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We hold that science can provide the insight needed to understand our spiritual health and develop practices that lead to a thriving everyday life. We’re researchers and psychologists that live real lives and come face to face with the same questions you have.

Backed by Research

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We hold that science can provide the insight needed to understand our spiritual health and develop practices that lead to a thriving everyday life. We’re researchers and psychologists that live real lives and come face to face with the same questions you have.

How it Works

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Thrive Center Founder

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Pamela Ebstyne King, Ph.D. has worked with the Thrive Center for Human Development since its inception in 2011. In 2021, she was named executive director of the Thrive Center and continues to serve as the Peter L. Benson Professor of Applied Developmental Science in Fuller's School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy.

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Our selected studies that touch every corner of what we do. Learn about the fundamentals of thriving sciences with these studies.

Joy

The Joyride Project

Spirituality

Measuring Spirituality Among Adolescents

Gratitude

Shades of Gratitude

Thriving

The Telos Project

Spirituality

Study of Spirituality in America – Structural Topic Modeling

Spirituality

Spiritual Exemplars: The Emerging Adult Years

Youth

CI Study of Positive Youth Development

Spirituality

The Good Physician Project

Thriving

Self-Narratives and Emotional Health among Elite Athletes

Christian

Love Thy Neighbor Project

Youth

Virtue Interventions in Adolescent Athletes

Thriving

Evolutionary Psychology and Christian Views on Human Thriving

Research Project

The Science of Intellectual Humility

Youth

Relational Capacity and Ministry Performance

Spirituality

Is Religion Natural? The Chinese Challenge

Gratitude

Goal Sanctification & Prayer on Virtues

Youth

Thriving Conversations in Clinical Practice

Spirituality

Spiritual Strivings, Goal Satisfaction, Virtue, and Well-Being

Youth

Spiritual Transformation and Virtue Development in Adolescents in Young Life

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And if she hasn’t been rewritten, then they are still using her. Far far away, behind the word mountains.

Habits & Rhythms

Why Can’t I Change? How Flexibility Might Be the Key to Getting Unstuck (Part 2)

We can thrive by flexibly facing change, rather than avoiding it. This post is Part 2 of a two-part series.

Habits & Rhythms

Why Can’t I Change? How Flexibility Might Be the Key to Getting Unstuck (Part 1)

We can thrive by flexibly facing change, rather than avoiding it. This post is Part 1 of a two-part series.

Habits & Rhythms

A Practice: Shift Your Inner Critic to an Inner Nurturer

Here's how to shift your inner critic to the inner nurturer by teaching your body that you can also find strength in being tender with yourself.  

Habits & Rhythms

A Practice: Values-Based Living

Identifying your values to figure out how you would like to show up in pursuit of what matters most to you

Vocation & Purpose

Motherhood and Thriving: Navigating with Grace

What serves to ground, connect, and direct towards joy? Dr. Pam King asks this question as a guide for Mothers and others.

Relationships & Community

The 7 Cs of a Healthy Community

Does your Community Support Spiritual Health? Research indicates seven ideals.

Habits & Rhythms

Pursuing Goals: The Castle, the Estate, and The Long Walk

Guest blogger, Amy Dunn, reflects on being present in the day to day of our lives as we pursue goals and purpose. The journey is where we live, even as we keep our eye on a telos.

Ethics & Virtues

Conversing About Patience

The Thrive Center for Human Development and FULLER Studio present Patience, a five-video series that will change the way you think about patience. Psychologists, Benjamin Houltberg and Sarah Schnitker lead a table discussion with Rabbi Sherre Hirsh, Tasneem Noor, and Harlan Redmond to share their thoughts on the meaning of patience within different cultural contexts, faith traditions, and individuals.     Working with Faith Traditions How do different faith traditions think about the practice of patience? Our moderators join Rabbi Sherre Hirsch, Tasneem Noor, and Harlan Redmond to reflect on the role of patience within their own faith, the patience of God, and wisdom from the Quran.     Each Other Can patience positively transform our relationships with others? Our thought leaders examine how patience can lead to better relationships through listening and understanding each other’s stories.     Self-Care Our panel of experts continue their discussion on…

Practice Makes Patience

Patience is an important virtue to develop to achieve goals, including relationship goals. Here are some ideas to explore if you are feeling impatient.

