A signature component of Augsburg’s core curriculum is our “Religion, Vocation, and the Search for Meaning” course work. In these courses, students learn about Christianity and other religious traditions, focusing upon the way in which those traditions inform and shape the search for meaning and purpose. In addition, these courses join students of all faiths and world-views in reflecting upon the concept of vocation. Such reflection is grounded in Augsburg’s Lutheran Christian heritage and in the conviction that “We Are Called.” Augsburg’s diverse student body and its location in the heart of a diverse urban neighborhood translate into an ideal setting for open and enriching conversation around life’s big questions.
Religious “nones” are by no means monolithic. They can be broken down into three broad subgroups: self-identified atheists, those who call themselves agnostic and people who describe their religion as “nothing in particular.” Given these different outlooks, it is not surprising that there are major gaps among these three groups when it comes to why they left their childhood religion behind. An overwhelming majority of atheists who were raised in a religion (82%) say they simply do not believe, but this is true of a smaller share of agnostics (63%) and only 37% of those in the “nothing in particular” category.