“United with a desire to concretely help people around me in the midst of their suffering, these questions led me to consider a vocation to heal through the profession of psychology.” See more testimonials like Dan’s.
My life has been abundantly blessed. Growing up in St. Paul, MN, I was raised in a close-knit family with four brothers and one sister. My parents gave me a strong foundation in the Faith which has been fostered in several wonderful communities.
During my first two years of college at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, I had the privilege of living in the Saint Paul’s Outreach (SPO) household formation program while beginning pre-medicine studies. SPO helped give me “new eyes” to see the spiritual poverty of those around me and increased my desire to spread the light of Christ. Seeking the Lord’s will for my life led me into St. John Vianney College Seminary where I studied Philosophy and Catholic Studies. The Catholic Studies Program showed me that the main battles of our time are being fought at intellectual and cultural levels. After graduating college I studied theology for one year at The Saint Paul Seminary. SPO, Catholic Studies, and seminary life convicted me of my personal mission as part of the New Evangelization. Despite discerning out of seminary, it is clear to me that I am supposed to use what I have been given to propose a counter-culture to the darkness around us.
Why did you chose IPS?
Many of the battles of our time center around questions of the human person: Who are we? What are we made for? How can we flourish? United with a desire to concretely help people around me in the midst of their suffering, these questions led me to consider a vocation to heal through the profession of psychology.
From my philosophical training, I knew that there were key anthropological errors running through modern psychology. At the same time, I was confident that psychologists have a unique opportunity to positively influence people from all walks of life, meeting them in their human experience.
Looking for a psychology graduate school, it soon became clear that IPS’s integrative vision is radically unique. No other program has the same robust view of the human person rooted in the philosophical and theological tradition of the Church, embracing the valid insights of empirical science and clinical experience.
Last year, the Catholic Studies Program at the University of St. Thomas brought George Weigel to give a lecture on the New Evangelization. Because of financial concerns I had been wavering in my decision to come to IPS this fall. Listening to Weigel’s point-by-point account of the need to renew our culture by re-articulating the truth and dignity of the human person, I kept thinking to myself, “I have to go to IPS. If I am going to use my gifts to meet the brokenness of our time, I have to go to IPS.”
What qualities of IPS do you appreciate the most?
Since “taking the plunge”, I have not been disappointed. One of the best things about IPS is the faculty, which is made up of professors firmly united in their mission who always try to learn more from each other. In his essay The Idea of a University, Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman articulates the need for institutions of higher learning to always connect their diverse studies to the bigger picture of universal truth. Hyper-specialization fragments the “circle of knowledge” distorting the particular insights of each field. The faculty and curriculum at IPS counteract this modern trend by uniting a variety of clinical insights and therapeutic methods in a holistic picture of the human person made for union with the Blessed Trinity.
I knew I would enjoy the philosophical and theological courses at IPS, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the fascinating and influential insights from the more clinical classes. The IPS faculty members have a lot of experience in the field, and I am excited to soak up their wisdom!