The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University is a nonprofit research center that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church. CARA has conducted a significant amount of research on the long-term effects (throughout life) of attending a Catholic higher education institution, with some interesting results:
Catholics who attended a Catholic college or university are more likely than Catholics who attended a non-Catholic college (public or private) to:
- Attend Mass every week (34 compared to 19 percent)
- Register with a parish (75 compared to 55 percent)
- To agree that "I seriously consider the Church's statements, such as those of the Pope and U.S. Bishops on social, political and moral issues" (55 percent compared to 38 percent)
- To agree that "all human life, from conception to natural death, is sacred. For this reason, the taking of life-whether through abortion, the death penalty, or assisted suicide-is wrong" (53 percent compared to 35 percent)
- To oppose the death penalty (51 compared to 33 percent)
- To disagree that "a woman should have the right whether or not to abort an unwanted pregnancy" (44 percent compared to 24 percent)
- To oppose "making it legal for a physician to help a dying person commit suicide" (53 compared to 43 percent)
- To agree that "Catholics have a duty to close the gap between the rich and the poor" (54 percent compared to 38 percent)
- To agree that "society has a responsibility for helping poor people get out of poverty" (76 compared to 59 percent)
- To agree that "the United States has a responsibility to take the lead in global peace-building (i.e., non-violent solutions to conflict)" (73 percent compared to 60 percent)
- To agree that "It is important to me to do what I can do to help poor and needy people in countries outside of the United States" (71 percent compared to 54 percent)
- To say that, when making political choices, they draw on their Catholic faith either "very much" or "somewhat" (70 compared to 55 percent)
- Among men, those who have attended a Catholic college are more likely to say they considered becoming a priest or brother (43 compared to 23 percent)
- Among women, those who have attended Catholic college are more likely to say they considered becoming a sister or nun (39 compared to 20 percent)
"Across the board, Catholics who have attended a Catholic college or university are more likely than those who attended a non-Catholic college to respond in a manner that is more consistent with Church teachings and practice," says CARA in reporting on its research.
What is your own experience? What is your opinion of Catholic colleges and universities and their role in faith development?
Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.