Devout parents often worry about the “secularizing” effects of sending their children off to college. They envision professors pushing secular thoughts and anti-religious values on their impressionable students. But professors are a more religious bunch than we’ve been led to believe.
Using data from the Politics of the American Professoriate study, Neil Gross and Solon Simmons (Sociology of Religion, Summer 2009) determined that about three-quarters of American professors are believers. Moreover, fully 35 percent of professors believe in God without any doubts, and many others have doubts but still profess to believe. Only 10 percent of professors are atheists. (Social scientists have fallen farthest from grace, with 23 percent professing atheism.)
While the university may seem a hostile environment for religion, the authors suspect academics are simply confining religion to their private lives. These inner believers seem to be finding ways to effectively balance their Sunday morning and Monday morning selves.