Rumspringa Amish running around


Rumspringa ("running around") is the Amish term for adolescence and the period leading up to serious courtship during which rules may be relaxed a little. As in non-Amish families, it is understood as a practical matter that there will likely be a certain amount of misbehavior during this period, but it is neither encouraged nor overlooked.

At the end of this period, Amish young adults are expected to find a spouse and be baptized. But in accordance with Anabaptist doctrine, this must be a free and personal decision. At this point, some young people choose not to join the church and instead live the rest of their lives in a different community or wider society.

If a young man joins a Mennonite church or other less exacting religion, the Amish will often say “he got his hair cut.” If a young person abandons the faith altogether, they say that person “went English.”

Some communities will actively shun those who decide to leave the community, even those going to a different Amish congregation. Still other communities practice hardly any shunning, keeping close family and social contact with those who leave.


Article Info

Title Rumspringa
Last UpdatedFebruary 13, 2021
MLA Citation “Rumspringa.” 13 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021. <>