A Catholic graduate school in Arlington, Virginia, has opened this fall a fully online Master’s degree in psychology, to expand their approach to teaching psychology based on a truly Catholic understanding of anthropology.

The Institute for Psychological Sciences offers clinical and non-clinical degrees in psychology. Since 1999, students have been pursuing Master's degrees in Clinical Psychology as well as going on to earn a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology and achieve their professional licensure.

More than 160 degrees have been granted to alumni now serving as clinicians, in community services, in academia, and in many other fields where they serve individuals and families daily.

Recent IPS graduate Jessie Tappel explained how IPS’s unique model has assisted in her work.

“Every encounter with a client is inherently transformed by the true understanding of the person,” she said. “Through the lens of a Catholic anthropology, an understanding of their dignity, their weaknesses and strengths, and ultimately where they are called to be, changes the treatment and healing process. Hope becomes present when I approach them in the love of Christ.”

With the new online program, IPS's mission now has global availability.

The fully online Master's in Psychology is a non-clinical degree, designed for potential students who want to grow in their careers and increase their ability to serve. Students will study psychology from a Catholic perspective and will gain practical skill-sets that they can apply immediately to their workplace or ministry.

Barry Sugarman, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, gave one example of how skills learned in this program can be applied to daily work.

“You’re a manager at a homeless shelter leading a team of caseworkers and volunteers,” he proposed. “One of the volunteers on the food line encounters a new client and that client is highly agitated. In fact, the client is so agitated that the volunteer becomes worried and calls you in to assist. First, rather than simply taking over the situation, you ask your volunteer to stay with you and observe. Second, you begin to use the crisis management and de-escalation skills that you developed during the Program. After successfully diffusing the situation, you meet with the volunteer to debrief on how you handled the situation and to mentor the volunteer in being able to handle such situations on her own.”

IPS expects to welcome students to the program who are on a variety of professional paths. The degree is designed to be helpful to clergy who wish to provide more in-depth guidance to parishioners. It is also geared toward social workers to help them look at the whole person they serve, not only their behaviors. Teachers and administrators in the program can learn about conflict resolution as well as helping their students to grow in virtue.


On the Net:

To find out more about IPS's Online M.S. in Psychology or their onsite clinical programs in Virginia, visit ipsciences.edu