News

Feb
26
2019
Feb. 23, 2019
(Third news item) A new Baylor study has found that while women are more likely than men to take the Bible literally, that is because literalism is tied more to a person’s attachment to God, and women generally are socialized differently. “People who take the Bible literally tend to perceive of God more as a person who can be interacted with,” said Blake Kent, Ph.D., a former Baylor sociologist. The study, published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, was conducted by Kent and Christopher Pieper, Ph.D., senior lecturer of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.
Feb
22
2019
Feb. 21, 2019
Women are more likely than men to believe the Bible is literally true, but a Baylor University study finds this may have more to do with how people relate to God than it does gender. Both men and women who report high levels of closeness to God take the Bible more literally – and this confidence grows stronger as they seek intimacy with God through prayer and Bible study. The research, published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, was conducted by Christopher Pieper, Ph.D., senior lecturer of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, and former Baylor sociologist Blake Victor Kent, Ph.D., now a research fellow at Harvard Medical School.
Feb
20
2019
Feb. 20, 2019
Women are more likely than men to believe the Bible is literally true, but a Baylor University study finds this may have more to do with how people relate to God than it does gender. Both men and women who report high levels of closeness to God take the Bible more literally – and this confidence grows stronger as they seek intimacy with God through prayer and Bible study. The research, published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, was done by Christopher Pieper, Ph.D., senior lecturer of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, and former Baylor sociologist Blake Victor Kent, Ph.D., now a research fellow at Harvard Medical School.
Feb
18
2019
WACO, Texas (Feb. 18, 2019) — Women are more likely than men to believe the Bible is literally true, but a recent Baylor University study finds this may have more to do with how people relate to God than it does gender. Both men and women who report high levels of closeness to God take the Bible more literally – and this confidence grows stronger as they seek closeness to God through prayer and Bible study.
Feb
11
2019
Feb. 8, 2019
AUDIO: Kevin Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, discusses his recent research which found that the percentage of multiracial congregations in the United States nearly doubled from 1998 to 2012, and upcoming research which will shed light on whether the shift has been effective in crossing cultural barriers. “In the current conditions in our country, we see a racial polarization continuing and maybe even increasing,” Dougherty said. But “Heaven is going to be a place made up of all God’s children of varying cultural and ethnic backgrounds, so why can’t our places of worship be like that today?”
Jan
8
2019
Jan. 7, 2019
Research on multi-ethnic congregations from 2016, led by Kevin D. Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, is mentioned in this article about vital information for ministries to know as they plan on reaching their communities or growing their congregations in the new year.
Dec
11
2018
Dec. 10, 2018
Kevin Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor and sociology graduate program director in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, is quoted in this article about new findings from the Pew Research Center that reveal education and income levels relate directly to whether Americans look for a new religious congregation and how they look for another place to worship.
Oct
29
2018
Oct. 28, 2018
Charles Tolbert, Ph.D., professor sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences and an expert source on U.S Census Bureau data, is quoted in this article about how college students living off campus and earning little to no income of their own can drive up poverty rates in smaller communities with significant student populations, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sep
14
2018
Sept. 12, 2018
Teenagers who lose a religious mother to an untimely death are less likely to attend church as young adults, while teens who lose a non-religious mom are more likely to seek the comfort of spiritual practices, especially prayer, according to a national study by Renae Wilkinson, sociologist at Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences. “A child may wonder why God chose to take the mother away so soon and could turn away from God, or turn toward God as a compensatory figure,” she said. “This is a disruptive event at an already disruptive time of life — the transition from adolescence to young adulthood.” (Terry Goodrich, assistant director of Baylor Media Communications, pitched this story nationally. She covers sociology research and faculty.)
Sep
13
2018
Sept. 12, 2018
Bereaved children whose late mothers were very religious are likely to be less religious after their mother dies than youths who did not suffer a maternal loss. Conversely, children whose late mothers placed no importance on religion are more likely to become religious — especially when it comes to praying often. But overall—while youths who experienced a mother’s death are less likely to attend church—they are more likely to say that religion is important in their lives as young adults, according to a study by Baylor sociologist Renae Wilkinson. The study was published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. (Terry Goodrich, assistant director of Baylor Media Communications, pitched this story nationally. She covers sociology research and faculty.)
