Baby boomers turn to religious careers after finding former jobs to be lucrative but unfulfilling

Published: Monday, May 20 2013 8:00 p.m. MDT

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Many of today's national conversations about religion center around the increasing number of young adults who say they do not belong to a faith. However, alongside the rise of the "nones" (a term given by demographers to people who, when asked their religious affiliation, answer "none"), The Wall Street Journal reported last week that another religious trend is drawing baby boomers in the opposite direction.

Finding money and workplace accolades to be less than fulfilling, a growing number of prospective retirees are turning to religious service to provide a legacy they will be proud to leave behind.

"Flocks of people in their 50s and 60s are putting aside thoughts of a comfortable retirement and heading to theological school, where they've become the fastest-growing age group in recent years. They're putting in years of study and field work to become chaplains, spiritual counselors, missionaries, and educators and social workers for nonprofits with religious ties. And they're taking that training everywhere from disaster zones to impoverished villages to hospital bedsides," according to The Wall Street Journal.

Among these individuals are Mark Watson, a lawyer who is working toward a master's degree in divinity; David Daniel Klipper, a man who spent 25 years on Wall Street who is now a rabbinic pastor; and Kathy Dain, who gave up a fancy car and six-figure salary to become an associate pastor. The Wall Street Journal's Anne Tergesen looks at the different faith-based paths each took with the same goal in mind: a deeper connection to God and humanity.

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