November 3, 2018

A Class in Religion

A quick look at how Christians in North America categorize themselves, or not.

Adventist Review Editors

The Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey that classified Americans into seven different religious groups.1 Typically people sort themselves by denomination: Catholic, Baptist, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, Seventh-day Adventist, or any of a few hundred religious affiliations. This survey developed a new method of looking at people of faith in America.

The study was specifically designed to look at beliefs and behaviors seen across denominations—common traits that either unite or divide religious people. The results allowed for a new typology: “The new typology sorts Americans into seven groups based on the religious and spiritual beliefs they share, how actively they practice their faith, the value they place on their religion, and the other sources of meaning and fulfillment in their lives.”2 It should be noted that race, ethnicity, age, education, and political opinions were not among the characteristics used to create the groups, although some of the groups were found to have strong partisan leanings.

You can read the entire findings at If you’d like to find out what group you identify with, take the quiz at

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  1. Study was conducted December 4-18, 2017. Findings were released August 29, 2018.
  2. The Religious Typology,