Identity & Narrative

Getting Unstuck: Untangling the Tapestry Together (Part 2)

If our stories about ourselves are interwoven with shame, how can others provide insight to help us rewrite those stories?

10 Articles

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And if she hasn’t been rewritten, then they are still using her. Far far away, behind the word mountains.

Research Assistant Position Available

The Thrive Center is currently looking for two research assistants to work with Dr. Pam King on the topic of Spiritual Health.

Dr. Pam King on Psychology & Spirituality

Listen to Pam King talk with host P.J. Simmons about what Christians can learn from Psychology on the Prospera podcast.

Christian Flourishing in a Secular Age: Challenges and Opportunities Post-Conference Workshop

Pam spoke at one of the Post-Conference Workshops of the 'Realigned' conference by Christian Association for Psychological Studies on March 23rd, 2024.

Thrive Fellowship 2024-2025

Thrive Fellowships are for clinical doctoral students who aspire to serve and lead in the academic study, teaching, training, and/or practice of integrative approaches to human thriving. Students completing their second, third, or fourth year may apply (though exceptional first-year students will be considered with faculty referral) The Thrive Center for Human Development is an applied research center that conducts research and develops resources to inspire, inform, and equip people to thrive. Thrive Fellowships are intended for students who seek experience and mentorship in theoretically-informed research and/or in translating research for practical applications related to spiritual health and thriving. Interested applicants must discuss their desire to apply with Dr. Pam King and their faculty advisor. Each fellowship comes with a total of $15,000 for the academic year ($5,000 for each: Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters). If you are interested in applying to Thrive fellowship, there are two steps. First,…

Pam King on The Purposeful Lab Podcast

With evolutionary psychology and theology as a guide, Dr. Pam King offers tools and inspiration to find purpose and thrive in today's world.

Pam on Asking Why with Clint Davis Podcast

Clint Davis talks with Pam in this episode about about understanding what individual strengths and environments enable humans to thrive and become all God created them to be.

Pam King on Liberty Road Podcast

In this episode, Liberty Road's Nada Jones sits down with Pam to discuss her work at the THRIVE Center, where the science of psychology and the practice of spirituality collide. Pam desires to catalyze a movement of human thriving through research and resource development. To help us get there, she explains the three pillars of thriving and how they get reassessed in mid-life.

Christian Association for the Psychology of Faith in Hong Kong

Lecture: How Christians deal with life’s uncertainty Date & Time: 13 January 2024 (Sat, HK time), 9:00am – 6:00pm Where: Room 11.18, 11/F, Jockey Club Teaching Building, University of Hong Kong, physical, no online meeting How to participate: Click the link https://forms.gle/4hN3mQ9oGTzxGzAS8 or scan the poster to register online with QR code. Welcome to free dedication. In human growth, whether health, education, career, marriage or family, there are many variables in themselves or in the environment, many of which may not be certain. Hong Kong people have experienced social unrest and the swings of the epidemic over the years, and social and group divisions have been torn apart; outside Hong Kong, there are economic and political tensions, and we…

Pam on Conversing with Mark Labberton Podcast

What does it mean to thrive in this modern world? Pam discusses her research and work on the topic of thriving, as well as her new podcast, With & For.

10 News Stories

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And if she hasn’t been rewritten, then they are still using her. Far far away, behind the word mountains.

3 Content Resources

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And if she hasn’t been rewritten, then they are still using her. Far far away, behind the word mountains.

A Practice: Dr. Lisa Miller and Your Table of Spiritual Companions

Dr. Miller leads a brief meditation where you set a table before you with those who love you and ask them to tell you what you need to know now. This practice helps develop a connection to a deep kind of spirituality that is intuitive and imaginative and helps one to feel loved, held, guided, and never alone.

A Practice: Dr. Cynthia Eriksson on Grounding in the Body

Dr. Eriksson guides a meditation practice to connect you to your body and space in order to cultivate a sense of safety and calm. The twisting motion and identification of the space grounds and settles the parasympathetic nervous system.

A Practice: Dr. Richard Davidson on Developing Awareness

Dr. Davidson leads a practice to bring awareness into our bodies and into the present moment. This practice is intended not only to build capacities for awareness but to develop compassion for others.

