Exploring Faith with “Nones” as Parents

Date: June 5, 2024

As mentioned earlier in the week, an area of focus for the TryTank Research Institute is Young Adult Families. We began with asking an important question: what happens to faith transmission when people with no religious affiliation (the “None’s”) have kids? Our first study sheds light on the future of faith. Commissioned in October 2023, this research, in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Presbyterian Church (USA), explores how these parents approach spirituality and religious upbringing.

The findings reveal significant challenges and opportunities. Nearly a quarter of Nones strongly disagreed with the idea of attending church for their children’s spiritual development, and over half deemed it “not at all important” for their kids to be religious as adults. This indicates a clear rejection of institutional faith. Moreover, the study highlighted that religion and spirituality are low priorities for these parents, who focus more on career and financial stability. Interestingly, 33% of young adults found life harder than expected, yet faith was not seen as a solution.

Dr. Josh Packard, our research advisor, noted, “Nones are not concerned about the faith and spiritual lives of their children. This presents a real opportunity for the church to help address a fundamental human need.”

You can read the findings report here. We plan to continue this research to better serve and understand this important group.

The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, DMin, MBA
Chief Innovation Officer, VTS
Executive Director, TryTank Research Institute 

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