Growing up, for me, Christianity was an institution. It was bound by groups of people whose lives were thoroughly interwebbed with rules and delegations and orders. Religious orders, cannon priesthood, diocesan bishoprics, Vatican heirarchy - all this acted as a funnel, channeling human potential into actuality.
Young men studied philosophy, theology, languages, history, sciences, arts - all in highly prestigious and world-renowned Catholic colleges and universities. Priests and Dominican brothers studied for decades in expensive programs. Nuns made TV shows about the history of art. Quite the work ethic, no?
But, to skip ahead a bit, I eventually discovered that Christianity wasn't an institution... It wasn't a movement, it wasn't a specific church or denomination - Christianity was the result of a social reaction to a real and existing spiritual phenomena: an encounter with The Risen Lord Jesus. Eventually I left all this order and discipline.
And I was afraid. Could Christianity rise to such heights again without those social institutions?
The answer, I believe, is a resounding Yes.
You need to remember that those institutions were begun in the first place by men and women dedicated to God. Thanks to an encounter with Jesus, people naturally seek to better their lives. When this is turned towards the life of the mind, we see why so many pastors are holders of doctorates and fellowships. There's a reason schools like Oxford started out as centers of religious and philosophical study.
It's Jesus who makes us smart - that is to say, gives us the inner-need for wanting to learn, to understand, to come to understand more. I want to see tons of intellectuals within the Church, and I am confidant genuine Xtrians will always do that naturally.