Curtis Lehmann, Ph.D.

Spirituality, Stigma,and Suicide Lab

Professor: Curtis Lehmann, Ph.D.

Bio: Dr. Lehmann is a licensed clinical psychologist who joined the Department of Psychology as an Assistant Professor in August 2015, having previously serving as an adjunct faculty in the department from 2011-2013. He attended UC Irvine for his bachelor’s in Psychology, where he also competed on the track and field team, was president of Athletes in Action, and was chair of Psi Chi. He then attended Fuller Theological Seminary, where he received a Master’s in Psychology, Master’s in Christian Leadership, and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.

Research Interests: His research interests are in the psychology of religion, spiritual development, moral decision making, mental health stigma, substance use disorders, behavioral addictions, suicide, and trauma.

In addition to his applied research, he has also conducted novel quantitative research utilizing Monte Carlo methods to evaluate the Fisher z transformation, the F and Chi Square test for significance, and the effect of outliers on parameter estimation.

Research Topics

Are you interested in any of the following topics?

  • In what ways does spirituality and religious beliefs protect people from thinking about and/or attempting suicide? Are there any ways that spirituality and religion might confer additional risk for suicide?

  • What resources and practices are available in the Christian faith that might alleviate stigma, facilitate hospitality, and encourage compassion towards people experiencing suicidality, mental illness ,and addiction?

  • How does religious coping play a part in response to traumatic events, potentially changing a person's trajectory towards PTSD, posttraumatic growth, and substance use?

  • What is the relationship of the Christian notion of sin with suicide, mental illness, and addiction? Are there theological perspectives that might alleviate, rather than contribute to, stigma? [Theoretical]

If so, Dr. Lehmann's Lab is for you!

Clinical Interests and Experience:

Dr. Lehmann's clinical interests are in trauma, depression, addiction, and marital therapy. Prior to his arrival at APU, he served from 2013-2015 as Clinic Manager of Aegis Treatment Centers in West Covina, where he oversaw the treatment of patients with opioid addictions utilizing medication assisted treatment. Dr. Lehmann has over 8 years of clinical experience, including psychotherapy in private practice and community mental health clinics, administering and interpreting neuropsychological batteries, counseling residents at a homeless shelter, and supervising first year clinical students, among others.

Other Relevant Work Experience: Dr. Lehmann has performed data analysis on Saddleback’s Daniel Plan and consulted on the development of a statistical program, UNIMULT. He has experience with church consultation and training in organizational conflict resolution. Dr. Lehmann has a unique blend of clinical and data analytic skill sets, which helps him to contextualize his teaching with both breadth and depth.

As a graduate student, research assistant, or research experience student, you will take part in all aspects of the research process, including literature reviews, methodological design, data collection, statistical analysis, and assisting in the preparation of manuscripts for publication. If you are interested, you may contact Dr. Curtis Lehmann at

Current Students:

MS Students: Erika Aldana, Leslie Castro

BA/BS Students: Praise Adesida, Gary Bondy, Courtney Pokarney, Lilit Salazar, Emma Steele, Selena Wills