that access to religious education for children played an important role in their choice of congregation, compared with about half (51%) of college-educated adults,” according to the report.
For more information on the study visit Pew Research.