My research focuses on how certain Christian doctrines (e.g. creation, theological anthropology) hold potential to uniquely contribute to positive psychology’s notions of human flourishing. One research area that I wish to learn more about are the various ways that Christian conceptions of certain virtues (e.g. purpose, hope, and patience) provide unique perspectives to the research in virtue science. Pursuing empirical research in virtue science helps contribute to my current research trajectory by enabling me to ground my theological (and primarily theoretical) research on human flourishing and virtues in quantitative and qualitative experimental study.
My cross-training mentors will be Dr. Kendall Bronk from Claremont Graduate University (CGU) and Dr. Sarah Schnitker from Baylor University. For this ACT Fellowship, I would spend three years pursuing a Ph.D. in Positive Developmental Psychology and working in a lab conducting virtue science research at CGU. Drs. Bronk and Schnitker will provide mentorship on a research project examining the role of purpose, patience and hope in fostering resilience in the midst of suffering/significant stressors. This project addresses JTF’s Big Questions by exploring how certain virtues can contribute to human flourishing.
With the ACT fellowship I will: (1) develop an empirically informed understanding of how purpose, patience and hope contribute to resilience; (2) directly contribute to the virtue science literature during Ph.D. coursework and through a dissertation research project on purpose, patience and hope; (3) pursue further small and large grant opportunities with JTF related to the science of virtue and the science of purpose; and (4) make further individual and collaborative contributions to the psychology/theology dialogue through empirical research and publication. These outputs directly align with JTF donor intent and strategic priorities focusing on the science of character virtue and science of purpose.