Fr. Ed Moran
“For me, the philosophy and theology in integration with clinical training is ‘cutting-edge’ in the sense that it seeks to recover and integrate the best of the Catholic Tradition (virtue morality, the totality of the human person, wisdom, truth and grace) in the healing arts of psychotherapy.” See other testimonials like Fr. Ed’s.
The tale of a retired Air Force Chaplain and priest living in Yorktown, VA is one of seeking purpose in the greater wisdom that is the Church.
While many in this rather unique category find themselves deriving meaning from filling in at Diocesan parishes in need of a weekend celebrant, travel, networking with family members or friends from previous postings, my retirement passions turned to teaching. The adage in mind that had served me in my Flight Instructor days was, “If you think you know something, try and teach it”.
I thought I knew philosophy and theology, at least on a level for introductory students studying at the Undergraduate level. What a challenge and limited thought that turned out to be!
That path took me through institutions like Saint Leo University, Old Dominion University, Strayer, and Embry-Riddle as a part-time adjunct.
It led me to rediscover the joy and wisdom of the Humanities, notably Theology and Philosophy.
But throughout these years, something more was missing; something that would challenge more and take me to a higher level of discipline.
With two master’s degrees (Philosophy (1983) and Religious Studies (1985) from Catholic University, I thought the Doctorate would be the key.
Interviews at the Center of Thomistic Studies at St. Thomas University in Houston in 2010 after active duty retirement was the first foray into exploring advanced studies.
Here I found old classmates from my Philosophy CUA days now full professors. It all seemed very comfortable but far away from Virginia. I had heard of IPS in 2011 from some friends who were involved in clinical counseling and went online and studied the course offerings.
When I saw that my former spiritual director, Rev Romanus Cessario O.P., was affiliated with the Institute, my interest was piqued.
In my previous profession, I had had lots of experience doing ‘pastoral counseling’ as a pastor and then Air Force Chaplain, but this program seemed unique.
It was trying to integrate the best of our Catholic Anthropology (Theology and Philosophy) with true empirical clinical training.
The fit seemed very good, and I started going nationwide in search of other models, trying to compare and contrast.
I discovered some evangelical colleges, notably nearby Regent University in Virginia Beach. None had the fullness of the anthropology I knew was present in the Catholic Tradition.
With the encouragement of former Admissions Director Anne-Marie Minnis, I visited IPS in 2011 and 2012 to have a closer look.
After a long talk with Dr. Hamel, who convinced me that going for a doctorate at 62 was not some kind of fantasy rooted in an extended mid-life crisis, I applied for the 2013-2014 school year and was accepted.
Now in the opening of this first semester, I’m dealing with all the change that comes from such momentous decisions: relocation, new social network, debt, and seemingly interminable reading. The military equips one well for such transitions.
The faith helps one to see the wisdom in the committed faculty and staff as well and the enthusiasm of the students.
For me, the philosophy and theology in integration with clinical training is ‘cutting-edge’ in the sense that it seeks to recover and integrate the best of the Catholic Tradition (virtue morality, the totality of the human person, wisdom, truth and grace) in the healing arts of psychotherapy.
(Rev) Edward Moran CH-Maj (ret)