Sarah A. Schnitker

Associate Professor of Psychology, Department of Clinical Psychology

BA, Grove City College
MA, PhD, University of California, Davis

Courses Taught

FS504: Marriage and Interpersonal Relationships

FS510: Human Development in Context

FS810: Lifespan Development

PG830: Social Psychology

PG840: Personality

PI528/828: Psychology and Spiritual Formation

Campus Affiliations

Areas of Expertise

Development of character strengths and well-being, the virtue of patience, positive youth development, personal goals and strivings, spiritual transformation, personality, positive psychology, and psychology of religion

“Although scholars should examine all levels of human purpose, our research team has chosen to focus on the telos of thriving that all people share. We ask, who does God intend to develop and thrive? Although theology points to multiple answers to this question, a strong case can be made that God desires all of us to become virtuous people, demonstrating God’s loving work in our lives through the fruit of the Spirit.”


Dr. Schnitker, in an essay on spiritual formation and youth development, available here.


Sarah A. Schnitker joined the Fuller faculty in 2010. She is an associate professor of clinical psychology and core faculty member of the Thrive Center for Human Development. Schnitker earned her PhD and MA in Personality and Social Psychology from the University of California, Davis, and her BA in Psychology from Grove City College.

Schnitker’s research broadly examines virtue and character development in adolescents and young adults, with a focus on the role of spirituality and religion in virtue formation. She specializes in the study of patience, self-control, gratitude, and thrift. Schnitker recently received a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to examine the efficacy of virtue interventions in adolescent athletes. She is also engaged in several initiatives to assess the ability of media and technology to promote positive moral development and the formation of virtue.

Schnitker is on the editorial board for The Journal of Positive Psychology, and she is affiliated with the Division 36 (the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the American Psychological Association; the International Positive Psychology Association; the Society for Personality and Social Psychology; and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Download Dr. Schnitker’s CV, which includes a list of her current publications, here.

Featured Publications