The program aims to be inherently practical by working on contemporary problems and advancing testable solutions that benefit society in alleviating illness and promoting health and well-being. As a research-driven program, we emphasize the importance of both intellectual rigor and outcomes research on behalf of human well-being.  The complexities involved in understanding spirituality and religion within the domains of health and illness inherently requires a thick description yielded through critical scholarship including from fields such as history, anthropology, and theology.  Without knowledge provided by the humanities, our conceptual approaches lack a necessary intellectual foundation. However, social-scientific and medical research holds the potential to build on the intellectual capital provided by other disciplines by providing empirical descriptions of contemporary issues.  The working together of these approaches holds potential to put forth and rigorously evaluate the success of proposals aimed for human flourishing within health and illness.  Consequently, the program is not satisfied with knowledge that only describes.  Instead, program-related research and scholarship must hold compelling implications that will lead to practical proposals, which solve contemporary problems in the areas of health and illness. The program supports academic understanding that leads to wide dissemination of research to those who benefit most. The initiative’s goal remains fundamentally focused on knowledge that will increase human flourishing.