The troubling decline in SBC baptisms has entered its 7th year, per the 2013 Annual Church Profile. Kate Tracy with Christianity Today writes:
According to a recent report by a special task force of pastors, the baptism drought in America’s largest evangelical denomination—which counts 15.7 million members and 5.8 million Sunday worshipers—is worst among millennials.
In last year’s Annual Church Profile, 60 percent of the more than 46,000 churches in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) reported no youth baptisms (ages 12 to 17) in 2012, and 80 percent reported only one or zero baptisms among young adults (ages 18 to 29). One in four Southern Baptist churches reported zero baptisms overall in 2012, while the “only consistently growing” baptism group was children under five years old.
The task force report acknowledges five weaknesses:
Bentley University’s PreparedU Project:
- Fifty-nine percent of business decision-makers and 54 percent of corporate recruiters give recent graduates a grade of C or lower for preparedness in their first job.
Why? There’s a disconnect between business decision-makers and corporate recruiters in what it means to be prepared.
- Students define preparedness as “being prepared in general.” Business decision-makers and corporate recruiters define preparedness more specifically: work ethic, adaptability, a good attitude, respectfulness and maturity.
- Six in ten business leaders give recent grads a C or lower on their soft skills. Only 22 percent of recent grads would agree.
- Business leaders rank integrity, professionalism and positive attitude as the most important soft skills while students rank those significantly lower.
- A slight majority (52 percent) of recent graduates identify a college degree as a virtual guarantee of success. Only 28 percent of business decision makers agree.
Read the whole thing.
Walter Hamilton writing for the LA Times:
College graduate heads-of-household under 40 with student debt have a median net worth of only $8,700, according to the analysis by the Pew Research Center. That’s a fraction of the $64,700 the same group without college loans is worth.
They’re not all drowning in student debt–the median student debt for this group is about $13,000–it’s that “because of the other loans they’ve taken out, the median total indebtedness of college graduates under 40 with student loans is $137,010…compared to $73,250 for their counterparts with no college debt.”
Avi Snyder, commenting on the huge salary of Ohio State University’s former President Gordon Gee:
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s recently released salary survey, Gee isn’t an outlier. While perpetually-increasing tuition squeezes family income and puts a college education out of reach for many, the median compensation for public (i.e. heavily taxpayer-funded) college presidents is $478,896–higher than the base salary of the President of the United States.
Obscene is too kind a word.
A great discussion between David Plant, director of youth ministry at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City; Cameron Cole, director of youth ministries at the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama; and Liz Edrington, who is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando.
HT: Collin Hansen, who has more info.
At least academically, it’s an incontrovertible fact that Asian-Americans outperform their white peers (and every other ethnic group). But why such dominance? That’s what sociologists Amy Hsina and Yu Xie set out to uncover, scouring data from two long-term surveys covering more than 5000 U.S. Asian and white students. The answer? It’s a shocker: They work harder.
There is, however, an interesting element: “Students from all Asian ethnic groups put greater importance on effort than on natural ability.” Continue Reading…
Hunter Baker offers insightful reflections from his time attending the Q conference in Nashville. An excerpt:
When I look at Q, its hosts, and the young people participating in it, I suspect I am seeing the cultural stance of those who have grown up in pervasively Christian subcultures. For them, rebelling means rebelling against Massive Baptist Church or Church Related University or Clearly Wealthy Famous Preacherman. Those are the holders of power in their world. It is little wonder to them that the dominant culture dislikes us. We are hypocrites. We don’t measure up to our own standards. And we are judgmental while the secular world is more understanding. Or so it seems to them.
David Brooks of the NY Times is a fair-minded journalist:
Every year researchers at U.C.L.A. do a survey of incoming college freshmen. These surveys, conducted over four decades now, show how the life cycle has changed over the past couple generations.
This first thing you see from this and similar data sets is that high school has gotten a bit easier. In 1966, only about 19 percent of high school students graduated with an A or A- average. By 2013, 53 percent of students graduated with that average.