The Thrive Center is committed to providing relevant and accessible research of the highest quality. Our team is made up of seven faculty researchers from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and Fuller Theological Seminary, five post-doctoral researchers, and numerous doctoral students. Our center aims to uncover the catalysts that allow for young people to develop into thriving adults. We aim to develop practical tools and resources to nurture optimal human development by uncovering the components of thriving through research.
This page will provide a monthly, in-depth update on one of our many research projects. Coming Winter 2013-2014.
To learn more about the projects we are currently working on or have worked on in the past, please visit our “Research Projects” page. This page will provide you with links to detailed information and findings on all of our past and present projects.
To keep the academic community up-to-date with the research that has been conducted within the Thrive Center, we have developed our “Publications and Presentations” page. Here you will find citations for publications and presentations on our various projects, as well as links when available.
Our intellectual humility project, lead by Dr. Justin Barrett, is funded by a $5.3 million dollar grant from the John Templeton Foundation. We have put together pages to provide information and updates on the research being conducted on this project, along with each of its component sub-grants.
Thrive Center Research News & Articles
The Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (APA Division 36) mid-year conference will be held April 25th – 26th, 2014 at Biola University in La Mirada, California. Papers are being accepted for the conference with a submission deadline of January 10th, 2014. If you are interested in submitting research for this conference, please read the information at the bottom of this page, or CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PDF OF THE CALL FOR PAPERS.
If you are interested in attending the Division 36 conference, please visit the websites for Biola University and APA Division 36 below.
-Biola University – Conference Information Page
-APA – Conference Information Page
All presenters and participants attending the conference must register. Please submit your registration payment and form(s) with your proposal. If your proposal is not selected and/or you choose not to attend the conference, a refund will be given per the regular registration refund policy.
Electronic submission is preferred. Email proposals to Teri Wilkins at email@example.com. If email is not possible,
please mail submission to Teri Wilkins, Loyola University Maryland, 8890 McGaw Road, Suite 380, Columbia, MD, 21045.
1. Type the title in CAPITAL LETTERS on the first line. Skip a line.
2. Type the author(s) and primary affiliation(s). (Affiliations placed in parentheses). Skip a line. 3. Type the following information for the PRIMARY author:
A) Mailing address, phone number, fax number, and email address
B) Submission type: paper, poster, or symposium
C) For paper submissions: please indicate if the presenting author is willing to chair paper session
PAPER submissions: Presenters will be assigned to a paper session with other presenters with related topics. Please submit a 1,000-word abstract that includes: the research question, methodology, results and interpretation, and figures or tables. Presenters will have approximately 15 minutes to present.
SYMPOSIUM or CONTENT SESSION submissions:
Time allotted varies from 50, 90, or 110 minutes. Please indicate preferred time duration. A minimum of two presenters is required. Submit a 300-word overall abstract in addition to a 300-word abstract for each presentation with name of presenter(s).
Presenters will be assigned to a poster session. Poster boards are approximately six feet long and four feet wide. Present- ers are expected to stay with their poster for the entire length of the session. Submissions should be at least 300 words.
Clearly defined objectives must be included with all submissions (except posters).
Please direct all inquiries to: Teri Wilkins, Loyola University Maryland
8890 McGaw Road, Suite 380, Columbia, MD, 21045, (410) 617-7628 firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted in: ResearchStudentsUncategorized
Dr. Joshua Hook, one of the researchers working on the Templeton Foundation funded Intellectual Humility Project, is a finalist in a contract to win a book contract through the Barna Group. Dr. Hook’s book proposal is about the importance of humility in the context of religious differences. The premise of this popular book is well aligned with the research being conducted by the Thrive Center and other institutions in Intellectual Humility.
To learn more about Dr. Hook’s proposal and to vote, click HERE (opens in new window) to vote on Barna Frames on Facebook. You can also read Dr. Joshua Hook’s full proposal below:
Josh Hook- Religious Conviction in a Multi-Faith World? Engage with Humility
Much of the brokenness in our world is due to our inability to be in community with individuals and groups who are different from us. This brokenness happens on a global scale, but it also happens in our governments, schools, workplaces, and playgrounds. Sometimes religion helps to heal divisions, but just as often, religion fuels the fires of conflict. Christians inform strangers they are going to Hell without even asking their names. Tension between Christians and Muslims runs deep, with the Crusades and 9/11 bookending over a millennium of conflict. Our government divides sharply over religiously charged issues such as gay marriage and abortion. The underlying message is this: If God is for me, then He must be against you. This conflict isn’t just a worldly matter between groups of different faiths; it’s a holy war. The stakes are high because the consequences are eternal. Positions become entrenched, making it difficult to engage respectfully and peacefully with those we consider the “other.” I believe division could be replaced with healing if people engaged one another with humility around matters of faith.
