'No Religion' on the Rise, Says Pew Study: St. Lawrence University Expert Available

Article ID: 594671

Released: 9-Oct-2012 1:40 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: St. Lawrence University

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One in five Americans have "no religion," according to a study released by the Pew Research Center, but that doesn't mean they aren't spiritual.

A program at St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY) has been in place for many years addressing and responding to this trend, which is even greater for those under age 30 (one-third).

The purpose of Build Your Own Beliefs is to provide an opportunity each semester for a small group of students to contemplate and explore their personal backgrounds and understandings of life. It guides participants through a reflective process to create a deeper sense of self, and look at how that self chooses to relate to loved ones, to humanity, to the natural world, and to the creative force of the universe. Along with individual reflections, conversation with peers asking similar questions will foster a greater respect for one’s own belief structure, and for the unique belief systems of others. At the program’s conclusion each member will have synthesized his or her thoughts into a personal belief statement.

"While you won’t find many of today's college students in a church, temple or mosque for organized services, they are searching for spiritual meaning," says St. Lawrence University Chaplain Kathleen Buckley.

Pew Study: http://www.pewforum.org/Unaffiliated/nones-on-the-rise.aspx

Build Your Own Beliefs at St. Lawrence University: http://www.stlawu.edu/studentlife/departments/chaplain%27s-office/page/56


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