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Divine Mercy University opens Sterling campus

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The psychological graduate school Divine Mercy University marked the opening of its Sterling campus with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge followed by a barbeque for students, faculty, staff and supporters Sept. 8. 

During his homily, Bishop Burbidge encouraged the school in its mission to bring a Catholic understanding of the human person to the study of psychological science, calling the school community a treasure of the diocese.

“Those associated with the university and all who gathered here today have been chosen to be instruments of God’s divine mercy,” said Bishop Burbidge. “So we gather here to seek the grace to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received and to help others remove from their lives doubt, fear and a sense of helplessness.”

After Mass, Bishop Burbidge blessed the building and grounds, and he and Legionaries of Christ Father Charles J. Sikorsky, president, cut ribbons in the school’s colors to officially open the building.

During the ceremony, a representative from the Loudoun County board of supervisors, Bo Machayo, thanked the university community for moving in. “I would like to welcome you to Loudoun County — the greatest county in the entire country. We have Divine Mercy University, you can’t get much better than that,” he said. “I am actually the son of a therapist. She taught me that mental health is health. Loudoun County is the fastest growing county in Virginia and there are a lot of (mental health) services the county is going to need as we continue to grow.”

Twenty years ago, the school was founded in Arlington as the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. In 2016, the school’s doctoral program was accredited by the American Psychological Association. In the same year, the school changed its name to Divine Mercy University after adding the school of counseling in addition to the institute for the psychological sciences. 


Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Legionaries of Christ Fr. Charles J. Sikorsky, president of Divine Mercy University in Sterling, cut ribbons to officially open the new building Sept. 8. ZOEY MARAIST  |  CATHOLIC HERALD


“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 (God’s) unfailing guidance along the way,” said Father Sikorsky in a press release. 

The university’s new home off Route 28 has three levels. The third is for faculty and staff offices; the second has classrooms, a library and a student lounge. The first floor will have the school’s future chapel and houses the IPS Center, an outpatient mental health clinic, staffed by students in training and supervised by licensed clinical psychologists.

“With the clinic expansion, we’re going to be able to serve a lot more clients than before, which is wonderful,” said Suzanne Hollman, academic dean and director of the doctorate program. “We’re here for the community — children, adolescents, adults. And we have a sliding scale so that the therapy is affordable for anybody who feels they can benefit. We really want to meet people where they are. All are welcome.”

Find out more

To learn more about the IPS Center, call 703/ 418-2111 or email ipscenter@divinemercy.edu. 


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019