In order to investigate how Quaker communities and communities founded in Quaker testimonies employ the outdoors as a retention and recruitment tool in a period of overall decline in religious participation in American society, academic sources, survey data, and interviews have been compiled. A survey targeting Quakers and those who have participated in Quaker communities or those based in Quakerism, asked respondents (~250) about how the Quaker testimonies and history support outdoor lifestyles and how these experiences influence their experience of the faith. Interviews were conducted with select leaders from organizations creating experiences of Quakerism or the Quaker testimonies in the outdoors, to determine how individuals who shape these experiences interpret intended purpose of Quakerism experiences in the outdoors. This multisystem approach found that experiences of Quakerism in the outdoors contribute to increased participation and identification with Quakerism. Further application of these findings is discussed in the context of Wilderness Spirituality, to which more definition is offered based on the findings and interpretations given by survey participants and interviewees.


Rapport, Jeremy


Religious Studies


Quakerism, Quaker, Wilderness Spirituality, Relig*, Religious Retention, Religious Recruitment, Quaker Retention, Quaker Recruitment

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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