• New York Times Bestseller
  • Best Seller USA Today
  • Best Seller PublishersWeekly

The Spiritual Child

The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving

By Lisa Miller, Ph.D.

In The Spiritual Child, psychologist Lisa Miller presents the next big idea in psychology: the science and the power of spirituality. She explains the clear, scientific link between spirituality and health and shows that children who have a positive, active relationship to spirituality:

  • are 40% less likely to use and abuse substances
  • are 60% less likely to be depressed as teenagers
  • are 80% less likely to have dangerous or unprotected sex
  • have significantly more positive markers for thriving including an increased sense of meaning and purpose, and high levels of academic success.

Combining cutting-edge research with broad anecdotal evidence from her work as a clinical psychologist to illustrate just how invaluable spirituality is to a child's mental and physical health, Miller translates these findings into practical advice for parents, giving them concrete ways to develop and encourage their children's—as well as their own—well-being. In this provocative, conversation-starting book, Dr. Miller presents us with a pioneering new way to think about parenting our modern youth.

About The Author

Lisa Miller, Ph.D.

LISA MILLER, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University, Teachers College and is Founder of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute, the first Ivy League graduate program in spirituality and psychology.

Dr. Miller is a foremost scientist on spirituality across the lifespan, with her work published in top research journals including JAMA-Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Her innovative research has focused on quantifiable effects of spirituality in health, resilience and thriving, and an overall sacred and joyful life. Her clinical and consultation work focuses on spiritual awareness and spiritual growth, for individuals, families, groups and organizations.

Dr. Miller is the author of “The Spiritual Child; The New Science of Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving.” Based upon her decade and a half of experience, she offers talks, workshops and consultations on spirituality in healthy development to parents and schools, adult wellness groups, and private and public organizations. She is the Editor of The Oxford Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality and Co-Editor of the APA journal, Spirituality in Clinical Practice. She has been elected as Fellow by the American Psychological Association, as well as for the Virginia Sexton Mentoring Award of graduate students. A graduate of Yale, she received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania from Martin Seligman.

She frequently is cited in print and in on-line media and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and NBC Today Show as an expert. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children.


Depression and spiritual awakening—two sides of one door

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Is depression, as most of us experience it, meaningless suffering? Dr. Lisa Miller presents research that lends meaning to the experience of depression and to our experience on planet Earth.


Dr. Lisa Miller offers speaking engagements, workshops and consultations to private and public sector organizations, schools, religious communities, youth programs, and family groups.

Speaking Events

Dr. Miller will be traveling the United States speaking in these locations:


September 23 Temple Beth Elohim Newton-Wellesley, MA
September 29 J. P Morgan New York, NY
September 30 St. Martin’s Episcopal Atlanta, GA
October 8 Jewish Community Center Stamford, CT
October 11 Beirrshuvah Treatment Center Los Angeles, CA
October 13 Escondido Elementary School Stanford, CA
October 15 Schools of the Sacred Heart San Francisco, CA
October 16 Nueva Innovative Learning Conference Hillsburough, CA
October 18 Temple Emanu-El San Francisco, CA
October 19 Temple De Hirsch Sinai
w/Parent Map
Seattle, WA More Info
October 20 Annie Wright School
w/Parent Map
Tacoma, WA
October 27 Resurrection Episcopal Day School New York, NY
November 7 Berry School
Montessori National Conference
Silver Spring, MD
November 9 Spiritual Child; Educational Practice & Youth Development
Columbia University, Teachers College
New York, NY
November 10 Cathedral School of St. John the Divine New York, NY
November 17 Brick Church Book Fair New York, NY
December 14 Jewish Day School of Rhode Island Providence, RI
December 16 Jewish Community Center Newton, MA
December 23 Cheeca Lodge and Spa Islamorada, FL


January 6 Stuart Country Day School/Princeton Academy Princeton, NJ
January 11 Ridgefield Schools & Public Library Ridgefield, CT
January 24 Saint Luke's Parish Darien, CT
February 4 Brick Church School New York, NY
February 5 Newark Academy Livingston, NJ
February 7 Temple Micah Washington DC
February 9 Northfield Mount Herman School Gill, MA
February 10 & 11 Deerfield Academy Deerfield, MA
February 11 Smith College Northampton, MA
February 21 St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Houston, TX
February 22 Presbyterian School Houston, TX
February 28 Christ and Holy Trinity Church Westport, CT
February 29 Dalton School New York, NY
March 3 St. Stephen's Episcopal Church Richmond, VA More Info
March 4 Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart Miami, FL
March 18–28 Ojai Foundation Ojai, CA
March 30 Milton Academy Milton, MA
March 31 Youth Leadership Conference
LDS Church
Salt Lake, UT
April 7 Council on Recovery Houston, TX
April 13 Gilmour Academy Cleveland, OH More Info
April 20–21 Ethical Culture Fieldstone School New York, NY
May 5 Teachers College, Columbia University New York, NY
May 19 Browning School New York, NY
June 22–24 Canyon Ranch Lenox, MA
July 27–August 1 August in Aspen Aspen, CO
August 4 Georgetown University Washington, DC
September 9–10 Ojai Foundation Ojai, CA
September 25 St. James Church – Sunday Talk New York, NY
September 26 St. James Church – Parent Talk New York, NY
September 27 Horticultural Society of New York New York, NY
September 29–30 Christ United Methodist Church Plano, TX
October 14 Congregation Beth Am Los Altos, CA
October 15 Millenium School San Francisco, CA
October 17 Grace Cathedral San Francisco, CA
October 17 Christ Church Portola Valley Portola Valley, CA
October 18 Nueva School Hillsborough, CA
October 18 Woodside Priory School Portola Valley, CA
October 20 Center for Care and Counseling St. Louis, MO
October 21 National Schools of Sacred Heart St. Charles St. Charles, MO
October 21 Temple Shaare Emeth St. Louis, MO
October 23 Church of St. Michael and St. George St. Louis MO
October 27–28 National Council of Spirituality in Education at Magnificat High School Cleveland, OH
November 1 Congregation Adas Israel Washington, DC
November 4 St. David's School New York, NY
November 8 Madison Avenue Presbyterian Day School New York, NY
November 20 Wilton Congregational Church Wilton, CT
December 3 St. Catherine's Episcopal Church Atlanta, GA
December 4 Temple Sinai Atlanta Atlanta, GA
December 8 Temple B'nai Jeshuran Summit, NJ


