Doug Oman PhD

Associate Adjunct Professor

  • Director Spirituality and Public Health Traineeship

Doug Oman is an Associate Adjunct Professor, where his research focuses on influences on health from spirituality and related psychological factors. He has taught Public Health students in Community Health Sciences, Maternal Child Health, and other areas of public health. He edited Why Religion and Spirituality Matter for Public Health (2018, Springer), and is director of U.C. Berkeley’s traineeship on Spirituality and Public Health

Doug Oman has been on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley (UCB) since 2001, where he is Associate Adjunct Professor in the UCB School of Public Health. Possessing a doctorate in Biostatistics from UCB, Oman has since the 1990s also pursued his own substantive research programs on the psychology and influence of psychosocial factors on health. At UCB, he has taught doctoral, masters, and undergraduate Public Health students in Community Health Sciences, Maternal Child Health, and other areas of public health, including a yearly course on spiritual and religious factors and public health.
Much of Oman’s research has focused on influences on health from spirituality and related psychological factors such as compassion and other character strengths and virtues, about which Oman has published numerous empirical studies, reviews, and book chapters, as well as the 2018 book Why Religion and Spirituality Matter for Public Health: Evidence, Implications and Resources (https://doi.org/10.1037/rel0000256). He has also been the principal investigator on two randomized controlled trials of spiritually-oriented meditation-based interventions for health professionals and students, which fostered significant and meaningful gains in measures of compassion, forgiveness, and many related constructs.
Oman served as President (2016-2017) of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (Division 36 of the American Psychological Association), and has published more than 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Oman has been Associate Editor of the journals Mindfulness and Psychology of Religion and Spirituality and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Health Psychology and the book series Religion, Spirituality and Health: A Social-Scientific Approach (Springer). His 1998 paper, “Religion and Mortality Among the Community-Dwelling Elderly” was awarded the Templeton Prize for Exemplary Paper in Religion and the Medical Sciences, as well as the 2018 William C. Bier Award recognizing outstanding interdisciplinary work on issues of psychology of religion and related fields (from the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality).

  • Spiritual and religious health factors: Evidence and implications for practice
  • Meditation, mindfulness, and health
  • Professional empathy, and skills for living in a religiously pluralistic society
  • PH 281: Public Health and Spirituality (Spring)