An International Grant Competition Funded by the John Templeton Foundation

Hear about it from the team


The “Enhancing Practice-Based Evidence for Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapies“ international grant competition will award approximately 1.8 million dollars in grant money over a three-year period. The competition will award grants for research projects that use practice-based evidence research designs that monitor treatment processes and outcomes of spiritually integrated treatment approaches.

What is the focus of the competition?

We believe that the wisdom, values, and spiritual practices of the world’s great religious traditions can help improve the effectiveness of psychotherapy and other forms of mental health treatment. This research initiative is dedicated to creating an international, interdisciplinary, and collaborative network of researchers, practitioners, pastoral professionals, and educators who will help advance research, practice, and training about spiritually integrated psychotherapies.

The Principal Investigator must have a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and be affiliated with an accredited college or university, some other research institution, and/or a mental health treatment facility (e.g., community mental health center, hospital, private practice setting). Applicants can only have their name on one proposal for this competition. Proposed projects are encouraged but not limited to scholars, practitioners, and educators in the disciplines of psychology, psychotherapy, marriage and family therapy, clinical social work, psychiatry, medicine, education, pastoral counseling, chaplaincy, theology, and religious studies.

Form a multidisciplinary team

Principal investigators should form a multidisciplinary team composed of researchers, practitioners, mental health educators, and pastoral/religious professionals/clergy who can each contribute conceptually and practically to the project.

Join the Bridges Practice-Research Network

All research teams who receive funding from the international grant competition will become members of the Bridges Practice-Research Network (PRN). Through collaboration in the Bridges PRN, grant recipients will contribute to the establishment of a "big database" on the outcomes of spiritually integrated psychotherapies.

Use the Bridges collaborative resources

A Bridges website, Bridges listserv, and WebEx videoconference account will enable grant recipients to share resources and support each other and their collaborating treatment sites. Grant recipients will also benefit from the Bridges online psychotherapy research system for conducting practice-based process and outcome research.

Participate in online training webinars

Several online webinars will be hosted by the Project Directors during the three-year project in order to provide support and guidance to grant applicants about proposal writing, using the online assessment system, resolving challenges with data collection and treatment sites, and preparing for the international conference.

Conduct a one-year psychotherapy process/outcome research study about spiritually integrated psychotherapy in a mental health treatment site.

Each funded research team is required to conduct a practice-based evidence psychotherapy study that evaluates the processes and outcomes of spiritually integrated treatment as it occurs naturally in a mental health treatment site.

Attend an international conference in a major city in the USA

All grant recipients will participate in an international conference about spiritually integrated psychotherapies in a major city in the USA to present their research findings to scholars and the general public.

Assist in disseminating the findings of your research study

In order to succeed at bringing spiritually integrated psychotherapies more fully into the health care mainstream, this project must impact multiple stakeholders, including the media, general public, professional organizations, accreditation bodies, and health-care policy makers. Grant applicants are asked to describe what they will do to disseminate the findings of their research in order to help influence the stakeholder groups mentioned above.

How much money is available?

We plan to award a total of 1.8 million dollars to grant applicants. We will award a large number of "Major Research Grants" (about 20 - 25 grants ranging from $20,000 to $250,000 with an average amount of approximately $80,000). We will also set aside $150,000 out of the 1.8 million to fund "Doctoral Dissertation Grants" for student dissertation projects with small grants for up to $15,000 per project. We also plan to set aside $50,000 in order to offer "Big Data Set grants" of up to $10,000 each to fund researchers who wish to assist us in the statistical analysis and publication of findings from the big data set.

Funding source

The funding for this project was generously provided by the John Templeton Foundation and Brigham Young University.

Project Team

Project Director

P. Scott Richards, PhD, Brigham Young University

Project Co-Directors

Daniel K Judd, PhD, Brigham Young University

G. E. Kawika Allen, PhD, Brigham Young University

Scientific Advisory Board Members

Everett L. Worthington, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University

William Hathaway, PhD, Regent University

Joshua Hook, PhD, University of North Texas

Nathaniel Wade, PhD, Iowa State University

Len Sperry, MD, PhD, Florida Atlantic University

Steven Sandage, PhD, Boston University

Ken I. Pargament, PhD, Bowling Green University

Lisa Miller, PhD, Teachers College, Columbia University

Reverend George F. Handzo, HealthCare Chaplaincy, New York City

Additional Reviewers

Archpriest George Morelli, PhD, Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of New York

Zari Hedayat-Diba, PhD, Antioch University, Los Angeles, CA

Pratyusha Tummala-Narra, PhD, Boston College

Mark Finn, PhD, North Central Bronx Hospital, New York

Ofra Mayseless, PhD, University of Haifa, Israel

Jeff King, PhD, Center for Cross-Cultural Psychology, Western Washington University


Professor Tyler VanderWeele, Harvard University, Boston, MA

Michael Barkham, PhD, The University of Sheffield