January 12 Marymount School New York, NY
January 19 Ethical Culture Fieldston School New York, NY
January 22 Greenwich Congregational Church Old Greenwich, CT
January 26 Heard in Rye Rye, NY
February 5 Prizmah Conference Chicago, IL
February 9 Cambell Hall & Valley Beth Shalom Los Angeles, CA
February 10 Marlborough School Los Angeles, CA
February 23 University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA
February 28 Pear Tree Point-Darien Library Darien, CT
March 13 Kentucky Association of Independent Schools Louisville, KY
March 14 Kentucky Association of Independent Schools Lexington, KY
April 5 St. Joseph Parenting Center Stamford, CT
April 20 Akiba Academy Dallas, TX
April 21 Childrens Hospital of Dallas Dallas, TX
April 26 St. James Church New York, NY
May 20 Jewish Youth Leadership New York, NY
May 20 Kenote Graduation Speaker, Yeshiva Univ. New York, NY
June 13 Nevola Symposium, Colby College Waterville, ME
September 9 Sacred Heart School Greenwich, CT
September 17 Church of the Heavenly Rest New York, NY
October 5 Trafalgar Castle School Toronto, CA
October 17 Oakland Jewish Day School Oakland, CA
October 18 Woodside Priory School Portola Valley, CA
October 18 Sacred Heart Schools Atherton, CA
October 19 Palo Alto University Palo Alto, CA
October 20 Nueva Innovation Conference Hillsborough, CA
October 24 Sacred Heart School Greenwich, CT
October 25 Sacred Heart Bloomfield Hills, MI
November 8 U of Chicago Lab School Chicago, IL
November 9 Independent School Association of the Central States Chicago, IL
November 10 Psychotherapy and Faith Conference, ISH-TMC Houston, TX
November 10 & 11 Rice University, Boniuk Institute Houston, TX
November 12 & 13 Kinkaid School Houston, TX
November 14 Temple Emanu-El Dallas, TX
November 18 Christ Episcopal Church Charlotte, NC
December 4 Church of the Heavenly Rest New York, NY
December 6 B'nai Israel Preschool Bridgeport, CT

Praise for The Spirtual Child

“Who can take the elusive subject of spirituality, subject it to rigorous scientific inquiry, and teach us more about it than we ever imagined? The answer is Lisa Miller. While honoring its depth and complexity, she shows in this important book how and why spirituality nourishes our children's well being. And most important of all, she shows parents how to help this happen.” Carol Dweck, PhD, Lewis & Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
“Hundreds of books discuss parenting issues, but The Spiritual Child is a special resource with a focus on fostering children’s spiritual lives. Perceptive, thought-provoking, and heavily researched, this is a valuable book for anyone interested in spiritual development in children, adolescents, and families.” Gretchen Rubin, #1 NYT best selling author of The Happiness Project
“Lisa Miller is the leading psychologist of her generation on the benefits of religion and spirituality. She asks, ‘What makes life worth living’ and finds evidence-based answers.” Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, bestselling author of Authentic Happiness and Learned Optimism
“A masterpiece. The Spiritual Child is an outstanding blend of science, psychology, and spirituality. Essential reading for anyone raising a child or helping others take care of their own children. This practical, complete, and easy-to-read book changes the landscape on raising children to be happy, healthy, and flourishing.” Andrew Newberg, M.D., author of How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist
“Startlingly fresh scientific research and beautiful teachings about the many ways children can lead parents to deeper spirituality and fulfillment. The Spiritual Child is a fascinating, ground-breaking and important work.” Wendy Mogel, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children
“Wonderful and thought-provoking . . . a warm, hopeful, and encouraging call for parents to nurture their children’s spirits as well as their bodies and minds. Thank you Dr. Miller!” Harvey Karp, M.D., bestselling author of The Happiest Baby on the Block