Sometimes I think things are getting worse rather than better. I feel a sense of despair and lose hope that things could be different. This book is for Christians who care deeply about the division and conflict in our society, but don’t know what to do to bridge the gap. This book is for Christians who struggle with the tension that comes from holding religious convictions that can offend and turn away people from different faiths. This book is for Christians who are serious about engaging and collaborating with a pluralistic world for the common good. We need to figure out a way to foster peace with others who do not share in the peace of Christ.
Some strategies to solve this problem haven’t worked well. It hasn’t worked to avoid the important issues and leave the conversation. The world needs engaged Christians who are actively committed to showing God’s love and grace. However, it also hasn’t worked to convince everyone in our society to align with a specific religious or political ideology. It hasn’t worked to force everyone to adopt my version of religion, mypolitical party, my set of beliefs and values.
When it comes to my deepest convictions, I struggle to engage others well. Either I avoid the tough issues, or I prepare my best arguments for why I’m right, convinced that if only others would see things my way, then the world would be better. But somewhere along the way I realized that not only is my world broken, but my gospel sometimes feels broken. I get confused about how to “keep the baby but throw out the bath water.” How do I honor my religious convictions and cultivate peace with others who do not know Christ?
I think there is a better way. I want to understand what it means to hold my religious convictions well—in a way that builds bridges rather than burns them down. A form of tolerance that loosens all convictions is not the answer. I believe there is something good, true, and right about some convictions. They help me connect with and experience the love of God. They strengthen and bind my spiritual community together. And they motivate me to bring love, grace, and justice to a world in need.
But people hold different religious convictions. We disagree within the same pew, much more the same city block, nation, or world. These disagreements often lead to division and conflict. As the world becomes more flat and our society grows more interconnected psychologically and technologically, I experience increased contact and connection with individuals and groups who are different from me.
I feel a tension from this contact and connection. On one hand, I have strong religious convictions that impact my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in important ways. On the other hand, I have a deep desire to foster peaceful relationships with those around me, including those who believe differently. When is it okay to offend others or break community because of my convictions? When is it better to prioritize unity and peace? I long to be faithful to what I believe and foster meaningful connections with those who are different.
So what do we do with this intractable tension? I believe that the fundamental solution to dealing with others who have different beliefs, when you believe that beliefs matter, is humility. Humility is a “way of being” while in relationship with others. Humility puts others on equal footing, not looking down on them from a superior position, but rather engaging them as fellow human beings with voices that deserve respect. Humility involves examining the log in my own eye before I pass judgment on someone else. Jesus taught that when Earth looks more like Heaven, people would treat each other with humility. He washed his disciples’ feet and told them to do likewise. Jesus taught his disciples “the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them… Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” Paul wrote in Philippians that we should model our lives after the humility of Jesus.
Some of what I learned in Christian community is “bath water”—a broken gospel, still clinging to something other than Christ. I struggle to hold my religious convictions well, in a way that embraces rather than ostracizes those who are different from me. How did Jesus do it? How did He balance deep conviction and integrity to God’s purpose for his life with a courageous ability to blow past social convention into deep relationship with the “other?” We need a solution that allows us to hold our religious convictions while fostering peace with those who are different. This is my hope and prayer: that we may follow the example of Jesus and hold our religious convictions—and engage the world—with humility.
Vote at https://www.facebook.com/barnaframes/app_592919060777532
Posted in: Intellectual Humility
November 18th, the Thrive Center hosted the second of its three quarterly Thrive Reflectoriums. For those who may not be aware, these monthly Reflectoriums are a space where the scholars of the Thrive Center for Human Development come together to share research and ideas with each other, with the mindset that the more minds weighing in on a research question, the better. This month, Dr. Samuleson, a Thrive Center Post-Doctoral research fellow, and Kelsy Richardson, a Thrive Center fellow, both presented research in their individual fields. Here’s a recap of what you might have missed.
Dr. Samuelson presented some of the research from his project titled, “The Science of Intellectual Humility.” More specifically, Dr. Samuleson’s presentation was focused on the implicit theories of intellectual humility. The research was focused on the attribution of words or phrases towards the categories of an intellectually humble, wise, or intellectually arrogant person. Dr. Samuelson’s work demonstrated the main categories of descriptors that each of these types of people receive and the possible implications for the ways in which we perceive intellectual or wise people.
