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GFU doctoral psychology program receives big grant


Higher ed — The $200,000 will be used to fund students dissertations on how positive psychology topics can impact church communities

George Fox University has received a $200,000 grant from the Templeton Foun­dation that will allow doctor of psychology students to pursue dissertation projects on how positive human experiences impact church communities.

George Fox Doctor of Psy­chology professors Mark Mc­Minn and Rodger Buf­ford ap­plied for the grant, which will be distributed over three years beginning this month.

The grant will fund five psychology doctoral students – some at George Fox and some at Wheaton College in Illinois – who will study a positive psychology topic in the context of the church community.

Ultimately, the goal is to produce at least five journal articles and a brief book about positive psychology and the church.

“Over the past 15 years or so, psychologists have become increasingly interested in the positive dimensions of human experience,” said McMinn, whose research interests include the integration of psychology and Christianity.
“As a result, we are seeing a good deal of research on topics such as forgiveness, gratitude, hope, wis­dom and love.”

Among other things, the Templeton Foundation funds research in a core area termed “Science in Dialogue,” intended to pro­mote discussion be­tween science, theology and philosophy.

George Fox’s particular project is titled “Positive Psy­chology and Ministry in Chris­tian Faith Communities.” McMinn will serve as principal investigator for the project, Bufford as co-investigator and MaryKate Morse, a professor of leadership and spiritual formation at George Fox Evangelical Seminary, as a ministry consultant.

For more information on the program, call Mary Peterson at 503-554-2237.