Research Initiatives - Integrating Science & Faith

The School of Psychology & Counseling offers a variety of ongoing research initiatives. Many also offer hands-on experiences for our students. Other outcomes include paper and poster presentations at regional and national conferences, articles for publication for which students are co-authors, and subject matter for student dissertations.

SPC Centers, Institutes, Research, Special Projects

We are excited to offer an opportunity to our Regent University counseling and psychology students to participate in Cross-Cultural Supervision, Teaching, and Conference Presentations in Kyiv, Ukraine in May 2016. Regent students will partner with Ukraine Evangelical Theological Seminary and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Click here for more information and to register for Ukraine Trip.

Contact Information: Dr. Olya Zaporozhets can be reached by email at or 757.352.4700.

The Center for Trauma Studies is an assortment of licensed, professional counselors and students within the School of Psychology & Counseling at Regent University who are dedicated to integrating their Christian faith with crisis intervention and trauma models for practical application in the United States and abroad. To learn more, view the comprehensive organizational structure for the Center for Trauma Studies.

Training: Trauma Certification Training

Contact Information: Dr. Benjamin Keyes can be reached by email at or 757.352.4284.

The mission of the MMATE Center is to research marriage phenomenon, study marital interventions and support churches in building a successful marriage ministry. Dr. Jennifer Ripley, professor of psychology, heads a team of doctoral students who provide the support for a thriving center, both in community outreach and research.

The longest standing project of the MMATE Center is the Hope project. Beginning in 2001, the HOPE marriage project is a clinical trial study examining the effects of the hope-focused approach to marital therapy on different aspects of couples relationship. This means that couples are receiving a specific approach to marriage therapy called hope-focused therapy. This project uses cutting edge techniques and methods to significantly add to the literature on marital therapy. Publications and presentations about the Hope Project can be found on Dr. Ripley's curriculum vita.

The Hope approach is available through the PsyD training clinic, with ongoing research.

Contact Information: Interested parties can email the principal investigator and supervisor Dr. Jennifer Ripley at or 757.352.4296.

Dr. Mark Yarhouse directs the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity (ISSI), a scholarly institute for the study of issues related to sexual identity and for the training of students to be leaders in the discussions that are shaping the culture. There are many topics that are viewed as critical for Christ and culture today, and the topics of homosexuality and the broader construct of sexual identity, are certainly among them.

The mission of ISSI is to further the understanding of sexual identity, its development and synthesis, and to be a resource to students in training and those in the community who are stakeholders in these discussions. ISSI provides a comprehensive approach to research, training and clinical services/consultations related to sexual identity. Student members of ISSI have opportunities throughout the year to participate in research projects that are presented at national conferences and published in scholarly journals; they attend monthly trainings on a range of topics related to sexual identity; they participate in outreach to the community; and they may participate in clinical service delivery and consultations in the area of sexual identity.

The most recent study to reach completion is the Ex-Gays? study, a longitudinal study of attempted change in sexual orientation through involvement in religious ministries. Results from the first three years of that study were published in the book Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation. The six year follow-up was recently presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting.

Other projects focus on the conflicts that occur between a person’s religious and sexual identities, as well as research on persons in mixed sexual orientation marriages. The projects are ongoing with more advanced research team members completing dissertations on aspects of them, as well as joining Dr. Yarhouse in making presentations in a wide variety of venues.

Join the group and fan page on Facebook.

Contact Information: Interested parties can contact Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D., professor and director of the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity ( Dr. Yarhouse can be reached by phone at 757.352.4829 or by email at

Dr. Linda J. Baum heads the Society for Forensic and Assessment Psychology (S-FAP) for Regent University’s Psy.D. program. The society has several aims related to both forensic psychology and psychological assessment. Concerning forensic psychology, the society serves to educate clinicians-in-training on the many intersections of psychology and law, particularly how clinical psychology is applied in legal proceedings. Recent meetings have highlighted research and education concerning competency to stand trial assessments (CST), psychopathy, and the institutions that house the majority of mentally ill Americans: prisons. The society also promotes research pertaining to forensic psychology; recent examples include research on stigma towards mentally ill offenders and competency restoration.

Psychological assessment is a complex process that generally involves not only a clinical interview (and concomitant clinical judgment), but also objective or projective instruments. The soceity provides education concerning widely-used assessment measures, including the uses of these instruments in forensic psychology. Assessment research is a major aspect of the organization. The society has worked with the Regent University Psychological Services Center to conduct validity and correlate research on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), and the newest member of the MMPI family of instruments, the MMPI-2-RF. Recent research has included studies on the usefulness of the MMPI-2-RF in treatment planning, the validity of the substance abuse scale on the MMPI-2-RF, and the impact of religion on validity scales of the MMPI-2-RF. Other instruments currently being studied include the MMPI-A, the SCL-90-R, and the Rorschach Inkblot Method.

