School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Daniel Marston


Humility, Kenosis, Selflessness, Relationships


Counseling | Psychology


Research in the field of humility has grown exponentially within the last 20 years. From being an under-explored and under-researched virtue, humility has become a subject of significant interest. Philosophical and methodological issues have hampered the field of humility research in regard to defining and measuring humility. Despite these issues, the existing literature indicates that humility has important features as both an intrapersonal and interpersonal facet. The research has shown strong indications that humility is an essential factor for successful relationships – social, romantic, and spiritual. Despite the evidence regarding the significance of humility within relationships, very little research has been conducted to explore the relationship between humility and attachment theory, and, more specifically, between humility and attachment style. In developing an operationalized definition of humility, the Christian tradition, which has a rich source of insight and reflection on humility as a virtue, has been under-utilized. The current study reviews the extant literature regarding humility, specifically relating to relationships, religion and spirituality, and attachment style. It explores the Christian understanding of humility as exemplified in Philippians 2:3-8 and posits an identification of the component constructs of Christian humility on that basis. This study examines those core components in relation to an existing measure of humility. It further analyzes the core components of Christian humility in relation to attachment style, specifically exploring the potential moderating effects of God attachment style on the relationship between the core components and adult attachment style.