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Increasingly, universities are valuing interdisciplinary work that brings together scholars from various fields to tackle complex problems of human flourishing, but theologians lack training and outlets to collaborate with researchers from the sciences, which would increase the scope and applicability of their work. Without in-depth training in qualitative/quantitative research methods, theologians often do not come to research with the kinds of “scientific” methodologies and thinking that other researchers prize. There are notable exceptions to this disconnect, however. Theologians working in theological anthropology, moral theology, and practical theology are robustly integrating the psychological sciences into their theological reflection.

This grant will build upon this work by training a group of junior and mid-career theology faculty, as well as graduate students and postdocs, who are interested in topics in the psychological sciences that address suffering, virtue development, and aesthetics. Theologians within and outside Baylor will have the opportunity to compete for training opportunities in three phases of the grant that will become increasingly robust and hands-on.

In Phase 1, theologians will receive intensive in-person trainings in the basic concepts and methods of collaboration in psychological science and participate in a twice monthly interdisciplinary seminar series with psychologists. In Phase 2, theologians will have the opportunity for more in-depth training by being mentored by a psychologist and working in their lab. In Phase 3, theologian and psychologist teams will work on novel research projects together from start to finish.

Outputs include 15 theologians trained in psychological methods/content, 10 scholar-in-lab residency training teams, 7-12 theology articles, 4-8 articles reporting empirical findings, new interdisciplinary collaborations, and a cross-training model for other universities to replicate.