Profile

Steven J. Sandage

Albert and Jessie Danielsen Professor of Psychology of Religion and Theology

Steve grew up in Iowa as the son of two former teachers and was confirmed in the United Methodist Church. He studied psychology at Iowa State University where he developed an interest in connections between mental health, spirituality, and ministry, which he also pursued in seminary. This led to working as a chaplain in prisons, a geriatric facility, and a group home for boys, which further shaped his desire to integrate psychology and theology in understanding human development and healing. He and his wife Danielle ventured out to Virginia for his doctoral program in counseling psychology and her graduate studies in social work, and this was the context where he started to focus on marriage and family therapy as a clinical specialization. He completed his clinical internship at the Federal Corrections Institute (Petersburg, Virginia) where he did specialty rotations in HIV services and forensic assessment. Following completion of their graduate degrees, they moved to Minnesota where Steve joined the faculty in marriage and family therapy at Bethel Seminary and started a clinical practice. In 2013 and after sixteen years at Bethel, Steve accepted the Danielsen Chair position at Boston University School of Theology and the Danielsen Institute, where he also serves as Research Director and Senior Staff Psychologist. He holds a joint appointment at BU in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

His books include To Forgive is Human, The Faces of Forgiveness, Transforming Spirituality, The Skillful Soul of the Psychotherapist, Forgiveness and Spirituality: A Relational Approach,?Relational Integration of Psychology,?Christian Theology: Theory, Research, and Practice, and Relational Spirituality in Psychotherapy: Healing Suffering and Promoting Growth. He does research in areas that include positive psychology, psychology of religion, intercultural competence and social justice, psychotherapy processes and outcome, psychopathology, and clinical training. His research has been funded by the Lilly Endowment, the Fetzer Institute, and the John Templeton Foundation. He received the Narramore Award for excellence in the integration of psychology ant theology from the Christian Association of Psychological Studies. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Psychology; Psychotherapy; and the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care. Sandage also practices as a Licensed Psychologist with clinical specializations that include couple and family therapy, multicultural therapy, and spiritually-integrative therapy. The American Psychological Association (APA) produced a clinical demonstration of Sandage doing couples therapy. He also provides diversity training and consultation to educators, mental healthcare practitioners, religious leaders, and business leaders.

Publications

Books

Sandage, S.J., Rupert, D., Stavros, G.S., & Devor, N.G. (2020). Relational spirituality in psychotherapy: Healing suffering and promoting growth. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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

Worthington, E.L., Jr., & Sandage, S.J. (2016). Forgiveness and spirituality: A relational approach. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Stavros, G., & Sandage, S.J. (Eds.). (2014). The skillful soul of the psychotherapist: The Link between spirituality and clinical excellence. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Shults, F. L., & Sandage, S. J. (2006). Transforming spirituality: Integrating theology and psychology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Shults, F. L., & Sandage, S. J. (2003). The faces of forgiveness: Searching for wholeness and salvation. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

Winner of first Narramore Award for excellence in the integration of psychology and theology by the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (2005).

McCullough, M. E., Sandage, S. J., & Worthington, E. L., Jr. (1997). To forgive is human. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press

Selected Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Sandage, S.J., Jankowski, P.J., Paine, D.R., Exline, J.J., Ruffing, E.G., Rupert, D., Stavros, G.S., & Bronstein, M. (2020). Testing a relational spirituality model of psychotherapy clients’ preferences and functioning. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/19349637.2020.1791781

Bell, C.A., Crabtree, S.A., Hall, E.L., & Sandage, S.J. (2020). Research in counselling and psychotherapy Post Covid-19 Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, DOI: 10.1002/capr.12334

Ruffing, E.G., Bell, C.A., & Sandage, S.J. (2020). PTSD symptoms in religious leaders: Prevalence, stressors, and associations with narcissism. Archive for the Psychology of Religion, DOI: 10.1177/0084672420926261

Jankowski, P. J., Sandage, S. J., Bell, C. A., Davis, D. E., Porter, E., Jessen, M., Motzny, C. L., Ross, K. V., & Owen, J. (2020). Virtue, Flourishing, and Positive Psychology in Psychotherapy: An Overview and Research Prospectus. Psychotherapy, 57, 291-309.

