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LSU sociology professor researches the relationship between religion and educational attainment

Louisiana State University

BATON ROUGE - Researchers have long studied and documented the influence religion has on social groups; however, few have examined the role it plays in education. LSU Sociology Professor Samuel Stroope recently penned a research article that examines the relationship between religion and educational attainment in the U.S. The article, titled, "Social Context and College Completion in the United States: The Role of Congregational Biblical Liberalism," will be published in the upcoming edition of Sociological Perspectives.

Using data from the U.S. Congregational Life Survey, a national sample of religious congregations and members, Stroope and his team, comprised of two researchers from Hope College and Baylor University, measured the dependent variable of college completion and the independent variables of individual biblical literalism and congregational biblical literalism.

The team found that in accordance to their expectations, individual biblical literalism is negatively associated with college completion and congregational biblical literalism is negatively related to college attainment. In contrast to their expectations, they found that as congregational literalism increases, the odds of completing college decreases more sharply for non-literalists than for literalists.

Stroope joined LSU's Department of Sociology in 2013. The primary goal of his current research is to better understand how geographic and social contexts shape health and health disparities.


To view a pre-publication version of the research article, visit,

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