Habits & Rhythms

The Big Picture on Thriving & Spiritual Health — Season One Wrap Up with Dr. Pam King & Dr. Jill Westbrook

Dr. Pam King and Dr. Jill Westbrook take a look back on the first season of With & For and its unique approach to exploring thriving and spiritual health. Together they draw upon insights from the twelve expert guests featured in this inaugural season—reflecting on their wisdom, and pulling key moments from each conversation to weave a tapestry of interdisciplinary scientific research, diverse spiritual perspectives, and practical guidance for a life of thriving.

Ethics & Virtues

The Power of Patience: How to Wait Well, Persevere Through Suffering, and Navigate a Fast-Paced World with Dr. Sarah Schnitker

What are you willing to wait for? What are you willing to suffer for? Research psychologist Sarah Schnitker (Baylor University) has done groundbreaking work in the science of patience. By exploring the ways to become more patient with others and ourselves—and discovering the role of this timeless virtue in a flourishing life—she offers us a freeing and stabilizing approach to thinking about goals, perseverance, and navigating our fast-paced world.

Vocation & Purpose

Redeeming the Past: Owning Your Story, Cultivating Courage, and Finding Peace with Dr. William Damon

How does where you’ve been contribute to where you’re going? How does your story shape your sense of purpose? Developmental psychologist William Damon (Stanford University) has spent his career studying the human lifespan, and has found both in his research and personal experience, that by courageously exploring our personal histories, we’ll stay on a path toward purpose and peace.

Identity & Narrative

Dreaming Together: Dealing with Conflict, Finding Belonging, and Doing Justice with Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra

“If your community is not well, then you are not well.” Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra (Fuller Theological Seminary) is an organizer, activist, and pastor whose career has shown how individual thriving is intertwined with collective justice. With respect for marvelous human complexity, she’s encouraging us to get out of our heads and into our bodies and emotions… and is inviting us to compassion for the marginalized, and to ground our spiritual health in our connectedness to the human family, across cultural and economic lines.

Habits & Rhythms

Responding to Trauma: Psychological Tools for Resilience and Recovery with Dr. Cynthia Eriksson

Whole human thriving includes the ability to feel, deal, and heal when we encounter trauma. Psychologist Cynthia Eriksson (Fuller School of Psychology) wants to help us understand the human response to pain, suffering, tragedy, and grief. She’s finding that resilience and recovery comes through a spiritually and therapeutically informed approach that prizes vulnerability, honesty, emotional grounding, attention to our bodies, and mutual presence with and for others. Includes a Meditative Exercise: Cynthia Eriksson guides listeners through a Grounding Practice for Emotional and Embodied Connection. Note: This episode contains content about trauma. Listener discretion is advised.

Relationships & Community

From the Inside Out: Relationships, Mental Health, & Interpersonal Neurobiology with Dr. Dan Siegel

We are made for relationships. And psychiatrist, researcher, and clinical therapist Dr. Dan Siegel (UCLA) has found that emotional realities of our earliest attachment relationships reverberate through the rest of our lives. By opening up brain science and what he calls “interpersonal neurobiology” he’s helping people find emotional healing and wholeness, deep connection, and stable life-giving relationships.

Identity & Narrative

Freedom from Fear: Mental Health, Justice, and Hope for an Unencumbered Life in the Black Church with Rev. Dr. Dwight Radcliff

What would it be to dream and live unencumbered? Rev. Dr. Dwight Radcliff is a pastor, community leader, and cultural theologian who wants the pages of Christian scripture to come alive to the gritty realities of justice, equity, and social transformation. Looking through the narrative vision of hip-hop and the Black church, he weaves a story of personal and communal wholeness …. holding everything together in all the tension of life … all to find thriving and spiritual health in the embodied, emotional, and empathetic now.

10 Podcast Episodes

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Generous contributions allow us to continue our intentional work and maintain resources that help others move from becoming to being. Our blogs, research, podcasts, and more can be accessed for free, so there’s no pressure to give if you’re not in a position to.

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    You Got It!

    Practices to Begin Your Journey

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    We’ve collected and curated articles, videos, podcasts, and research specifically tailored to help you discover sunlight to grow towards.