College Transition Initiative

Welcome to the blog of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding’s (CPYU) College Transition Initiative (CTI). This site contains commentary on transitional issues, exploring research, trends and college student culture. For more information visit:

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Location: Elizabethtown, PA, United States

The transition from high school to college is a difficult one, and yet, it is a transition that is often overlooked. This site is to help college bound students, parents, and youth workers stay up to date on the latest research and trends in regards to college transition. Your comments are greatly appreciated. Join the conversation!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

65% of High School Students Stop Attending Church After They Graduate

On the about CTI section of the CTI webpage, I list a statistic that 65% of high school students stop attending church after they graduate. I have gotten many emails asking where that statistic comes from.

Admittedly, the statistic isn’t as “strong” as it could be, but there is warrant for it. Recent research from George Barna shows a severe drop off in church attendance from the teen years to the post-college years. Barna says that while over half of teens attend Sunday church services, that number drops to about 31% for those in their 20s. Cleary something happens during the college years.

Kara Powell and Krista Kubiak, in their recent article “When the Pomp and Circumstance Fades” say that while there have been no real studies on the phenomenon yet, “various denominations have estimated that between 65% and 94% of their high school students stop attending church after they graduate.” They also report on anecdotal evidence that only about 25% of youth group grads “end up plugged into a church of a parachurch college or young adult ministry the year after they graduate.”

You can read more about Dr. Powell’s research here.

And, you can find other research trends concerning youth and faith at Barna’s website here.


Blogger STAGD said...

The stat is from Barna's book Real Teens p. 136 under the sub-heading "Future Church Attendance"

7:05 PM  
Blogger STAGD said...

Barna's survey is an estimated survey of all teens (Christian and Non-Christian)

He states 1 in 3 are actually likely to attend church after leaving home.

7:19 PM  

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