Study Reveals Lack of Economic Education for Religious Leaders


Acton Institute, July 25: Grand Rapids, MI - The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty announced today the findings of a comprehensive year-long study of economic education in U.S. seminaries, revealing a lack of appreciation for economics and free markets.

"In many ways this is not surprising. Students don't go to seminary to learn economics," said Dr. Kevin Schmiesing, Acton Research Fellow and co-author of the study. "But the study illustrates that seminary faculty—the teachers of the next generation of religious leaders—are still highly suspicious of the market."

Findings of seminary faculty opinion included:

  • 91% of respondents tended to agree that corporations will abuse power without close government supervision;
  • 60% of respondents agreed that social justice cannot be achieved without governmental redistribution of wealth;
  • 73% of respondents agreed the government should spend more on welfare even if it means higher taxes.

"Outright socialism has fallen on hard times and this fact is reflected in the religious community as well," said Dr. Schmiesing. "But this doesn’t mean that seminary professors have embraced capitalism."

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With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

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