Since the mid-1980s, research has developed around the concept of posttraumatic growth (PTG). While PTG is not a new phenomenon, it is only within the past thirty years that scholars have intentionally researched the growth that arises out of trauma and analyzed possible ways to foster this growth among trauma survivors. One component of PTG is spiritual growth. Research indicates that one experiencing trauma ma also grow in their spiritual development. Is it possible, then, to grow from non-traumatic yet challenging experiences? This thesis suggests it is possible for one to experience spiritual growth by electively participating in events or activities that induce stress. This will be accomplished by integrating psychology and religion to establish elective stress as a spiritual discipline.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (MA) -- Humanities/Teacher Education; Self-efficacy -- Religious aspects; Psychology, Religious -- Case studies; Stress (Psychology); Spiritual formation

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Seaver College


Humanities/Teacher Education

Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Lemley, David