Do Lutheran schools make a difference?
Yes! Quite! What kind of difference? Reliable statistical research* reveals that those who attended Lutheran schools:
- Report more frequent experiences with God in their personal lives.
- Exhibit a more consistent belief in the divinity of Jesus.
- Profess a greater clarity on the way of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone (show more tendency to reject belief in salvation by works).
- Display more Biblical knowledge.
- Engage in a much fuller devotional life.
- Do more witnessing to others about Christ.
- Hold a more balanced theology (not liberal, not ultraconservative, but a balanced conservatism).
- Have a greater awareness of the presence of the Trinity in one’s whole life.
- Give a higher value to relationships with God and other persons.
- Show more reasonable respect for authority.
- Live out stronger tendencies to be forgiving and personally forthright with other people.
- Evidence greater avoidance of over-simplistic views. (i.e., views of social issues as mere power struggles.).
- Reveal less tendency to be anxious about their faith.
- Are less swayed by their peers.
The research also proved that the more years a person attended a Lutheran school, the more significant the difference became.
The research does not indicate that these same qualities cannot be present in individuals who have not attended a Lutheran elementary and/or secondary school, but it is less likely. Similarly, it is recognized that the power to lead a Christian life is a free gift of the Holy Spirit working through the Word.
* Milo Brekke, How Different Are People Who Attended Lutheran Schools (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House; based on data compiled by Youth Research Center for “A Study of Generations.”)