Sep
11
2018
Sept. 11, 2018
Bereaved children whose late mothers were very religious are likely to be less religious after their mother dies than youths who did not suffer a maternal loss. Conversely, children whose late mothers placed no importance on religion are more likely to become religious — especially when it comes to praying often. But overall — while youths who experienced a mother’s death are less likely to attend church — they are more likely to say that religion is important in their lives as young adults, according to a study by Renae Wilkinson, a sociologist and doctoral candidate in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences.
Aug
27
2018
Aug. 24, 2018
Whites in multiracial congregations have more diverse friendship networks and are more comfortable with minorities — but that is more because of the impact of neighbors and friends of other races than due to congregations’ influence, according to a study co-authored by Kevin D. Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. The study, an analysis of data from the Baylor Religion Survey’s second wave, was published in the American Sociological Association’s journal Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.
Jul
23
2018
July 9, 2018
This article about North Carolina’s population shift toward greater ethnic and cultural diversity and the effort to bring the gospel to the state’s unchurched people cites a recent study by Baylor sociologists. The study revealed the percentage of multiracial congregations in the U.S. has nearly doubled, although those churches still lack as much diversity as their surrounding neighborhoods.
Jul
13
2018
July 6, 2018
This Religion News Service article about multiracial congregations cites a study by Baylor University, which found that the percentage of U.S. multiracial congregations almost doubled between 1998 and 2012. The study also found that the number of U.S. congregants attending an interracial church has reached almost one in five. Co-author Kevin Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, is quoted.
Jul
11
2018
July 2, 2018
This article about multiracial congregations cites a study by Baylor University which found that the percentage of U.S. multiracial congregations almost doubled between 1998 and 2012 and the number of U.S. congregants attending an interracial church has reached almost one in five. Co-author Kevin Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, said that interracial congregations have long faced challenges, but those that develop a sense of shared identity above and beyond cultural differences are finding success.
Jul
10
2018
July 8, 2018
Recent Baylor research on multiracial congregations is featured in this story distributed on the Associated Press wire about a pulpit swap between pastors of two First Baptist churches in downtown Nashville — one mostly black and the other mostly white. Co-author Kevin Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, is quoted.
Jul
9
2018
July 7, 2018
Recent Baylor research on multiracial congregations is localized in this feature about a pulpit swap between pastors of two First Baptist churches in downtown Nashville — one mostly black and the other mostly white. Co-author Kevin Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, is quoted. (Terry Goodrich, assistant director of Baylor Media Communications, worked with Holly Meyer, longtime religion reporter at the Tennessean, on this article, which also was picked up by the Associated Press wire and distributed to hundreds of U.S. newspapers.)
May
11
2018
May 10, 2018
This article cites a Baylor University study about political leanings and theological beliefs. The research suggests that differing perceptions of God can make some conservatives more “compassionate” while other perceptions make liberals “harsher” — enough to blur the lines of partisan politics, said study co-author Paul Froese, Ph.D., professor of sociology.
May
1
2018
April 30, 2018
As college decision deadlines approach, thousands of students across the U.S. are making their final choices about where they want to study. Students often consider factors like price, size and professional outcomes, but according to a recent paper published in sociology journal Youth and Society, students also need to consider if their future school could make them depressed. The study’s coauthor is Matthew Andersson, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences.
May
1
2018
April 30, 2018
A study by two Baylor researchers found that there is still widespread racial segregation in the congregations of America’s churches. Even in congregations that have made an effort to foster racial integration, neighbors who are people of other races have more impact on whites’ networks and attitudes than do members of their congregations, wrote researchers Kevin Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at Baylor University and Edward Polson, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work.
Apr
26
2018
April 24, 2018
Whites in multiracial congregations have more diverse friendship networks and are more comfortable with minorities, but that is due more to the impact of neighbors and friends of other races than to congregational influence, a Baylor University study found. “Solving America’s racial problems may be hoping too much from religious congregations,” said Kevin Dougherty, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at Baylor and co-author of the study. “The responsibility for moving toward racial integration still rests considerably with the majority group.” Dougherty and Edward C. Polson, Ph.D., assistant professor in Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, analyzed data from the Baylor Religion Survey for the study, published in the journal Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. (Terry Goodrich, assistant director of Baylor Media Communications, wrote and pitched this story. She covers sociology research and faculty.)
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