Humility in Religious Leaders

As part of a 16 study major research project on humility in leaders, we are investigating Humility in Religious Leaders. This research is funded by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.JTF-Logo-Primary-CMYKIn this three study project, we are testing our differentiation-based relational spirituality model among religious leaders, previously tested in nineteen published studies (Worthington & Sandage, 2015).  We seek answers to questions about (a) how humility (i.e., general, intellectual) is related to negative (e.g., narcissism and spiritual pathology) and positive (e.g., eudaimonic well-being) religious leader outcomes, and the mechanisms at play (e.g., differentiation of self, religious exploration); (b) whether humility profiles exist for religious leaders based on sophisticated psychological assessments (e.g., MMPI, Rorschach); (c) whether a clinician rating of humility is viable for future research; and (d) whether a group intervention for religious leaders will change humility and result in decreased negative (i.e., vulnerable narcissism, spiritual pathology) and positive (e.g., well-being, differentiation of self) outcomes over time.

Publications from this research:

Sandage, S.J., Rupert, D., Stavros, G.S., & Devor, N.G. (in press). Relational spirituality and psychotherapy: Healing suffering and promoting growth. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Wolfteich, C.E., Ruffing, E.G., Crabtree, S.A., Devor, N.G., & Sandage, S.J. (in press). Humility and religious leadership: A qualitative study of theology and practice. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health.

Sandage, S.J. Relating within Wildman’s integrative engagement with psychology, spirituality, and humility. (in press). In F.L. Shults & R.C. Neville (Eds.), Religion in multidisciplinary perspective: Intense experiences in the work of Wesley J. Wildman.

Wolfteich, C.I., Sandage, S.J., Tomlinson, J., Mettasophia, J., & Ventura, D. (2019). Humility and spirituality: New directions in interdisciplinary research. Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality, 19, 102-130.

Jankowski, P. J., Sandage, S. J., Bell, C. A., Ruffing, E. G., & Adams, C. (2018). Humility and wellbeing: Testing a relational spirituality model among religious leaders. Journal of Religion and Health. doi:10.1007/s10943-018-0580-8.

Ruffing, E.G., Devor, N.G., & Sandage, S.J. (2018). Humility challenges and facilitating factors among religious leaders: A qualitative study. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, doi: 10.1080/19349637.2018.1520184

Ruffing, E.G., Devor, N.G., Paine, D.R., & Sandage, S.J. (2018). Humility and narcissism in clergy: A relational spirituality framework. Pastoral Psychology.

Sandage, S.J., & Brown, J.K. (2018). Relational integration in psychology and Christian theology: Theory, research, and practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

Bell, C.A., Sandage, S.J., Morgan, T.D., & Hague, D.J. (2017). Relational spirituality, humility, and commitments to social justice and intercultural competence. Journal of Psychology and Christianity.