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Breaking free from the stereotype of the disengaged teen could help churches serve them better. And as those teens age into adulthood, congregations need to be willing to work to keep them involved.

 

 

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Those who maintained the highest levels of religious commitment as adults adopted those habits earlier in life.

Teen Religiousity Religion Insights into Relition Lilly Foundation Grants

Prevailing culture often casts teenagers as alienated from religion, if not downright hostile to it. To believe some movie depictions, teenagers are rebellious Pagans-in-the-making, more interested in witchcraft than mission trips. But a four-year national study of youth and religion arrives at a different conclusion.  The study, which included interviews with more than 3,000 U.S. teenagers, finds that a majority of today’s young people see religion as a positive influence on their lives and the lives of their community. Moreover, they have no desire to cast off the faith of their upbringing.

Staci Imes knew she wanted to study at a seminary with a strong commitment to social justice.  She knew she wanted a program focused on training ministers, rather than scholars.  And while she’s committed to her denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), she relishes the idea of studying with people from different traditions. But which seminary was for her?

As fewer young people fill the pews of houses of worship, some congregations are trying innovative ways to halt the exodus of young adults from organized religion.

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