Dr. Baum encourages all students interested in forensic or assessment psychology to attend the meetings; membership or research participation are not required. That being said, the society affords students an incredible opportunity to do meaningful research on a wide variety of topics. Students have presented research at the annual APA conference, the local Virginia Psychological Association conference, and the Annual MMPI Symposium.  There are plenty of data to explore, so join us at our next meeting for research opportunities or to learn more about forensic or assessment psychology.

Contact Information: For more information, please contact Linda J. Baum, Ph.D., assistant professor in Regent's School of Psychology & Counseling and the director of the Society for Forensic and Assessment Psychology. Dr. Baum can be reached by phone at 757.352.4371 or by email at Her office is located in the Psy.D. suite of the Classroom Building (CRB 161).

Each year, one or more research project(s) will focus on an aspect of the interface of mental health and the Church. The vision is to use research to increase ministry effectiveness and mobilize church-based resources.

Dr. Amy (Dominguez) Trout is interested in creating research groups with students from all the programs in the School of Psychology & Counseling.

Contact Information: Dr. Amy (Dominguez) Trout can be reached by email at or by phone at 757.352.4349.

Dr. Glen Moriarty directs the God Image Research Team (GIRT), a team of Regent doctoral psychology students who are dedicated to studying God images and God concepts. "God images" are the mental representations of God that underlie a person's emotional experience of Him. In comparison, "God concepts" are the doctrinal understandings of God that underlie a person's cognitive beliefs about Him. Often Christians struggle with significant God-image/God-concept disparities - that is, the God they experience with their hearts (God images) and the God they know about with their heads (God concepts). For example, they may cognitively believe that God is loving, but actually emotionally experience Him as harsh; or, they may believe that God is mercifully forgiving, but they actually experience Him emotionally as mercilessly punitive.

The vision is to further the understanding of God images and God concepts, particularly the development, maintenance and potential resolution of maladaptive emotional experiences of God. GIRT seeks to accomplish this goal via the avenues of cutting-edge research, therapy/consultation services, scholarly publications and professional presentations.

At present, one of its most exciting research endeavors is its Clinical Psychology of Religion Research Project (CPRRP), a research partnership between Regent University's GIRT and the University of Cambridge's Psychology and Religion Research Group. Under the umbrella of this partnership, they are conducting a grant-funded, multi-site, interdisciplinary research project which utilizes traditional survey measures and a computerized reaction time test to directly and indirectly assess the God images of depressed and non-depressed evangelical Christians. They are also developing a God image treatment protocol for use in either an individual or a group therapy setting, and are developing a psychoeducational God image curriculum for use in either a church or a pastoral care setting. In the near future, they plan to begin developing a psychoeducational website that includes downloadable God-image-related resources. They will also be conducting a multi-site research project studying the interrelationships among authenticity/inauthenticity, attachment and God image tendencies among adult evangelical Protestant Christians.

At the monthly training meetings, student members on GIRT receive comprehensive training in God-image-related scholarship, including emphases on theory, research and practice in this area. Further, throughout their participation on the team, they gain valuable experience conducting cutting-edge research, providing therapy/consultation services, submitting to scholarly publications and making professional presentations.

Meeting Time: Last Tuesday of every month, from 12 p.m. until 1:45 p.m.

Contact Information: For more information, please contact Glen Moriarty, Psy.D., associate professor in Regent's School of Psychology & Counseling and the director of the God Image Research Team. Dr. Moriarty can be reached by phone at 757.352.4341 or by email at His office is located in the Psy.D. suite of the Classroom Building (CRB 161)

Discovering God is a clinical trial study of a manualized group therapy that addresses God-image-related difficulties. The group is designed for individuals who have significant disparities between the God they know about with their heads (God concepts) and the God they experience with their hearts (God images). Participation in the group is meant to facilitate a more adaptive, rewarding and fulfilling emotional experience of God, via cognitive-behavioral, Gestalt-existential and interpersonal-experiential interventions. In other words, the goal is to help participants achieve increasing God-image/God-concept congruence. Each fall and spring academic semester, Regent doctoral psychology students lead these time-limited Discovering God groups, meeting once per week in the Regent Psychological Services Center (PSC), located in Classroom Building Suite 188.

Contact Information: For more information, please contact Glen Moriarty, Psy.D., associate professor in Regent's School of Psychology & Counseling and the director of the God Image Research Team. Dr. Moriarty can be reached by phone at 757.352.4341 or by email at His office is located in the Psy.D. suite of the Classroom Building (CRB 161).

Assessing effectiveness of a web-based award winning prevention program that targets a college-age population. Attitudes towards drinking behaviors are assessed both before and after the applied information-based program. Meeting times are on an as needed basis.

Contact Information: For more information, please contact Dr. Amy (Dominguez) Trout at or 757.352.4349.



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