Transitioning into Adulthood: The Cultural Lives of Emerging Adults
On Thursday, April 10th, the Office of the University Chaplain & Religious Life offered a Professional Development in partnership with the Dean of Students entitled, “Transitioning into Adulthood: The Cultural Lives of Emerging Adults.” We welcomed Dr. Patricia Snell Herzog, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice at the University of Arkansas, to speak on her co-authored work with Dr. Christian Smith, Souls in Transition. Examining the crucial and transformative time in the lives of students, Dr. Snell Herzog utilized findings from the National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) to understand the spiritual lives of students and the implications of college life.
Dr. Snell Herzog also was able to speak at our neighbor Belmont University with staff and faculty helping them gain insight into the lives of students on their campus as well. This full day was complete with lunch with member of the University Committee on Religious Affairs and a dinner with first year Vanderbilt students at the residence of Dean Frank Wcislo, Dean of the Commons. Sharing the findings of the NSYR, Dr. Snell Herzog was able to show the multifaceted lives of emerging adults and their life experiences based upon their religious commitments or lack there of. Overwhelmingly, all of the analysis agreed, the influence of religion had a positive affect on all aspects of emerging adult’s lives. Further, with the trends of increase stability and decline of religion in emerging adult’s lives, the overall outlook for this age group is not as bleak as the popular media would have us believe.