Milestones in Our History

A Brief History of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences

IPS was founded in 1999 by a group of mental health professionals, academicians, and clinicians who perceived a need for a proper understanding of the interrelationship between psychology and its philosophical foundations.  Originally called the Institute for Faith and Psychological Sciences, the Institute sponsored workshops in Bethesda, Maryland, for licensed mental health professionals, integrating philosophy and psychology.


  • The Institute for Faith and Psychological Sciences changes its name to the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS or the Institute) and begins offering instruction leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) Degree in Clinical Psychology.
  • Classroom and office space are leased on the first floor of its current location in Arlington, Virginia.
  • IPS is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe during a ceremony officiated by the Most Rev. Paul S. Loverde, D.D., Bishop of Arlington, Virginia.


  • The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) grants provisional approval to confer the Master of Science (M.S.) and the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degrees in Clinical Psychology.
  • The first degrees are awarded in the Master of Science (M.S.) Program and the first students enroll in the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) Program.
  • The Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman Lecture Series is founded to advance the integration of modern social, psychological, and Catholic thought.


  • The Scholarly Research Center is founded to sponsor various research projects of special relevance to the mission of the Institute.  The Human Nature Project and the Anthropology Project are established at this time.
  • The faculty present at a conference on Catholic psychology at the Anáhuac University in Mexico City, Mexico.


  • Library and classroom spaces are expanded on the first floor and administrative and faculty offices are moved to the fifth floor of the same building.
  • Robert P. George, J.D., Ph.D., delivers the commencement address and is conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.


  • Rev. Richard Gill, L.C., S.T.L., is appointed by the IPS Board of Directors as the first president of IPS.
  • The faculty travel to Rome to offer a week-long session of classes in the psychology program at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum.
  • Rev. Richard John Neuhaus delivers the commencement address and is conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.


  • The Centre for Philosophical Psychology opens in collaboration with Blackfriars Hall at the University of Oxford in England.
  • The IPS Press is established to publish approaches to psychological sciences that are integrated with a Catholic view of the human person and the moral life.


  • The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC) grants accreditation to award master’s and doctoral degrees.
  • The first IPS Doctoral Degree in Clinical Psychology is awarded.
  • Rev. John Hopkins, L.C., S.T.L., is appointed as the second president of IPS.


  • The Psy.D. Program is recognized as an Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB)/National Register Designated Doctoral Program in Psychology.
  • The campus expands to include increased classroom, library, and student services space, making possible the opening of the Center for Psychological Services for student practicum experiences.
  • The IPS Press releases its first publication, The Person and the Polis: Faith and Values within the Secular State.


  • Rev. Charles Sikorsky, L.C., J.D., J.C.L., is appointed as the third president of IPS.
  • The largest class graduates, including the largest number of Psy.D. recipients.
  • The Summer Program at the University of Oxford is offered.
  • Two faculty members become founding board members of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association (CPA).


  • The first Psy.D. graduates are licensed as clinical psychologists.
  • Five students are selected to present their research findings at the 16th Annual Society of Catholic Social Scientists’ Conference (SCSS).


  • IPS faculty author the first Catholic issue for the respected publication, Edification: A Journal of the Society of Christian Psychology
  • IPS celebrates the 10th Anniversary since its founding in 1999.
  • F. Russell Hittinger, Ph.D., delivers the commencement address and is conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.


  • IPS is reaffirmed for accreditation for another 10 years by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC), successfully meeting all 86 SACS COC standards and requirements.
  • Rev. Romanus Cessario, O.P., S.T.D., delivers the commencement address and is conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.


  • Classroom, library, office and chapel spaces are enlarged.  The Training Clinic is expanded and upgraded.
  • IPS Online Education Seminars are launched to begin offering distance learning opportunities.
  • The faculty begin the development of a “handbook” of cases exemplifying a Catholic integrative approach to clinical practice, as a result of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).  When completed, the handbook will be utilized in the curriculum of all its degree programs. In addition, case presentations commence for students.
  • The IPS Diversity Committee, comprised of faculty, students and staff, is established to offer a series of seminars.
  • IPS faculty are featured in Psychology Today online series on Psychology and Religion.


  • Dr. Philip Scrofani is recognized for teaching excellence by Saint Elizabeth Hospital’s Psychiatry Residency Training Program.
  • The IPS Board of Directors appoints its first non-clergy chair, and adds three lay members, including an IPS alumna.
  • The Master’s Program in Clinical Psychology is enhanced to broaden licensure opportunities at the master’s level in less time.
  • The IPS Online Education Library website is launched featuring leading Catholic mental health experts addressing mental health topics from a Catholic perspective. Memberships and continuing education credits are available
  • IPS’ APA CE accreditation is successfully renewed.


  • IPS launches an online M.S. in Psychology program that focuses on educating working professionals and giving them the practical tools they need to become transformational leaders in their workplace or ministry.