Meet the HCH Community
Background and Demographics
Recent studies such as the American Religious Identity Survey and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveal that 40-50 million Americans, including 1 in every 4-5 college-age students in America today is nonreligious, making this group one of the largest constituencies on campuses today. In a survey of the Class of 2012, Tufts University’s Office of Institutional Research and Evaluation found that of the 801 respondents, 267 (one-third) indicated they had no religious preference.
But secular educational institutions are increasingly unable or unwilling to grapple with issues of their students’ moral and ethical development or community involvement; in the words of former Dean of Harvard College (and Humanist) Harry Lewis, “Universities have forgotten their larger educational role for college students…they have forgotten that the fundamental job of undergraduate education is to turn eighteen- and nineteen-year olds into twenty-one-year-olds, to help them grow up, to learn who they are, to search for a larger purpose in their lives, and to leave college as better human beings.” As Dr. John Mueller, a leading researcher of student life within contemporary higher education has noted, this role has increasingly been shifted to sectarian chaplaincies and campus ministries, which have become a multibillion-dollar industry annually. Thus, huge numbers of our brightest young minds receive little to no opportunity to explore their deepest values except within a narrow religious frame of reference. In greater Boston alone, there are over 200,000 students at 47 of the top schools in the country, meaning perhaps 40-60,000 or more secular students; but only one institution professionally dedicated to developing their Humanist values, identity, and community.
HCH is proud to be pioneering the most effective platform available to create a model for a Humanist community and to advance Humanism to stand alongside the world’s major religions as a universally recognized, powerfully organized part of the spectrum of options for a life of purpose, achievement and community