Psychology of Faith Development

Course Code: RGP3554HS 


Joseph Schner, S.J.


Winter 2020
Monday 11:00 – 13:00




Regis College

Course Description

An exploration of religious faith development across the life span.  Key authors will be the focus, for example, James Fowler, Fritz Oser, Anna-Maria Rizzuto, and their contemporaries.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will have acquired the following levels of knowledge:

  •  gained increased familiarity with faith development theories and their application across the life span
  • increased their awareness of the influence of social demographic variables on development
  • increased their skill in the application of critical tools and methods
  • had an opportunity for detailed exploration of a theory


This outcome will be achieved through these course elements:

  • first part of course by discussing the more significant ways of conceptualizing human development in psychology and how they have influenced contemporary theories about religious faith and spiritual development
  • second part of course by reviewing various contextual factors and intra-psychic processes at work across the life span and their implication and influence in faith and spirituality, and by exploring the psychological issues involved in religious faith and spiritual development
  • weekly papers
  • final paper

Course Schedule

A detailed course schedule is available for download.

Week 1

 Psychological and religious faith development

Week 2

Theoretical perspectives

Week 3

Children’s spirituality

Week 4

Religion in childhood

Week 5

Religion in Adolescence

Week 6

Spirituality in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Week 7

 Religion in the adult reaches of the life-span

Week 8

Adult spirituality

Week 9

Religion and aging 

Week 10

Gender issues in religious development

Week 11

Contemporary Theories

Week 12

Discussion of the participants’ term papers