The Nones make up people anywhere

Spirituality and the “Nones”

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4 Lessons

The Rise of the “Nones” and the implication for spiritual care in a post-modern age

What is it like to do ministry and care for the spiritual needs of people in a post-religious era? This course will look at our ministry in work in light of data about the state of religion and spirituality in the United States. Pew Research Studies on America and Religious Life document the rise of the nones, those folk who are affiliated with no religious tradition—20% of the United States population and over 30% of people under 30.  However, over 50 million unaffiliated adults are religious or spiritual in some way, 58% having a belief in nature and the earth (58%),  37% being“spiritual” but not “religious” and 21% praying every day. In addition, most religiously unaffiliated Americans think that churches and other religious institutions benefit society by strengthening community bonds and aiding the poor. Considerable literature has been written on faith in a post-modern world.  How do we use evidence in our work?

Learning Outcomes:

As a result of this seminar, participants will

  1. Develop a fact-based understanding of the landscape of religious in the United States, including the rise of the unaffiliated.
  2. Develop an understanding of the rise in active spirituality in the United States that is outside of organized religion.
  3. Suggest the implications of state of religion and spirituality for their work and vocation


Pew Research Studies that will be referred to:

Why Americans Go (and Don’t Go) to Religious Services  (2018)

 Belief in God

The Rise of the Nones

Religious Landscape Study 2014

Other sources that may be useful

  1. Canoeing the Mountains. Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory. Tod Bolsinger.  Downers Grove, IL:  InterVarsity Press, 2015.
  2. The Present Future.  Reggie McNeal.  Jossey-Bass, 2003
  3. Red Letter Revolution.  What if Jesus really meant what he said?  Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo, Thomas Nelson 2012.