Lee Edward Travis Institute

Research in the School of Psychology takes place within the context of Travis Research Institute (TRI) named after Dr. Lee Edward Travis, founding Dean, a brilliant pioneering experimental physiological psychologist, speech pathologist, and clinical psychologist. TRI is the embodiment of Travis’ legacy of empirical research and scholarship in psychology today.

Dr. Lee Edward Travis (1896-1987)

In 1965, Lee Travis became the Founding Dean of the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology. In 1998, the Travis Research Institute (TRI) committed itself to his vision of fostering interdisciplinary research. Travis was a brilliant, pioneering experimental physiological psychologist, speech pathologist, and clinical psychologist, with distinguished careers at the University of Iowa (1924-1938) and University of Southern California (1938-1965) prior to his deanship at Fuller (1965-1975). His best known research was in the area of stuttering. He was also among the first researchers in the USA to use electrophysiological measures for studying the brain.

Innovative Leader: Lee Edward Travis from Fuller Theological Seminary on Vimeo.

Travis was a founding member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and a past-president and was instrumental in setting up one of the first speech-pathology programs in the country located at the University of Iowa. He authored and edited two important handbooks, the Handbook of Speech Pathology (1959) and the Handbook of Speech Pathology and Audiology (1971).

At Fuller, Travis was responsible for founding and establishing the Graduate School of Psychology and training for the PhD in Clinical Psychology. Under his leadership, the program was approved by the American Psychological Association. On his retirement an auditorium was named after him and subsequently the Travis Research Institute at Fuller was named in his honor. The Travis Research Institute is the embodiment of his legacy of empirical research and scholarship in psychology.

Complete details of his honors, achievements, students, publications and history can be found in a Festschrift volume entitled, Psychologist Pro Tem: In Honor of the 80th Birthday of Lee Edward Travis, edited by D. F. Tweedie, Jr., and P. W. Clement (USC Press, 1978).

TRI is committed to fostering interdisciplinary research into the relationships between social systems, environmental situations, personality, mental and affective states, cognitive processes, neurobiological functions, and spiritual and religious states and practices. An important role of TRI is the establishment and maintenance of a research infrastructure that encourages large-scale collaborative research and facilitates obtaining research funding for the various projects.  

The institute is organized into several Research Centers, constituting the major foci of large-scale collaborative ongoing work. Centers involve both empirical and theoretical scholarship. 


  • The Center for Biopsychosocial Research
  • The Center for Research in Trauma, Coping, and Community Resilience

  • The Thrive Center for Human Development

  • The Center for Research in Psychotherapy and Religion


    The Center for Biopsychosocial Research

    The Center for Biopsychosocial Research seeks to understand the interactions between neural and biologic systems and the social, psychological, and spiritual/religious functioning of persons. Major areas of study have involved the cognitive disabilities associated with congenital brain abnormalities, the role of interactions between the two cerebral hemispheres in higher human mental processes, autonomic/affective responses in depression and panic disorder, and health and illness prevention.  

    Co-Directors: Drs. Warren S. Brown, Alexis Abernethy 

    Faculty (in alphabetical order): Drs. Alexis Abernethy, Warren S. Brown, Sarah DeBoard Marion, Archibald Hart, and Lynn K. Paul 

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    The Center for Research in Trauma, Coping, and Community Resilience

    TCCR seeks to expand current understanding of resilience in response to acute, chronic, and traumatic stress in both individuals and communities through innovative research and consultation.

    The on-going mission of TCCR is to:

    1. Examine the role of religiousness and spirituality in coping and resilience.

    2. Explore cultural dynamics in the experience of and response to trauma and stress.

    3. Generate models to inform efforts of prevention and intervention.

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    The Thrive Center for Human Development

    "...exploring the science and pratice of nurturing optimal development."

    The Thrive Center exists to promote human thriving by:

    • Researching the development of child and adolescent spirituality, character, and competence, and
    • Providing resources for individuals and organizations that assist young people to become flourishing adults.

    Director: Dr. Justin Barrett

    Manager: Rebecca Dorsey Sok

    Faculty (in alphabetical order): Drs. Justin Barrett, James Furrow, Pamela Ebstyne King, Sarah Schnitker, and Maria Wong 

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    The Center for Research in Psychotherapy and Religion

    The Center for Research in Psychotherapy and Religion is committed to the empirical and theoretical study of psychotherapy and religion and their interaction. The goal is to improve the quality of treatments, the training of therapists, and the mental health delivery system through research and scholarship. CPR focuses on the relationship of psychotherapy process and outcome; the appropriate role of religion in psychotherapy; and the impact of public policy on mental health reform. The center is committed to high caliber clinical outcome and process research that addresses practical issues facing therapists on the front-line of treatment delivery, and CPR aims to be a national resource for information on religiously sensitive therapy and a venue fir training graduate students and post-doctoral clinicians. Moreover, the center promotes scholarly research that encourages public policy that is supportive of and sensitive to matters of religion and spirituality.

    Faculty (in alphabetical order): Drs. Al Dueck, Scott Garrels, Winston Gooden, and Siang-Yang Tan

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