Research Director and Publications

Danielsen Research Center

Director: Steven J. Sandage, M.Div., Ph.D. (Counseling Psychology), LP is the Albert and Jessie Danielsen Professor of Pastoral Psychology and Theology at Boston University and Director of the Danielsen Research Center.  He is co-author of three books, To Forgive is Human, The Faces of Forgiveness: Searching for Wholeness and Salvation, and Transforming Spirituality: Integrating Theology and Psychology and has a forthcoming book with American Psychological Association Books on Forgiveness and Relational Spirituality.  He and theologian LeRon Shults received the Narramore Award for the Integration of Psychology and Theology from the Christian Association of Psychological Studies.  He has also authored articles and chapters in areas such as forgiveness and related virtues (e.g., hope, humility, gratitude, and justice), spiritual development, marriage and family therapy, relational development (e.g., attachment, differentiation of self), narcissism, intercultural competence, and suicidology.  Dr. Sandage has recently been collaborating with researchers and clinicians at the University of Minnesota Medical School in studying forgiveness in the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder.  His research has been funded by grants from the Lilly Endowment, the John Templeton Foundation, and the Fetzer Institute, and he is a research member of the Fetzer Forgiveness Research Network and the Institute for Research on Psychology and Spirituality (Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University).

Dr. Sandage is a Licensed Psychologist in practice at the Danielsen Institute, where he specializes in couples and family therapy, multicultural therapy, and spiritually-integrative therapy with twenty years of clinical experience in a variety of settings (e.g., private practice, prisons, community mental health centers, university counseling center, inpatient mental health). He also provides diversity consultation and training to leaders in education, business, therapy, and ministry.

Contact Dr. Sandage at:

Samples of Publications:


Jankowski, P.J., Sandage, S.J., & Hill, P.C. (2013). Differentiation-based models of forgivingness, mental health, and social justice commitment: Mediator effects of differentiation of self and humility. Journal of Positive Psychology.

Nsamenang, S.A., Williamson, I.T., Nsamenang, B. and Sandage, S. J. (in press). Cross-cultural forgiveness processes in  Cameroonian and American young citizens. In T.M.S. (Ed.), Cross-cultural psychology: Africentric perspectives. International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Rye, M.S., Fleri, A.M., Moore, C.D., Worthington, E.L., Jr., Wade, N.G., Sandage, S.J., & Cook, K.M. (2012). Evaluation of an intervention to help divorced parents forgive their ex-spouse. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 53, 231-245.

Jankowski, P.J., & Sandage, S.J. (2011). Meditative prayer, hope, adult attachment, and forgiveness: A proposed model. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 3, 115-131. doi: 10.1037/a0021601

Sandage, S.J., & Jankowski, P.J. (2010). Forgiveness, spiritual instability, mental health symptoms, and well-being: Mediation effects of differentiation of self. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 2, 168-180.

Sandage, S.J., & Williamson, I.T. (2010). Relational spirituality and dispositional forgiveness: A structural equations model. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 38, 255-266.

Sandage, S. J., & Worthington, E. L., Jr. (2010). Comparison of two group interventions to promote forgiveness: Empathy as a mediator of change. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 32, 35-57.

Cook, K.V., Sandage, S.J., Hill, P.C., & Strawn, B.D. (2010). Folk conceptions of virtue among Cambodian-American Buddhists and Christians: A hermeneutic analysis. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 2, 83-103.

Sandage, S. J., & Williamson, I. (2005). Forgiveness in cultural context. In E. L. Worthington, Jr. (Ed.). Handbook of Forgiveness. New York: Brunner-Routledge (pp. 41-56).

Relational Spirituality

Sandage, S.J., & Jensen, M.L. (2013). Relational spiritual formation. Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry, 33, 95-109.

