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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Living Life as a “Fiat” to the Lord
IPS Alumna Dr. Christina Lynch Finds Her Mission

Christina Lynch
Dr. Christina Lynch

In December 2005 Dr. Christina Lynch became the first student to be awarded a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences (IPS) located outside of Washington, DC in Arlington, VA. 

Nine years ago Mrs. Christina Lynch walked through the doors of the Institute for Psychological Sciences with one objective, “to learn more about my Catholic faith and to use the gifts God has given me to help those in need as a licensed counselor in Clinical Psychology.”  As a member of the first “IPS Class” Chris had no idea at the time that her quest would take her to Lakewood, a beautiful suburb of Denver, Colorado where she would serve as the Staff Psychotherapist for the Archdiocese of Denver St. John Vianney Theological Seminary as well as teaching opportunities and presentations at various universities.  But before Chris could reach her goal she dedicated herself to years of study that would prepare her for what God had planned for the future.

In the interview below, taken from the IPS newsletter, Dr. Lynch comments on her decision to attend IPS and reflects on where this journey called “life” has taken her.

What brought you to IPS in the first place?
My husband and I started a maternity home in our house for women in crisis pregnancy. Though we could help them with love and material resources I soon learned that their emotional needs were so enormous that they needed psychological tools to receive the healing the Lord desired for them.  Soon after the home was taken over by the Diocese of San Bernardino, I decided to return to school to learn more about my Catholic faith so I studied for two semesters at Notre Dame Institute.

After those two semesters I saw an ad in the Arlington Herald (Diocesan Paper) for a new program that integrated the Catholic faith into the science of Psychology. It was called the Catholic Institute of Psychological Sciences (CIPS) which would later have its name changed to the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. After being away from College for 28 years I applied and was accepted into the Masters Program.

Why did you to ultimately choose IPS?
I believe in my heart the Lord chose IPS for me as part of His Plan. All I did was say “fiat!”

Has your academic experience at IPS helped you in what you are doing now?  In what way?
My academic experience has been invaluable in every aspect of my life since I began IPS. Not only has it prepared me academically to be an adjunct faculty member at Creighton University for the Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) every summer, a published author for several journals and an
institute for the Psychological Sciences
invited speaker for religious symposiums, a member of the Board of Directors for the new Catholic Psychotherapists Association; it has also prepared me to receive the honor of being recruited by St. John Vianney Theological Seminary for the Archdiocese of Denver as the Staff Psychotherapist and seminary advisor for the curriculum on celibacy.

Are you surprised to find yourself employed where you are now or was that your plan all along?
As part of my “fiat” to the Lord I have tried to only focus on my immediate goals day by day. In other words, no matter how many plans I have had, the Lord seems to have His own and when I keep my focus in the moment I am constantly surprised to see how God unfolds His plans for me. All I have to do is show up.

What would you like to do in the future?
Through prayer I feel the Lord calling me to help in the formation of future priests. In addition, I feel called to help unite and form Catholic therapists on how to integrate their faith into their practice and to serve as a therapist resource referral for dioceses around the country who are seeking trustworthy Catholic therapists for their people.  In addition, I would like to help dioceses around the country through organizational assessment to form and rebuild their mental health facilities to be truly Catholic.

The Institute for the Psychological Sciences is an institution of higher education offering Masters and Doctoral degrees and is affiliated with the Legionaries of Christ. It is dedicated to the renewal of the Christian intellectual tradition and the development of a psychology consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church and in constructive dialogue with the modern world.



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