About Us

After years of research, my team and I have identified over one hundred dimensions of the ethos of God, all falling under the umbrella of the eight essential pillars. With the help of Dr. William Sedlacek, professor emeritus of education at the University of Maryland and one of the nation’s leading authorities on non-cognitive assessments, along with his colleague Dr. Ryan Duffy of the University of Florida, we have created a comprehensive online tool that will help you identify your strengths and develop your godly character. At the end of the book, you’ll find a code that allows you to access the online evaluation, “The Best in Me.” This assessment asks how you would respond to a variety of scenarios that relate to the eight pillars of godly character. Using his own past research on the interface between psychology and religion, plus current literature on how some of these attributes can be assessed, Dr. Sedlacek’s tool evaluates your responses. You’ll receive feedback on where your strengths lie and where you might need to focus your work as you seek to build your ethos. The assessment may be used individually or with a group.

We encourage you to take the assessment right away. It requires only about twenty-five minutes of your time, yet it might be the catalyst that starts you off on the path to transforming your life! The results will give you a great snapshot of where you are right now in this journey of developing character; they’ll show you where you’re already strong and where you might need to grow. Then as you read in more detail about each of the eight pillars you’ll discover where you are already reaping the benefits of strong character, and where you might still be missing out.

If you’ve been involved in a church for a while, you might have taken a spiritual gift survey—an assessment that tells you where you might best serve in the church. I like to think of this assessment as a spiritual needs survey. Its focus is not on what you do but on who you are, at your core. It shows you what you need to reach the true success of reflecting God’s character.

Finally, at the end of each chapter, we’ll point you to a website filled with resources targeted toward the chapter theme: questions, books, sermons, music, and a community of counselors and readers who can provide daily encouragement and insight tailored to your individual needs.

All of these resources are designed to help you assess, diagnose, prescribe, and implement. They will help transform you from the inside out. They will empower you, with God’s help, to resemble, reflect, and reveal His character. When you do, everything will be possible.

About the Assessment

The assessment tool is based on the work of Dr. William Sedlacek, professor emeritus of the University of Maryland, and Dr. Ryan Duffy, professor at the University of Florida. Much of the work was informed by Dr. Sedlacek’s book Beyond the Big Test: Noncognitive Assessment in Higher Education (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2004). Starting with the one hundred dimensions of character Wintley identified, the professors developed this measurement instrument over the course of about six months. The assessment is designed to help individuals identify their areas of strength and weakness in the eight pillars of godly character.

Dr. Sedlacek earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa State University and his Ph.D. from Kansas State University. He has published extensively in professional journals on a wide range of topics including racism, sexism, college admissions, advising, and employee selection.

Dr. Duffy earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston College and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. He teaches a class on positive psychology and is an expert in the psychological literature on character strengths.

A study guide; “Perfecting Me” In pursuit of Godly Character, is available for small groups in churches and religious organizations.