1/3 Religious? 1/3 Spiritual? 1/3 Secular? #Northwestern #NU2017


USA Today reported yesterday that College students are now almost evenly divided into three camps when it comes to faith:

“About a third, 32%, are true believers. Another 32% are spiritual but not religious. And 28% consider themselves secular.

Researchers from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., asked students nationwide a series of questions about their spiritual, political and moral values, ranging from belief in God and worship attendance to climate change and same-sex marriage.

About 70% of the religious students were Christian, as were about 43% of the spiritual students.

Most of the secular students, and about a third of the spiritual students, were so-called “nones” – those with no religious identity, said researchers Barry Kosmin and Ariela Keysar.

While very few Americans identify as atheists or agnostics, a growing number fall into the “none” category. Polling from the Pew Research Center found the number of “nones” among all Americans grew from about 15% in 2007 to just under 20% in 2012.

The Trinity survey, conducted with the secular non-profit Center for Inquiry, was done in part to help understand the “none” group. In the survey, researchers said the nones show a “remarkable degree of indifference to religion.”

Are these percentages also accurate at Northwestern University? If they are, how does this data inform the way that we should relate to others on campus?


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