Sarah A. Schnitker, Ph.D.

Sarah A. Schnitker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
High Res Photo

Associate Professor of Psychology


Ph.D., 2010, Personality and Social Psychology, University of California, Davis

M.A., 2006, Personality and Social Psychology, University of California, Davis

B.A., 2003, Psychology, Grove City College


Dr. Sarah Schnitker joined the Psychology and Neuroscience Department at Baylor University in fall 2018 as an Associate Professor. She holds a PhD and an MA in Personality and Social Psychology from the University of California, Davis, and a BA in Psychology from Grove City College.  Prior to joining the faculty at Baylor University, Schnitker was an Associate Professor in the Thrive Center for Human Development at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.  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 procured more than $3.5 million in funding as a principle investigator on multiple research grants, and she has published in a variety of scientific journals and edited volumes.  Schnitker is a Member-at-Large for APA Division 36 – Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, is a Consulting Editor for the organization’s flagship journal, Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, and is the recipient of the Virginia Sexton American Psychological Association’s Division 36 Mentoring Award. For more information, please view Dr. Schnitker's CV.

Find Dr. Schnitker on Twitter: @DrSchnitker

Active Grants

Character Strength Interventions in Adolescents: Engaging Scholars and Practitioners to Promote Virtue Development (Principal Investigator; Co-Investigator: Benjamin Houltberg). John Templeton Foundation (December 2018-November 2021, #61221). $ 2,616,085.

Representative Publications (* indicates student co-author)

Schnitker, S. A., & *Richardson, K. L. (2018). Framing gratitude journaling as prayer amplifies its hedonic and eudaimonic well-being, but not health, benefits. The Journal of Positive Psychology. doi:10.1080/17439760.2018.1460690

*Greenway, T. S., Schnitker, S. A., & *Shepherd, A. M. (2018). Can prayer increase charitable giving? Examining the effects of intercessory prayer, moral intuitions, and theological orientation on generous behavior. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 28, 3-18. doi:10.1080/10508619.2017.1406790

*Shepherd, A. M., Schnitker, S. A., Leffel, G. M., Oaks-Mueller, R. A., Curlin, F. A., Yoon, J. D., & *Greenway, T. (2018). Developing the Good Physician: Spirituality affects the development of virtues and moral intuitions in medical students. Journal of Positive Psychology, 13, 143-154. doi:10.1080/17439760.2016.1269185

Schnitker, S., Houltberg, B., Dyrness, W., & *Redmond, N. (2017). The Virtue of Patience, Spirituality, and Suffering: Integrating Lessons from Positive Psychology, Psychology of Religion, and Christian Theology. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 9, 264-275.

*Thomas, R. M., & Schnitker, S. A. (2017). Modeling the Effects of Within-Person Characteristic and Goal-Level Attributes on Personal Project Pursuit Over Time. Journal of Research in Personality, 69, 206-217. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2016.06.012

Schnitker, S. A., *Felke, T. J., *Fernandez, N. A., *Redmond, N., & *Blews, A. E.  (2017). Efficacy of self-control and patience interventions in adolescents. Applied Developmental Science, 3, 165-183. doi:10.1080/10888691.2016.1178578

Currier, J., Foster, J., Abernethy, A., Witvliet, C., Root Luna, L., Putman, K., Schnitker, S., VanHam, K., & Carter, J. (2017). God imagery and affective outcomes in a spiritually-integrative inpatient program. Psychiatry Research, 254, 317-322. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2017.05.003

Houltberg, B. J., Wang, K. T., & Schnitker, S. A. (2017). Religiousness and perceived God perfectionism among elite athletes. Journal of the Christian Society for Kinesiology, Leisure and Sport Studies, 4, 29-46.

*Strenger, A. M., Schnitker, S. A., & *Felke, T. J. (2016). Attachment to God moderates the relation between sociocultural pressure and disordered eating behaviors as mediated by emotional eating. Mental Health, Religion, and Culture, 19, 23-36. doi:10.1080/13674676.2015.1086324.

Schnitker, S. A., *Felke, T. J., Barrett, J. L., & Emmons, R. A. (2014). Longitudinal study of religious and spiritual transformation in adolescents attending Young Life summer camp: Assessing the epistemic, intrapsychic, and moral sociability functions of conversion. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 6, 83-93. doi:10.1037/a0035359

Schnitker, S. A. (2012). An examination of patience and well-being. Journal of Positive Psychology, 7, 263-280. doi:10.1080/17439760.2012.697185

Schnitker, S. A., Porter, T., Emmons, R. A., & Barrett, J. L. (2012). Attachment predicts adolescent conversions at Young Life religious summer camps. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 22, 198-215. doi: 10.1080/10508619.2012.670024

Current Post-Docs

Merve Balkaya-Ince
Amber Cazzell

Current Ph.D. Students

Juliette Ratchford
Emily Akers
Jay Medenwaldt
Mason Ming

Current Psy.D. Students

Jane Zimmermann

Graduate Student Recruitment

Dr. Schnitker may recruit a Ph.D. student in Fall 2021.

Courses taught at Baylor

  • PSY 3310 - Social Psychology