Sarah A. Schnitker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2010
B.S., Grove City College, 2002
Dr. Sarah Schnitker is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Baylor University. She holds a Ph.D. and an MA in Personality and Social Psychology from the University of California, Davis, and a BA in Psychology from Grove City College.
Academic Interests and Research
Dr. Sarah Schnitker studies virtue and character development in adolescents and emerging adults, with a focus on the role of spirituality and religion in virtue formation. She specializes in the study of patience, self-control, gratitude, generosity, and thrift. Schnitker has published more than 75 peer-review articles and edited chapters, and she has procured more than $10 million in funding as a principal investigator on multiple research grants. Schnitker is an Associate Editor for Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Research in Personality, and a co-editor of the forthcoming Handbook of Positive Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality. She is a dedicated mentor, having served as dissertation advisor for more than 20 doctoral students, whom she helps to cultivate intellectual virtues alongside scientific competencies. She is the recipient of the Virginia Sexton American Psychological Association’s Division 36 Mentoring Award and the Student International Positive Psychology Association Mentor Award.
More information about her research please visit the Science of Virtues website.
Ratchford, J. L., Ming, M. S., & Schnitker, S. A. (2022). Personality profiles differentially predict well-being at the facet level: A latent profile analysis of the five factor model facets. Personality and Individual Differences, 196, 222700. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2022.111700
Schnitker, S. A., Currier, J. M., Abernethy, A. D., Witvliet, C. V. O., Foster, J. D., Root Luna, L. M., VanHarn, K., & Carter, J. (2021). Gratitude and patience moderate meaning struggles and suicidal risk in a cross-sectional study of inpatients at a Christian psychiatric hospital. Journal of Personality, 89, 1191-1205. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12644
Schnitker, S. A., Shubert, J., Ratchford, J. L., Lumpkin, M., & Houltberg, B. J. (2021). Mixed results on the efficacy of the CharacterMe smartphone app to improve self-control, patience, and emotional regulation competencies in adolescents. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 586713. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.586713
Schnitker, S. A., Medenwaldt, J. M., & Williams, E. G. (2021). Religiosity in adolescence. Current Opinion in Psychology, 40, 155-159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2020.09.012
Shubert, J., *Ratchford, J. L., Houltberg, B. J., & Schnitker, S. A. (2022). Disentangling character strengths from developmental competencies: Patience and self-regulatory competencies. Journal of Positive Psychology, 17(2), 203-209. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2021.2016904
Complete list of published works at my CV or google scholar profile.
Grants Funded- Current
01/2023-12/2025 Illuminating Theological Inquiry and Christian Ethics Through Training in Psychological Science
Principal Investigator (Co-Principal Investigator: Devan Stahl; Co-Investigators: Anne Jeffrey, Wade Rowatt, Meredith Palm, Paul Martens, JoAnn Tsang, Natalie Carnes)
John Templeton Foundation
08/2022-07/2025 Using a Muslim Community Approach to Cultivate Virtues in the Face of Marginalization among Muslim Youth
Co-Investigator/Mentor (Principal Investigators: Madiha Tahseen, Merve Balkaya-Ince; Co-Investigators: Sameera Ahmed, Karen Melton)
John Templeton Foundation
12/2021-11/2024 The Role of Meta-Identity in Developing Moral Communities Within Higher Education
Principal Investigator (Co-Principal Investigator: Perry Glanzer; Co-Investigators: Andrew Hansen, Dan Olsen, Kevin Dougherty, Wade Rowatt, Ward Davis, Daniel Lapsley, Jonathan Brant, Jason Baehr)
John Templeton Foundation #62208
06/2022-05/2025 Measuring the (Im)measurable in Real Life
Co-Investigator (Principal Investigators: Kutter Callaway, Wade Rowatt,; Co-Investigators: Bob Darden, Alexis Abernethy)
Templeton Religion Trust #0447
01/2021-05/2023 Planning Grant: Galvanizing the Psychological, Philosophical, and Theological Study and Practice of Patience
Principal Investigator (Co-Investigator: Juliette Ratchford)
Templeton Religion Trust #0314
01/2020-12/2022 Gratitude to God: Psychological, Philosophical, and Theological Investigations, Phase 2
Co-Investigator (Principal Investigators: Peter Hill, Robert Emmons; Co-Investigators: JoAnn Tsang)
John Templeton Foundation #61513
Total Award $4,032,851, Baylor Subaward $253,056
International Positive Psychology Association SIPPA Mentor Award, 2021
Virginia Sexton APA Division 36 Mentoring Award, 2018
Graduate student Recruitment
Dr. Schnitker is currently accepting applications for Ph.D. students to enroll in Fall 2023.
Current Post-docs and Research Scientists
Merve Balkaya-Ince, Ph.D. (Post-doc)
Tyler Greenway, Ph.D. (Associate Research Scientist)
Jenae Nelson, Ph.D. (Post-doc)
Juliette Ratchford, Ph.D. (Post-doc)
Current Ph.D. Students
Baylor Courses Taught
- PSY 3310: Social Psychology
- PSY 3350: Developmental Psychology
- PSY 5330: Advanced Personality Psychology (graduate seminar)