An International Center for the Scientific Study of Psychology with a Catholic Understanding
Divine Mercy University (DMU) is a Catholic graduate school of psychology and counseling, founded in 1999 as the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. The University is dedicated to the scientific study of psychology with a Catholic understanding of the person, marriage and the family. The University offers a Doctoral (Psy.D.) degree in Clinical Psychology, a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Psychology and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling.
The Divine Mercy University is governed by its Board of Directors, which has complete and final governing authority over the University. The Board consists of the Bishop Emeritus of Arlington, Virginia, seven lay Catholic leaders and three members of the Legionaries of Christ. The Legion sponsors the University by providing a President and a Chaplain and helping to maintain the Catholic identity of the institution.
Divine Mercy University’s vision is to be an international center for scholarship and professional education dedicated to the study of the mind and soul grounded in an integral Catholic-Christian view of the human person. Maintaining the highest academic standards, the institution will educate new generations of professionals in psychology-related fields and open new areas of scholarship for theories that explore the relationship of the human psyche and Catholic-Christian theological, philosophical and anthropological principles.
Divine Mercy University is an institution of higher education offering graduate degrees, continuing education and certificate programs globally. It is affiliated with the Legionaries of Christ. The University is dedicated to the renewal of the Catholic-Christian intellectual tradition and the integration of the theoretical and empirical bases of psychology, professional counseling and related fields, with a Catholic-Christian view of the human person through teaching and learning both knowledge and critical skills.
The University provides students an appropriate academic and educational environment that supports the integration of science, scholarship and a Catholic-Christian understanding of the person through a rigorous, critical and objective search for truth. It assists students intellectually, humanly and professionally as they prepare themselves to respond to their vocation as mental health professionals or as men and women in helping professions. The University’s mission also involves dialogue about its integrative approach with practitioners, scholars and cultural leaders, nationally and internationally.
Statement of Identity
Divine Mercy University (DMU) is a Catholic institution formed to train leaders in the field of psychology. According to its mission statement, “the University is dedicated to the renewal of the Catholic-Christian intellectual tradition and the integration of the theoretical and empirical bases of psychology and a Catholic view of the human person.”
The life of the University is rooted in and fully informed by the teaching of the Catholic Church. This vision involves every aspect of life at the University, including the training model, education in the classroom and the clinic, intellectual and scholarly pursuits, and our common life as an academic community. The identity of the University finds its primary source in the word of God, which is expressed in the whole Tradition of the Catholic Church (Scripture and Magisterium) (Dei Verbum [The Word of God, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of the Second Vatican Council], DV, sec. 7-10).
The heart of the identity of the University is belief in the Trinitarian God who has revealed himself through Jesus Christ. Believing all things are created by God and bear resemblance to him, we view reality and each person as a gift. We recognize the primacy of God’s gift, which humanity is invited to receive and to give in turn. Therefore, we seek to promote and participate in an authentic “culture of life” (Evangelium Vitae [The Gospel of Life], Encyclical of Pope John Paul II, 1995, sec. 28) at the University and in the broader culture.
We affirm that the human being has been created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), and so every person has transcendent dignity. Created by God, who is truth himself (John 14:6), the human person is called “to live the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). In Jesus Christ, the human person fully discovers himself as made in love and for love. Each person, in turn, can only find himself “through a sincere gift of self” (Gaudium et Spes [Joy and Hope, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World of the Second Vatican Council], 1965, sec. 24).
All are called to live a relationship of love with God. God calls each person through a unique vocation to holiness; the gift of self is the archetypal form of the person’s response to this call. Some people are called to special states in life (marriage, ordained, or consecrated celibacy). Everyone is called to glorify God and serve others through their work. We view the pursuit of graduate studies at the University and the work of professional psychology in vocational terms, as a response to God’s call.
The human person is further recognized as a free and responsible being (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., sec. 1738). God gave persons the possibility to accept or reject His love. In turn, we at the University honor the freedom of all people: students, faculty, staff, clients, and others. We recognize that the human person is fallen and is wounded by sin, but is offered redemption in Jesus Christ through the Church and the grace of the Holy Spirit. In the light of faith, we live and affirm a vision of hope.
Those who come to work or study at the University either personally hold the Catholic Church’s vision of God and the human person, or remain respectful of this vision. A concern for physical, psychological, social, and spiritual development and well- being motivates the University to clearly identify the qualities of character and conduct that the University community strives to attain. The Catholic identity of the University has particular implications for the model of training at the University and the form of our common life.