Sacred Experience Benefits Gen Z Spirituality, Wellbeing

 In In the News, Press Release

Springtide™ Research Institute Data Find Sacred Moments Help Young People Create Meaningful Connections and Improve Life Satisfaction

BLOOMINGTON, MN (October 23, 2023) – Young people are looking for sacred experiences, but they might not be finding them in places of worship, according to new survey data released by Springtide™ Research Institute. 

The institute’s newest report, titled The State of Religion & Young People 2023: Exploring the Sacred, uncovers how young people ages 13 to 25 encounter the sacred beyond traditional spaces, experiencing moments that evoke a sense of wonder, awe, and connection—both in person and online. Data show that not only have young people experienced the sacred in a variety of places and situations, but they also recognize it as something that impacts their well-being. The report, which releases November 7, contains data and insights from more than 4,500 young people across the United States on how they experience the sacred and how it makes life more meaningful.

Highlights include:

• 55% of young people have experienced a sacred moment, regardless of religious or spiritual identity or affiliation.

• Sacred moments give rise to emotions and insights, often providing young people with direction, meaning, and peace that have a lasting positive impact on their lives.

• Young people who have experienced a sacred moment tend to report higher rates of belonging, flourishing, and life satisfaction.

• Young people who have experienced a sacred moment also tend to value social responsibility and demonstrate openness to disagreement and change.

This report also introduces the concept of Sacred Sensibility, which is a capacity young people can develop to enhance their ability to see, appreciate, and respond to the sacred. Sacred Sensibility matters for young people in these ways:

• It helps them feel connection to the divine and others in new and different ways.

• It gives them a space to reflect on and process new experiences.

• It helps them to better understand themselves and the world around them.

• It offers them the opportunity to experience the emotions that contribute to overall well-being.

Sacred Sensibility is not a program, it’s a perspective—one that can inform how faith leaders and other trusted adults are approaching what they’re already doing,” said Dr. Nabil Tueme, principal investigator for The State of Religion & Young People 2023. “This report can give leaders a new vantage point to design programming and have conversations and cultivate relationships. If one knows the elements that contribute to the development of a Sacred Sensibility, they can approach the work in a way that fully supports the mental and spiritual health of young people.”

Young people have meaningful experiences with the sacred that impact their lives for the better, and trusted adults can enrich young people’s spiritual journeys by helping them develop their sacred sensibility.

Find out more on what our research revealed about young people’s religious and spiritual lives, and their experiences with the sacred, both in person and online in The State of Religion & Young People 2023: Exploring the Sacred.

This important study can be found on Springtide Research Institute’s website: www.springtideresearch.org.

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