Institute for the Psychological Sciences

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Divine Mercy University (formerly Institute for the Psychological Sciences)
Type Graduate
Established 1999
President Rev. Charles Sikorsky, L.C., J.D., J.C.L.
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Postgraduates 160
Address 2001 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 511, Arlington, VA 22202, Arlington, Virginia, USA
Campus Urban
Affiliations Roman Catholic Church

The Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS or the Institute) is a graduate school of psychology founded in 1999 with the mission of basing the scientific study of psychology on a Catholic understanding of the person, marriage, and the family. IPS offers Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degrees in Clinical Psychology. A master's degree is also offered in (general) psychology, which is also available as an online degree.

The Institute for the Psychological Sciences' mission is to be an international center for scholarship and professional training dedicated to the development of a psychology grounded in an integral Catholic-Christian view of the human person. Maintaining the highest academic standards, it seeks to educate new generations of psychologists and mental health professionals, as well as open new areas of research for psychological theories that explore the relationship between psychology and the Catholic-Christian understanding of the human person.


IPS was founded in 1999 by a group of mental health professionals and academicians who perceived a need for a proper understanding of the relationship between psychology and its philosophical foundations. The Institute's first and current campus is located in the Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington County, Virginia. The campus is located 1 mile from the Pentagon, Ronald Reagan National Airport, 2 miles from Arlington National Cemetery and Arlington House, and 3 miles from Capitol Hill. In 2014, the Institute opened The IPS Center for Psychological Services, which provides integrated psychotherapy as well as psychological assessments to clients from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.[1] Due to the Institute's close proximity to the nation's capital, students have historically had opportunities to train at: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Children's National Medical Center, St. Elizabeths Hospital, the D.C. Superior Court, the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, as well as other institutions in the area. In 2016, the Institute was restructured to the office name Divine Mercy University which houses two schools: the School of Counseling and the existing Institute for the Psychological Sciences. The School of Counseling was established to offer a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

Throughout its history, member's of the Institute have been active at the international level, by participating in various professional and educational activities in countries such as the United Kingdom (Oxford University), Italy, Iraq, and the Holy See.


In 2005, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) granted accreditation to award masters and doctoral degrees.[2] A year later, the Psy.D. program was recognized by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB)/National Register of Health Service Psychologists as a designated doctoral program in psychology.[3] In 2010, IPS was reaffirmed for accreditation for another 10 years by SACS, successfully meeting all 86 standards and requirements. In 2016, the American Psychological Association (APA) granted accreditation to the doctoral program in clinical psychology (Psy.D.). The Psy.D. program is the cornerstone program of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS) at Divine Mercy University (DMU). This accreditation is significant as graduates pursue licensure. Our APA accredited Psy.D. program is recognized and meets one of the requirements for licensure as a clinical psychologist.

American Psychological Association[edit]

The Institute is currently applying for accreditation by the American Psychological Association (APA). Records indicate that the application was submitted on September 3, 2014.[4] According to the Commission on Accreditation (CoA), IPS is 1 of 10 programs that are currently applying for accreditation. If granted this designation, IPS would join approximately 385 other programs that are already APA-accredited, of which 65 are Psy.D. programs in Clinical Psychology.[5]

Religious Affiliation[edit]

The Institute is governed by a Board of Directors, which consists of the Bishop of Arlington, Virginia, several members of Regnum Christi, and three members of the Legion of Christ. The Legion and Regnum Christi support the Institute by helping it maintain its identity and by providing spiritual support. Although the Legion plays a considerable role in the governance of the Institute, and provides the school with a chaplain and president, many students and faculty exercise their spirituality in ways that are consistent with other traditions. The Institute does not require its students or faculty to be Catholic and is open to individuals of all faith traditions.

Although some APA-accredited institutions have established religious codes of conduct,[6][7][8] the Institute has not made any such requirement.


  1. ^ "The IPS Center". Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. "Institution Details". Retrieved January 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ National Register of Health Service Psychologists. "History". Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Programs Applying for Initial Accreditation". American Psychological Association. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Current Program Counts". American Psychological Association. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Community Covenant". Wheaton College. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Honor Code". Brigham Young University. 
  8. ^ "Standard of Personal Conduct". Regent University. 

External links[edit]