While attending the Christian Association for Psychological Studies’ (CAPS) annual international conference in Norfolk, Virginia, from April 12-14, Regent University School of Psychology and Counseling professor Dr. Jennifer Ripley was presented with a Distinguished Member award — a “thank you” for the work and service she’s completed during her career.
“It was really very nice,” Ripley said. “It was quite the honor. There’s so many really amazing people in the CAPS organization who are just prolific authors and speakers and amazing clinicians.”
Although Ripley admits receiving the award caught her off guard, it’s no surprise why CAPS chose to honor her.
Since she started attending the conference 24 years ago, Ripley, who specializes in couples and family counseling, has served on the board of CAPS, worked as associate editor for the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, and presented at the annual conferences she’s consistently attended.
“[It’s] been a professional home for me since then,” she said.
Since its founding 60 years ago, the Christian Association for Psychological Studies has been dedicated to, “Deepen member understanding of the relationship between Christianity and the behavioral sciences at both the clinical, counseling, and theoretical research levels,” and providing Christian professionals in “counseling and related professions” opportunities to not only enhance their career, but fellowship with colleagues.
The association currently boasts 1,200 members in 25 nations. They’ve also produced 140 academic journals. Members see their “work is worship to God,” Ripley said.
According the Ripley, CAPS is unique, not just for its emphasis on faith-based approaches to counseling, but because it’s focused on academics as well.
“There are other Christian counseling organizations, but this one, it’s really unique in that it is focused on research, theology, as well as the therapeutic,” said Ripley. “It’s really an amazing group of people who come together every year.”