QUESTION: What is your comment on the Society’s strong admonition against higher education? I and my wife feel very uncomfortable when this topic is brought into discussion during public talks, WT study or other occasions (conventions, even private talks). It is as if the WTS is permanently pointing fingers at us, as if we were less spiritual than the other less educated. On the other hand, the fruit of the lack of secular education is easily noticeable in how uneducated and inexperienced b & s are and their being manipulated to believe everything the “channel” dictates. Does the Society really care, albeit a little, about the spiritual safety of brothers or their only reason is to keep the rank and file “under the heel”?


ANSWER: This is an odd question from someone who apparently has already pursued a so-called higher education and now feels persecuted. Most of the resentment and bitterness among Jehovah’s Witnesses comes from those who heeded the Society’s warning against getting a higher education years ago and who are now stuck in low wage jobs.

To be sure, it is a difficult issue. On the one hand, the Watchtower is, above all else, an evangelical society, devoted to teaching, training and directing millions of preachers around the world, who themselves are dedicated to the cause of Christ. And since its inception the

Society has exhorted dedicated persons to devote themselves fully to the ministry, even foregoing raising families and all the things that seem natural. Foremost, going to a university or college has always been considered to be a spiritual danger – needlessly exposing oneself to being indoctrinated into worldly philosophy, atheism and secularism. And then there is the spiritual danger of being exposed to the sexual immorality associated with campus life and just having less time for spiritual pursuits.  

The Society is obligated to warn Jehovah’s Witnesses of the potential pitfalls that exist in pursuing an extended education. On the other hand, they have gone beyond merely pointing out such pitfalls. Like an over-protective parent they have used their influence to pressure young Christians in various ways; for example, young men in college are not considered exemplary and are usually not allowed certain privileges in the congregation.

Ironically, in the current economic environment – at least in the United States – growing numbers of persons with university degrees are finding it more and more difficult to get hired for the jobs that they were trained for. And not only that, but the soaring cost of attaining a higher education is placing a massive burden of debt on many young people.

Maybe “mother” was right after all?

In any case, we desperately need God to set matters straight.  

Watchtower article



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