Crabtree, S.A., Bell, C.A., Rupert, D., Sandage, S.J., Devor, N.G., & Stavros, G.S. (2020). Humility, differentiation of self, and clinical training in spiritual and religious competence, Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/19349637.2020.1737627

Ruffing, E.G., Devor, N.G., & Sandage, S.J. (2020). Humility challenges and facilitating factors among religious leaders: A qualitative study. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 22, 111-133. doi: 10.1080/19349637.2018.1520184

Wolfteich, C.E., Ruffing, E.G., Crabtree, S.A., Devor, N.G., & Sandage, S.J. (2019). Humility and religious leadership: A qualitative study of theology and practice. Journal of Spirituality and Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/19349637.2019.1691967

Paine, D.R., & Sandage, S.J. (2019). Disappointment in God and relational spirituality: Moderator effects for meditative prayer. Journal of Psychology and Theology. Online first publication. doi: 10.1177/0091647119870296

Moon, S.H., & Sandage, S.J. (2019). Cultural humility for Persons of Color: Critique of current theory and practice. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 47, 76-86, doi: 10.1177/0091647119842407

Jankowski, P.J., Sandage, S.J., Bell, C.A., Rupert, D., Bronstein, M., & Stavros, G.S. (2019). Latent trajectories of change for clients at a psychodynamic training clinic. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22769

Bell, C.A., Jankowski, P.J., & Sandage, S.J. (2018). Early treatment narcissism associated with later social and sexual functioning among psychotherapy clients. Counselling & Psychotherapy Research, doi: 10.1002/capr.12199

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. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11089-018-0830-4

Moon, S.H., Morgan, T., & Sandage, S.J. (2018). The need for intercultural competence assessment and training for police officers. Journal of Forensic Psychology Research and Practice, doi: 10.1080/24732850.2018.1510274

Choi, H.A., West, A.D., Sandage, S.J., & Bell, C.A. (2018). Relational spirituality, mature alterity, and spiritual service among ministry leaders: An empirical study. Pastoral Psychology, doi: 10.1007/s11089-018-0846-9

Porter, S.L., Sandage, S.J., Wang, D.C., & Hill, P.C. (2018). Measuring the spiritual, character, and moral formation of seminarians: In search of a meta-theory of spiritual change. Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care.

Rupert, D., Moon, S.H., & Sandage, S.J. (2018). Clinical training groups for spirituality and religion in psychotherapy. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health. doi: 10.1080/19349637.2018.1465879

Paine, D.R., Sandage, S.J., Ruffing, E.G., & Hill, P.C. (2018). Religious and spiritual salience, well-being, and psychosocial functioning among psychotherapy clients: Moderator effects for humility. Journal of Religion and Health. doi: 10.1007/s10943-018-0612-4

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

Correa, J., & Sandage, S.J. (2018). Relational spirituality as scaffolding for cognitive-behavioral therapy: A case study of spirituality in clinical practice. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 5, 54-63.

Jankowski, P.J., Sandage, S.J., Whitney, M., Bissonette, C., Johnson, A.J., Crabtree, S.A., & Jensen, M.L. (2018). Religious beliefs and domestic violence myths: A construct validation study. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. doi:10.1037/rel0000154

Tung, E.S., Ruffing, E.G., Paine, D.R., Jankowski, P.J., & Sandage, S.J. (2017). Attachment to God as a mediator of the relationship between God representations and mental health. Journal of Spirituality and Mental Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/19349637.2017.1396197

Sandage, S.J., Moon, S.H., Glenn, E.S., Paine, D.R., Kehoe, L.E., Rupert, D., Bronstein, M., & Hassen, S.C. (2017). Relational dynamics between psychotherapy clients and clinic administrative staff: A pilot study. Psychodynamic Practice, 23, 249-268. doi: 10.1080/14753634.2017.1335226

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, 36, 210-221.

Paine. D.R. & Sandage, S.J. (2017). Religious involvement and depression: The mediating effect of relational spirituality. Journal of Religion and Health, 56, 269-283. doi: 10.1007/s10943-016-0282-z

Paine, D.R., Moon, S.H., Sandage, S.J., Langford, R., Patel, S., Hollingsworth, A., Bronstein, M., & Salimi, B. (2017). Group therapy for loss: Intersubjectivity and attachment in healing. International Journal of Group Therapy, 67, 565-589.

Sandage, S.J., Jankowski, P.J., Crabtree, S.A., Schweer-Collins, M.L. (2017). Calvinism, Arminianism, gender views, and relationality: An empirical investigation of worldview differences. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 45, 17-32.

Hydinger, K., Sandage, S.J., Rambo, S., & Jankowski, P.J. (2017). Penal substitutionary atonement and concern for suffering: An empirical study. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 45, 33-45.

Sandage, S.J., Jankowski, P.J., Bissonette, C.D., & Paine, D.R. (2017). Vulnerable narcissism, forgiveness, humility, and depression: Mediator effects for differentiation of self. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34, 300-310.

Morgan, J., & Sandage, S.J. (2016). A developmental model of interreligious competence. Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 38, 129-158

Wolfteich, C., Keefe-Perry, C., Sandage, S.J., & Paine, D.R. (2016). Humility: Empirical psychological research in dialogue with practical theology, Part II. International Journal of Practical Theology, 20, 184-202.

