Our Mission

We promote human thriving by researching the development of child and adolescent spirituality, character, identity, and competence in context, and by guiding and informing individuals, organizations, and communities who assist young people to become flourishing adults.

Our Story

The Thrive Center for Human Development was established in 2011 with a dual mission to study human thriving and to translate that research into tangible resources. Our team is motivated not just by the pursuit of knowledge about thriving, but also the desire to impact youth and the communities. Collectively, we seek to promote positive child and youth development through basic and applied research and the creation of interventions and resources for parents, educators, ministers, youth workers, and other adults who invest in children and adolescents.

Our Founders

gsb_king_newsThe Thrive Center for Human Development is a result of a generous gift from Bob and Dottie King and a foundational scholarship of The Travis Research Institute’s former Center for Research on Child and Adolescent Development. The Kings have endowed the Thrive Center for Human Development at Fuller through four faculty positions, a center manager position and funds for operation of the center. Bob King is the Founder and former President of R. Eliot King & Associates, Inc., and an active venture investor in US and international companies. Dottie King partnered with her husband to launch R. Eliot King & Associates, volunteer with many different youth organizations, and raise their three children.

Together, Bob and Dottie wholeheartedly empower youth through their development into thriving adults.  One of the many ways the Kings provide support is by hosting international students who are in the United States pursuing education. They enjoy becoming a part of these students’ lives and supporting them in the pursuit of their goals. Bob and Dottie develop lifelong relationships with their students, and have been known to provide the initial support toward entrepreneurial endeavors. Hospitality and grace are two words that define who they are and their legacy.

In 1995, Bob and Dottie created the Thrive Foundation for Youth in Menlo Park, California, to support organizations and environments that enable young people to thrive, becoming all that God intends. The Thrive Center joins the efforts of the Thrive Foundation and other organizations supporting youth development through our research and resources.

Bob and Dottie are committed to supporting the positive development of youth through multiple venues. They believe in promoting pioneering research and youth work in fields that makes a real difference in people’s lives across the world. Bob and Dottie will leave a legacy of touching and transforming the lives of youth through their support of our center.

Our Distinctive

The Thrive Center’s location within Fuller’s Graduate School of Psychology positions it to Include the religious and spiritual dimension of thriving in its work.

Watch this 2013 promotional video to hear the way Founding Director Justin L. Barrett described the center’s focus and distinctive: