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In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about personality types and religion and unpack which personalities are more likely to leave or stay with religion.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • What’s the relationship between personality types and joining religious movements? Are there some that aren’t compatible with religion? Do certain types leave their religion?
  • What personality types have the tendency to gravitate to certain religions?
  • Externally structured– are surrounded with organization and various methodologies (for example: actual buildings that you worship and certain sacraments that you follow).
  • Internally experienced – some people have much more comfort in expressing their religion internally. These people are not interested in external markers and have that sense of private worshipping processes of expressing their faith.
  • Baptists
    • Have the tendency to be individual expression-oriented in the religious faith. Personal salvation is big. If they don’t like what the pastor or minister is saying, they’ll simply just move to the next church and they’ll look for someone who’s more in alignment with how they feel.
    • Attract a lot of feeler-perceivers because it’s about your personal faith expression and personal salvation.
  • Presbyterians
    • A lot more organized as a collective and structure-oriented. The congregation’s a lot systematized.
    • Attract a lot of feeler-judgers and thinker-judgers.
  • Accuracy people (TPs) have the highest likelihood of leaving religion in general. Oftentimes they leave early (teen years). If there is something they can convert/move on with, it usually is Buddhism. Why Buddhism? Because it does not require them much faith or submission to established systems. Buddhism is more inclined on practices, meditations and exercises.
  • Intuitives V Sensors
    • Intuitives do speculative thinking – things that can’t be proven by reality.
    • Sensors – more interested on what can be verified
    • Intuitives tend to be the one’s leaving religion at some point.
    • Intuitives are the ones who are comfortable with redefining.
  • Understand that no group is entirely representative of those who do or don’t describe themselves as religious.
  • Whatever is your dominant cognitive function (driver process), if you are in a religion that doesn’t honor it or allow full expression, eventually you will leave that religion.
  • If your driver process has full expression of your religious belief, you’re probably stay in the religion for a long time.
  • Ask yourself:
    • Is this truly serving me or just leading me to unhappiness?
    • How can we make sure that we haven’t outsourced our belief system?
    • What tools and models can we gather in order to take a deeper look at the structure of what we think and believe?
  • Let’s celebrate each other’s differences and cultural backgrounds.

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We want to hear from you. Leave your comments below…


  • Kara
    • Kara
    • September 25, 2015 at 3:42 am

    I’m INFP as well and I grew up Baptist, in a family of missionaries, pastors, and councelors. My experiences were very personal and I also served as a worship leader for 13 years. Now I go to a non-denominational church and I enjoy the atmosphere so much more.
    However, sometime around my 37th birthday, I started going through this phase where I need to prove christianity logically in order to believe it. I no longer trust my emotional experiences as reality and wonder if I’ve spent my whole life chasing something that was in my imagination. I don’t know what I belive anymore and would have to call myself “borderline agnostic”. I was wondering if I’m literally having what Jung calls a “midlife crisis” and if this is caused by my inferior function “Te”.

    P.S. On a Facebook page for worship leaders, someone asked everyone’s mbti type. They were all intuitives, mostly introverts. I just thought it was interesting.

  • Joel Mark Witt
    • Joel Mark Witt
    • September 23, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    What an interesting statistic. It’s interesting to see such a high number of Intuitives in leadership.

    Thank you for sharing.

  • BC
    • BC
    • September 23, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Thanks for your great podcast and website. I – like Joel – am an explorer type who went to seminary. My denomination required professional MBTI processing for clergy and the results were interesting:
    55% INFJ
    25% INFP
    20% everything else.
    Thought you might be interested :)

  • Charis Branson
    • Charis Branson
    • September 10, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks for sharing your perspective, Caroline! Sometimes we mix and match to create a system we can feel comfortable in. I’m sure you get a lot of interesting looks when you identify as a Catholic Protestant. That in itself would be worth seeing. ;)

  • Caroline
    • Caroline
    • September 9, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I grew up torn between two religions: My father’s side is Protestant and I was batised a Protestant. But my mother’s family is Catholic and I grew up in their town (which was also Catholic). My Catholic grandparents were not happy about my religion and criticised that we were outsiders in our community, family and school due to it (which was true). From the beginning I knew that religion can hurt, divide and segregate.

    Also for me there was the THE ONE religion. There were always two sides competing to win me over – and I was fascinated by both of them. Over time learnt to adapt to both: To act as a Protestant and a Catholic depending on which church I was in.

    Now as an adult I call myself an Catholic Protestant when people as. As an INFJ the revolutinary aspect of Protestantism appeals a lot to me (Martin Luther was definitely an intuitive). But Catholicism with its pomp and mysticism fascinates my feeler side – Protestantism always seemed a bit too dry and logical to me. So I guess I try to take the best of both worlds ;)

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