24,870teens interviewed (ages 13-17)
71questions in the survey
297data points per respondent
The Open Generation series emphasizes tracking teens’ perceptions of and engagement with three crucial elements of the Christian faith: Jesus, the Bible and justice. Barna developed three measures that allow us to examine these factors’ presence and influence more closely within teens’ lives. You’ll see these segments referred to throughout this site and resources related to the research.
COMMITTED CHRISTIANS = Teenagers who self-identify as Christian and have made a personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ. We’ll sometimes refer to this group as “Christ-followers.”
NOMINAL CHRISTIANS = Teenagers who self-identify as Christian but have not made a personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Barna has previously used the term “nominal Christians” with similar definitions.
ALL OTHERS = Teens who are not Christian and hold some other belief about who Jesus is.
BIBLE ENGAGED = Teens who hold a “high” view of the Bible and read the Bible several times a week. A high view of the Bible refers to believing the Bible is “the word of God,” “the inspired word of God with no errors” or “the inspired word of God but with some errors.”
A high view of the Bible refers to believing the Bible is “the word of God,” “the inspired word of God with no errors” or “the inspired word of God but with some errors.”
BIBLE OPEN = Teens who either: (1) hold a high view of the Bible and read the Bible less often than Bible-engaged teens (but more than three or four times a year) or (2) have a neutral view toward the Bible, meaning they don’t have a high or negative view of the Bible.
BIBLE UNENGAGED = All other teens
As teens may often still lack agency or ability to take personal action against injustices on their own or without the involvement, resources and leadership of a parent or guardian, we chose to segment teens by their motivation or potential for promoting justice. The spectrum of justice motivation is based on a combination of: Conviction + Confidence + Commitment. The labels used in this segmentation were selected in collaboration with our partners and with careful consideration of the study’s broader evidence of teens’ posture toward justice.
CONVICTION: agree strongly that:
“I believe it is important to …”
– Change conditions that cause individual suffering Protect the well-being of all people
– Protect the well-being of all people
CONFIDENCE = agree strongly that:
“I am confident that I can …”
– Make a positive impact on others’ lives
– Influence others to promote fairness and equality
COMMITMENT = agree strongly that:
“In the future, I will …”
– Engage in activities that promote justice
– Work collaboratively with people in need
This study is based on online, representative public opinion surveys conducted by Barna Group. Teens were recruited to participate in the quantitative survey through their parents. Parents answered seven screening question about their teens, which included demographics such as age, gender and ethnicity. A total of 24,557 respondents ages 13 to 17 across 26 countries were surveyed between July 21, 2021 and August 24, 2021. An additional 313 responses were collected in February of 2022 in New Zealand. The margin of error for each individual country is assumed to be +/- 2.1%. Explore sample distribution based on continent and country here.
Barna Group is incredibly grateful to the all-star collective of partners who have made this project possible. Thank you to Alpha, Biblica and World Vision for your foundational support and your whole-hearted participation at every stage. Thank you also to Association of Christian Schools International, Bible Study Fellowship, Christ In Youth and Christian Vision for carrying the vision and strengthening this global effort.