John H. Coe

John H. Coe

Biola Research Fellow (Spring 2014)

John H. Coe (Ph.D., University of California, Irvine) is a specialist in the philosophical and theological foundation of the integration of faith and learning. His research focuses on understanding the nature of spiritual and psychological health, the history of spirituality, the work of the Holy Spirit in personal change and the interface between psychology, spirituality and philosophy. A particular interest is in exploring approaches to spiritual direction as a compliment to Christian psychotherapy. Dr. Coe is also the Director of the Institute for Spiritual Formation at Biola University.

CCT Research Project: "Spiritual Theology"

My proposed research project is to write a book on Spiritual Theology, integrating a theology of sanctification with the fruits of the history of spirituality and a contemporary psychology of the person.  The specific set of issues I am interested in relevant to the Center’s Theme is as follows:

  1. An Integrative Approach to Transformation: investigates what we can learn from a depth affective-cognitive psychology approach to the person that helps our understanding and articulation of the bible’s teaching on the dynamic processes of psychopathology, sin and transformation of the person (I would also like to become familiar with the “mindfulness” research relevant to this area);
  2. A Developmental Spirituality: integrates the ancient spiritual writer’s approach to a developmental spirituality and the dynamic processes of the Holy Spirit in the human spirit with a contemporary psychological understanding of the natural dynamics of growth and transformation. 
  3. A Formational Training in the Spirit: explores how a robust psychology and developmental spirituality can inform our understanding of how human spirit’s are formed well or poorly, virtuously or viciously, in the Spirit or in the flesh (in Pauline terminology), and about the relationship between natural and Spirit-informed virtues (in the ancients’ terminology).


Although I have had opportunity to explore these themes in the history of spirituality, theology and cognitive, existential and psychoanalytic psychology, I would very much appreciate the opportunity to carry this on with current work in cognitive and positive psychology and particularly “mindfulness” research, which I have had little time to investigate. 

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