“My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.” (Proverbs 23:26)
The National Study of Youth and Religion is a research project directed by Christian Smith, Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame and Lisa Pearce, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This project, generously supported by Lilly Endowment Inc., began in August 2001 and is currently funded through December 2015. Wave 3 (January 2007 – December 2010) is also supported by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The project is designed to enhance our understanding of the religious lives of American youth from adolescence into young adulthood, using telephone survey and in-depth interview methods. What follows is a more detailed description of the goals and design of the National Study of Youth and Religion.
The purpose of the NSYR is to research the shape and influence of religion and spirituality in the lives of American youth; to identify effective practices in the religious, moral, and social formation of the lives of youth; to describe the extent and perceived effectiveness of the programs and opportunities that religious communities are offering to their youth; and to foster an informed national discussion about the influence of religion in youth’s lives, in order to encourage sustained reflection about and rethinking of our cultural and institutional practices with regard to youth and religion.