Kelsy Richardson presented her research titled, “Prayer Practices and Gratitude: Comparing Daily Prayers of Thanksgiving to Gratitude Journaling and Social Gratitude.” Kelsy’s research demonstrated how participants who prayed their gratitude developed higher levels of virtue and positive life experiences than other participants who either kept a gratitude journal or shared their gratitude with a friend. Kelsy also discussed the future directions of her study, including a follow-up study utilizing hassles and prayers of supplication.
Don’t miss our next Thrive Reflectorium, Monday December 9th at 11am in the School of Psychology building room 311. Dr. Ryan Hornbeck will be presenting some of his research from a Templeton World Charity Foundation grant titled, “Is Religion Natural? The Chinese Challenge.”
-Kelsy Richardson, Thrive Center Fellow (2013-2014)
Posted in: Intellectual HumilityPrayer PracticesResearchStudents
In the context of discussing Thomas Aquinas’s view of the incarnation, Gerald O’Collins writes that “the incarnation should also be recognized as the highest conceivable development for humanity” (2002, p. 17). If so, we may profitably wonder what features or properties of the incarnation contribute to or constitute “the highest conceivable development for humanity” such that we may strive to approach them and, hence, thrive. I will not attempt a full exploration of Christ’s human characteristics that collectively epitomize thriving. Here I only argue that Philippians chapter 2 suggests one characteristic of human thriving that appears to be underappreciated in the psychological literature on thriving and in contemporary American culture: humble submission. -
When considering what it is about Jesus Christ that made him the “highest conceivable development for humanity,” it is tempting to think in terms of extraordinary capacities or some genius that he possessed. Was it his wisdom as evinced in his teachings? His power over nature as when he calmed the sea, healed the sick, or raised the dead? Or perhaps his authority over evil spirits? Without necessarily denying those traits as part of our full human potential, Paul’s letter to the Philippians encourages us, when trying to conform to Jesus’ model, to look to an orientation rather than a capacity.
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Posted in: Intellectual HumilityNews Articles
Written For and Originally Posted On Fuller.edu. View Original Post HERE.
Dr. Justin Barrett, professor and director of Fuller’s Thrive Center for Human Development, spoke at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Brussels, Belgium last week as part of a briefing for a research project which brings together the work of military experts and social scientists to advise some of NATO’s future activities. This was Barrett’s fourth meeting as part of the project.
The October 10, 2013 briefing on the topic of “Human Aspects of the Operational Environment” was the capstone event of a multi-year research project initiated by NATO’s Human Intelligence Centre of Excellence in Oradea, Romania. The project was in response to NATO leaders who recognized future activities would largely be security-stability operations in partnership with local populations instead of invasion-conquest operations, Barrett explained.
The main aim of the project is to encourage NATO decision-makers to better understand and cooperate with local populations so that traditional use of military force to kill and destroy can be minimized. As a result, the Human Intelligence Centre of Excellence reached out to military experts and social scientists to collaborate on a report and resource document.
“I was persuaded to participate because I saw an opportunity to save lives of civilians and oursoldiers, and to improve peacemaking strategies,” said Barrett, who was recruited to the project while he was a faculty member at the University of Oxford. “I am cautiously optimistic that this project will make positive differences around the world in the decades to come.”
Barrett, who is regarded as one of the founders of the cognitive science of religion field and is researching cognitive approaches to the study of culture and archaeology, served as the leader for a research panel concerning the basic drivers and motivators of human action. The resulting paper included contributions from Fuller students Christian Keys, Matthew Jarvinen, and Ross Lisman, and explored the subject of fundamental physiological and psychological needs, and how they are shaped by social, moral, and religious dynamics. The paper was then combined with six others into a resource document for NATO leaders.
Barrett noted that the work done on the project also resounds with the mission of Fuller’s Thrive Center, which serves to identify what allows young people to develop into thriving adults, and translates that research into tangible resources.
“We have tried to persuade NATO leaders that security goes beyond physical safety and includes promoting an environment that allows for basic social, religious, and moral expression, as well as biological needs,” Barrett said. “In short, if people do not have space to thrive, they aren’t truly ‘secure’. And the thriving of young people is at major risk in traditional warfare, whether they are violence-produced orphans or 19-year-old soldiers.”
Posted in: News ArticlesResearch