Sandage, S.J. (2013). Attachment theory, relational spirituality, and varieties of evangelicals. Religion, Brain, and Behavior. doi:10.1080/2153599X.2013.768539

Sandage, S.J., & Moe, S. (2013). Spiritual experience: Conversion and transformation. In K.I. Pargament, J.J. Exline, J.W. Jones (Eds.), APA handbook of psychology, religion, and spirituality (Vol 1): Context, theory, and research (pp. 407-422). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Jankowski, P.J., & Sandage, S.J. (2011). Spiritual dwelling and well-being: The mediating role of differentiation of self in a sample of distressed adults. Mental Health, Religion, & Culture. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/13674676.2011.579592

Sandage, S.J., & Crabtree, S. (2011). Spiritual pathology and religious coping as predictors of forgiveness. Mental Health, Religion, and Culture. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/13674676.2011.613806

Sandage, S.J., & Moe, S.P. (2011). Narcissism and spirituality. In W.K. Campbell & J. Miller (Eds.), The handbook of narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder: Theoretical approaches, empirical findings, and treatment (pp. 410-420). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Sandage, S.J., Hill, P.C., & Vaubel, D.C. (2011). Generativity, relational spirituality, gratitude, and mental health: Relationships and pathways. The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 21, 1-16.

Heiden Rootes, K.M., Jankowski, P.J., & Sandage, S.J. (2010). Bowen family systems theory and spirituality: Exploring the relationship between triangulation and religious questing. Contemporary Family Therapy, 32, 89-101. doi: 10.1007/s10591-009-9191-y

Sandage, S.J., Link, D.C., & Jankowski, P.J. (2010). Quest and spiritual development moderated by spiritual transformation. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 38, 15-31.

Williamson, I., & Sandage, S.J. (2009). Longitudinal analyses of religious and spiritual development among seminary students. Mental Health, Religion, and Culture, 12, 787-801.

Sandage, S.J., Jensen, M., & Jass, D. (2008). Relational spirituality and transformation: Risking intimacy and alterity. Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, 1, 182-206.

Sandage, S.J., & Shults, F.L. (2007). Relational spirituality and transformation: A relational integration model. Journal of Psychology & Christianity, 26, 261-269.

Intercultural Competence & Social Justice

Sandage, S.J., Crabtree, S., & Schweer, M. (2014). Differentiation of self and social justice commitment mediated by hope. Journal of Counseling and Development, 92.

Jankowski, P.J., & Sandage, S.J. (2013). Meditative prayer, gratitude, and intercultural competence: Empirical test of a differentiation-based model. Mindfulness. doi: 10.1007/s12671-012-0189-z

Sandage, S.J., & Jankowski, P.J. (2012). Spirituality, social justice, and intercultural competence: Mediator effects for differentiation of self. International Journal for Intercultural Relations. Advance online publication.

Sandage, S.J., Dahl, C.M., & Harden, M.G. (2012). Psychology of religion, spirituality, and diversity. In P.C. Hill & B. Dik (Eds.), Psychology of religion and workplace spirituality (pp. 43-62). Information Age Publishing.

Sandage, S.J., & Harden, M.G. (2011). Relational spirituality, differentiation of self, and virtue as predictors of intercultural development. Mental Health, Religion, & Culture, 14, 819-838.

Jensen, M.L., Sanders, M., & Sandage, S.J. (2010). Women’s well-being in seminary: A qualitative study. Theological Education, 45, 99-116.

Sandage, S.J., & Naicker, M.S. (2009). Indigenous positive psychology. In S.J. Lopez (Ed.), The encyclopedia of positive psychology (Vol. 1) (pp. 514-517). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Relational Integration of Psychology and Theology

Sandage, S.J., & Brown, J.K. (2012). Converging horizons for relational integration: Differentiation-based collaboration. Journal of Psychology & Theology, 40, 72-76.

Sandage, S.J. (2012). Relational spirituality, virtue, and psychotherapy: Pathways for integration. In P.J. Hampson, O.D. Crisp, G. D’Costa, & M. Davies (Eds.), Christianity and the disciplines: The transformation of the university. Religion and the university series: Vol 2. New York: Continuum Press.

Sandage, S.J. (2012). The transformation of happiness: A response from counseling psychology. In B.A. Strawn (Ed.), The bible and the pursuit of happiness, pp. 263-286. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sandage, S.J., & Brown, J.K. (2010). Monarchy or democracy in relational integration? A reply to Porter. Journal of Psychology & Christianity, 29, 20-26.


Sandage, S.J. (2012). The tragic-ironic self: A qualitative case study of suicide. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 29, 17-33.

Sandage, S.J. (2010). Intergenerational suicide and family dynamics: A hermeneutic phenomenological case study. Contemporary Family Therapy, 32, 209-227. doi: 10.1007/s-10591-009-9102-x