Wolfteich, C., Keefe-Perry, C., Sandage, S.J., & Paine, D.R. (2016). Humility: Empirical psychological research in dialogue with practical theology, Part I. International Journal of Practical Theology, 20, 143-155.

Kehoe, L.E., Hassen, S.C., & Sandage, S.J. (2016). Relational ecologies of psychotherapy: Administrative attachment in liminal office space. Psychodynamic Practice, 22, 6-21.

Paine, D.R., Jankowski, P.J., & Sandage, S.J. (2016). Humility as a predictor of intercultural competence: Mediator effects for differentiation of self. The Family Journal, 24, 15-22.

Tomlinson, J., Glenn, E.S., Paine, D.R., & Sandage, S.J. (2016). What is the “Relational” in relational spirituality? A review of definitions and research directions. Journal of Spirituality and Mental Health, 18, 55-75.

Hainlen, R., Jankowski, P.J., Paine, D.R., & Sandage, S.J. (2016). Attachment predicting forgiveness, well-being, and social justice commitment: Mediator effects for differentiation of self. Contemporary Family Therapy, 38, 172-183. doi: 10.1007/s10591-015-9359-1

Sandage, S.J., Jankowski, P.J., Crabtree, S., & Schweer, M. (2015). Attachment, spirituality pathology, and God images: Mediator and moderator effects. Mental Health, Religion, and Culture, 18, 795-808.

Sandage, S.J., Long, B., Moen, R., Jankowski, P.J., Worthington, E.L., Jr., Wade, N.G., & Rye, M.S. (2015). Forgiveness in the treatment of borderline personality disorder: A quasi-experimental study. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71, 625-640. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22185

Sandage, S.J., Paine, D.R., & Hill, P.C. (2015). Spiritual barriers to humility: A multidimensional study. Mental Health, Religion, and Culture, 18, 207-217. doi: 10.1080/13674676.2015.1038229

Sandage, S.J., & Brown, J.K. (2015). Relational integration, Part I: Differentiated relationality between psychology and theology. Journal of Psychology & Theology, 43, 165-178.

Brown, J.K., & Sandage, S.J. (2015). Relational integration, Part II: Relational integration as developmental and intercultural. Journal of Psychology & Theology, 43, 179-191.

Paine, D.R., & Sandage, S.J. (2015). More prayer, less hope: Empirical findings on spirituality instability. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 17, 223-238.

Paine, D.R., Sandage, S.J., Rupert, D., Devor, N.G., & Bronstein, M. (2015). Humility as a psychotherapeutic virtue: Spiritual, philosophical, and psychological foundations. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 17, 3-25.

Select Chapters in Edited Books

Sandage, S.J., Bell, C.A., Moon, S.H., & Ruffing, E.G. (in press). Religious and spiritual problems in couples. In L.Sperry, K. Helm-Lewis, & J. Carlson, The disordered couple (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Sandage, S.J., Crabtree, S.A., & Bell, C.A. (in press). Forgiveness and culture: Conceptual issues. In E. L. Worthington, Jr. & N. Wade, (Eds.). Handbook of forgiveness (2nd ed). New York: Brunner-Routledge.

Boettscher, H.T., Sandage, S.J., Latin, H.M. & Barlow, D.H. (in press). Transdiagnostic treatment for enhancing positive affect and well-being. In J. Gruber (Ed.), Positive emotion and psychopathology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sandage, S.J., Paine, D.R., & Morgan, J. (2019). Relational spirituality, differentiation, and mature alterity. In T.M. Crisp, S.L. Porter, & G.A. Van Tenselhof (Eds.), Psychology and spiritual formation in dialogue: Moral and spiritual change in Christian perspective. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press Academic.

Hague, D.J., Glenn, E., Paine, D.R., & Sandage, S.J. (2019). Spirituality and interculturality. In L. Zsolnai & B. Flanagan, The Routledge international handbook of spirituality and society in the professions. New York: Routledge.

Paine, D.R., Moon, S.H., Hauge, D.J., & Sandage, S.J. (2018). Cultural and racial perspectives on positive psychologies of humility. In T. Lomas, N. Brown, & F. Eiroa-Orosa (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook of critical positive psychology (pp. 281-298). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ruffing, E.G., Moon, S.H., Krier, J., Paine, D.R., Wolff, E., & Sandage, S.J. (2017). Self-forgiveness in couple and family therapy. In L. Woodyatt, M. Wenzel, B. Griffin, E.L. Worthington, Jr. (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of self-forgiveness (pp. 193-206). New York, NY; Springer.

Sandage, S.J., Paine, D.R., Rupert, D., Bronstein, M., & O’Rourke. (2017). Humility in psychotherapy. In E.L. Worthington, Jr., D.E. Davis, & J. Hook (Eds.), Handbook of humility (pp. 301-315). New York: Routledge.

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