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Home > Trend Watch > 2013 > September 30 > Spiritually Speaking, There are Three Kinds of College Students

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Perspective on the buzz

A recent study highlights the three main spiritual categories of today's college students.

"Researchers from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., asked students nationwide a series of questions about their spiritual, political and moral values, ranging from belief in God and worship attendance to climate change and same-sex marriage.":

  • The "True Believers" (32%) - Actively religious. About 70% of this group identify as Christian,
  • The "Spiritual but Not Religious" (32%) - Believe in something supernatural, but do not regularly practice organized faith. About 43% of this group identify as Christian. About a third have no religious affiliation at all ("nones").
  • The "Seculars" (28%) - Do not believe in a god. About a third have no religious identity at all.

The "nones" polled demonstrate a "remarkable degree of indifference to religion."

"Each group or brand of students in the survey had a distinct world view, researchers said.

"Religious students go to church, are more likely to believe in creationism or intelligent design, and oppose assisted suicide, adoptions by same-sex couples and gun control. Secular students do not believe in God, endorse evolution, accept assisted suicide as moral, say gay couples should be able to adopt and want more gun control.

"The spiritual students were split. They sided with the religious students on questions about God and with secular students on questions about politics and science.

"Students from all three groups were worried about global warming, including 96% of the secular students and 80% of the religious students."

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