Research

There are thousands of published articles on the benefits of meditation, but the University of Redlands is conducting a unique study on the college students who are enrolled in its pioneering meditation curriculum. Lead investigators are Dr. Lisa Olson in Biology, Dr. Celine Ko in Psychology, and Dr. Fran Grace in Religious Studies.

What are the benefits for students when they are in a holistic learning environment that includes meditation and other methods for inner inquiry in the academic training? Since we are one of the first Universities in the country to have a meditation-based sub-curriculum, we have a unique opportunity to study the effects on college students.

This research is made possible by a grant from the Trust for the Meditation Process, a charitable foundation encouraging meditation and contemplative prayer." www.trustformeditation.org

Summary of Our Research and Publications Related to Contemplative Education

Our groundbreaking curriculum is highlighted in publications by other researchers, such as the book published by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute, based on its 10- year study of universities nationwide: Cultivating the Spirit: How College Can Enhance Students’ Inner Lives, (Jossey-Bass, 2010).

Our faculty and students have published and presented many different scholarly works about our curriculum. Below is a sample listing. Professors Lisa Olson (BIOL) and Celine Ko (PSYCH) have done extraordinary work to train undergraduate researchers and mentor them to give presentations around the country.  (*denotes undergraduate author)

BOOKS

Meditation and the Classroom, F. Grace and J. Simmer-Brown (State University of New York Press).

JOURNAL ARTICLES

  1. C. Ko, F. Grace, G. Chavez,*, S. Grimley,* E. Dalrymple,* L. Olson. "Effect of Seminar on Compassion on Student Self-compassion, Mindfulness and Well-being: A Randomized Controlled Trial," The Journal of American College Health. 537-545.
  2. F. Grace, “Learning is a Path not a Goal: Contemplative Pedagogy – Its Principles and Practices,” Teaching Theology and Religion, Vol. 14, No. 2 (April), 99-124.
  3. F. Grace, “Contemplative Pedagogy: FAQs,” with Thomas Coburn, Anne Carolyn Klein, Louis Komjathy, Harold Roth and Judith Simmer-Brown, Teaching Theology and Religion, Vol. 14, No. 2 (April), 167-174.
  4. F. Grace, Guest Editor, “Spirituality in Higher Education: Problems, Practices, and Programs” in Journal of Religion and Education, 36:2 (Summer).
  5. F. Grace, “A Pedagogy of Reverence,” Journal of Religion and Education, 36:2 (Summer), 102-123.
  6. F. Grace, “Breathing in Suffering, Breathing out Compassion,” UCLA Spirituality in Higher Education Newsletter, Volume 5, Issue 2 (May), 1-10.
  7. F. Grace, “A Contemplative Response: The Part IS the Whole,” with Judith Simmer-Brown, Journal of Religion and Education, 36:2 (Summer), 150-152.

BOOK CHAPTERS

  1. F. Grace, “Spirituality within Higher Education,” Our Breath Within: The Heart of Spirituality, ed. Michael Brannigan, (New York City, NY: Rowman & Littlefield).
  2. F. Grace, “A Semester Within,in Learning Journeys with the Labyrinth: Creating Reflective Space in Higher Education, edited by Jan Sellers and Bernard Moss, (New York: Palgrave MacMillan).
  3. F. Grace, “The Power of Meditation in College Learning,” in Embodied Pathways to Wisdom and Social Transformation, edited by Jing Lin, Edward Brantmeier, Rebecca Oxford, (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing).
  4. F. Grace, “From Content, to Context, to Contemplation: One Professor’s Journey,” in Judith Simmer-Brown and Fran Grace, eds., Meditation and the Classroom (SUNY Press), 47-64
  5. F. Grace, “Meditation in the Classroom: What Do the Students Say They Learn?” in Judith Simmer-Brown and Fran Grace, eds., Meditation and the Classroom, (SUNY Press), 237-250.

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

  1. *Acevedo M., *Alford Z., *Anigbogu E., *Brown A., *Dalrymple E., *Ellingwood L., *Espinoza M.-A., *Grimley S., *Hawkins G., *Kammer K., *Krause K., Grace F., Ko C, and Olson L.E. International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, San Diego, CA. Some unexpected relationships between self-compassion, anger, and binge drinking.
  2. *Brown, A and Olson L.E. 41st West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference, Point Loma, CA. Using heart rate variability to test the effect of self-compassion, trait forgiveness and prayer on anger recovery in college students.
  3. *Cuomo S., Ko C.M., and Olson L.E. Western Psychological Association Convention, Long Beach, CA. An exploration on self-compassion and disordered eating.
  4. Ko C.M., Olson L.E., and Grace F. Society of Behavioral Medicine, San Antonio, TX. An exploration of the effects of a seminar on compassion on student psychological outcomes.
  5. *Schenker, L., Ko, C.M., Olson, L., Grace, F. Western Psychological Association 95th Annual Convention. Las Vegas, NV. Stress and body dissatisfaction in first generation students.
  6. *Chavez G.N., *Dalrymple E., *Grimley S., and Olson L.E. 40th West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference,San Diego,
    CA. Psychophysiological impact of meditation on stress.
  7. . *Chavez G.N., *Dalrymple E., *Grimley S., and Olson
    L.E. 22nd Annual Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research, Fullteron, CA Psychophysiological impact of meditation on stress.
  8. Grace F., Ko, C.M., and Olson L.E. American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2014. Mindful teaching and learning: contemplative studies in the university setting.
  9. *Heuerman A.C., *Chavez G.N., *Green M.C., *Huerta M., *Ov J., *Overton- Harris P.L., Grace F., Ko C.M., and Olson L.E. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2013. Use of a modified Trier Social Stress Test to assess an undergraduate meditation course.
  10. Olson L.E. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA. An interdisciplinary, experiential, one-month course on the neuroscience of meditation.
  11. *Hernandez, M., *Gannon, C., Ko, C.M., Olson, L., Grace, F. Western Psychological Association 93rd Annual Convention. Reno, NV. Impact of one-day mindfulness intervention on mindfulness and state anxiety

DOCUMENTARY FILM

A Semester Within, 50 min., directed by Fran Grace and co-produced with Richard Spencer.