Divine Mercy University Celebrates 20th Year Anniversary

Divine Mercy University (DMU) will kick off its 20th year anniversary with the dedication of its new campus, President’s Picnic, and Mass on September 8th from 2pm to 7pm. The event will take place at the university’s new campus, located at 45154 Underwood Lane in Sterling, Virginia. (RSVP here)

Bishop Michael Burbidge (Diocese of Arlington) is scheduled to lead Mass and bless the building. Additional anticipated guests include Board of Supervisors Chair at Large Phyllis J. Randall (Loudoun County, VA) and local county officials.  

“This event signifies a monumental moment that reminds us of God’s providence,” said Fr. Charles Sikorsky, L.C., J.D., J.C.L., president of Divine Mercy University. “Our university’s ability to launch a new academic program, gain and maintain accreditation status, and transform from a dozen students to nearly 400 is a reflection of His unfailing guidance along the way. We are here to not only serve the local community with open arms, but we also want to help our neighbors flourish through educational enrichment, spiritual growth and business partnerships.” 

In 2016, the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS) expanded into a university when it added the Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in clinical mental health counseling, offered as a hybrid, online degree program. The IPS, or School of Psychology, offers two degree programs: the online Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology and the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology. Since achieving university status, DMU has had steady enrollment growth in each program — 45% (M.S. in Counseling), 20% (M.S. in Psychology), and 18% (Psy.D.). 

“We are grateful to be at this point in the journey,” said Dr. Harvey Payne, academic dean for the School of Counseling. “In the fall of 2016 we started the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program with 21 students and four full-time faculty. Today we have almost 170 students and approximately 30 faculty and staff. Our first graduates in May have all been offered jobs in professional counseling. The stories of our students’ own personal and professional development and the hope of lives changed due to their vocation of counseling inspires us each and every day.”

Dr. Suzanne Hollman, academic dean for IPS, shares equal excitement for the university’s continued success. “It is a privilege to know that we are equipping our students to assist those who experience anxiety, depression, marital conflict, childhood trauma, and other mental health challenges. Through our curriculum, we equip our students with evidence based theory, and we provide practical experience through our clinic, internships, and externships. Through this combination of science and practice, we can proudly say that our students are effectively prepared to go into the field and help those who are suffering.”

The IPS Center is the university’s outpatient mental health facility that provides clinical services to adults, adolescents, children, families, and couples. Services are provided by advanced doctoral students, closely supervised by licensed clinical psychologists, and clinical psychologists who are members of the clinical faculty.

The university’s 2019 – 2020 efforts include hosting special events to celebrate the 20th year anniversary, offering tuition benefits–including $1.6 million in scholarships anticipated for this school year–and efforts to build an on-site chapel.


Divine Mercy University (DMU) is a Catholic graduate institution of higher education offering degree programs in 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 human person, marriage, and the family. The university offers Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in Psychology and Counseling and the Doctoral (Psy.D.) degree in Clinical Psychology.

Divine Mercy University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award masters and doctorate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Divine Mercy University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org)

The IPS doctoral program in clinical psychology (Psy.D.) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA). *Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation: Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation American Psychological Association 750 1st Street NE, Washington, DC 20002 Phone (202)-336-5979 / Email: apaaccred@apa.org / Web: www.apa.org/ed/accreditation  

For more information, contact Director of Marketing Rose Gebken at 703-416-1441 x132 or communications@divinemercy.edu.

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