The Connection Between Religion and Millennial College Students
Many studies have been done in the last decade on the connection between religion and Millennials. One common discovery is that Millennial who are religious have turned to their religion for guidance when selecting a college to attend.
For some college-bound young adults, choosing their college or university based on its religious affiliation helps them to anticipate and participate in a sense of community because of common beliefs between students and faculty.
Students say religious classes and religious extracurricular groups have helped to explore their faith as well as their own purpose and meaning in life. Students report being able to develop a much deeper link with their religion. Another benefit is that these students revealed that the colleges they are attending helped them to understand the structure and the need for the religion, in the first place.
Those students who are not religious or spiritual seem to be happy with themselves.
“Sometimes they admired other Millennials that were religious because they thought that those people had something they could center their life around, but it didn’t mean that they were going to go in the same direction,” said Linda Mercadante, a theology professor at Methodist Theological School in Ohio.
Mercadante has interviewed hundres of people for her new book, Belief without Borders: Inside the Minds of the Spiritual but not Religious.
Mercadante found that many people who have separated from their childhood religion did so during college.
It has also been discovered that students that attend religious colleges are more likely to have a connection with an older adult in their fellowship, as opposed to non-religious students who do not commonly have an older mentor in their lives.
Religious students also report looking for help and guidance in the proper way in their religion. “Religion is a tool to recognize the greater importance of life, to take a step back from my own individual existence and revel in the combined paths of all living creatures and non-living substances alike, finding unity to link everything together,” said a student at Emory University when asked about the importance of religion.
According to Pew Research Center’s study released in July, those aged 18-29 are less likely to view an increase in a non-religious populace to be a bad thing, opposing the older generations’ view.