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Dr. Ripley Stoop Award Regent University

Regent Psychology & Counseling Professor Jennifer Ripley Honored for Work in Christian Marriage Counseling

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (September 24, 2021) – Dr. Jennifer Ripley, School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) professor at Regent University, has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the David Stoop Award for Excellence in Scholarship in Family Therapy and Practice. The Stoop Award, presented by The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), honors extraordinary champions of Christian counseling. The association acknowledged Ripley’s momentous work on behalf of Christian marriage counseling, including three books, 57 research publications, 22 years of teaching, and over 150 conference presentations.

“Dr. Ripley is a trailblazer in many respects. She has made great progress toward helping marriages, and her service sets an example for us all,” said Dr. Bill Hathaway, executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Regent. “We are honored to support her research efforts at our university and to be part of building stronger marriage and family relationships locally and globally.”

Ripley set out on a path to study marriage and faith in the 1990s under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and mentorship of Dr. Everett Worthington Jr., a leading researcher and prolific scientist in the integration of Christianity and psychology. Today, she works alongside Dr. Jim Sells as Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Co-Chairs of Christian Thought in Mental Health Practice, to advance the concepts of hope and grace in marriage through the Charis Institute at Regent.

Charis develops research, marriage workshops and other resources for couples looking to improve their relationships. Ripley and Sells partner with churches and non-profits around the world, including places such as China and Finland, to improve their church counseling methods. These systems offer free and low-cost help to churches and couples, to establish better marriage counseling based on biblical principles such as grace and hope.

“I could not do this work without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the co-labor of my professional colleagues and the dozens of doctoral students who have led research efforts with enthusiasm and great skill,” Ripley said. She noted that in our modern and secular culture, she and her SPC colleagues are especially dedicated to “making marriages as strong as they can be.”

Learn more about Ripley’s work through Regent University’s Charis Institute at To explore Regent University’s School of Psychology and Counseling visit

Written by Christian Vaughan – Student Writer


About Regent University

Founded in 1977, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university with more than 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology. Regent University is ranked the #1 Best Accredited Online College in the United States (, 2020), the #1 Safest College Campus in Virginia (YourLocalSecurity, 2021), and the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia for nine years in a row (U.S. News & World Report, 2021).

About the School of Psychology & Counseling

The School of Psychology & Counseling is one of a handful of Christian institutions offering programs accredited by both the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Additionally, the school’s Psy.D. match rate is 20% higher than the national average. Known for delivering award-winning programs, students are taught by acclaimed faculty who integrate the science of human behavior with faith-based principles. The school offers both online and on-campus degrees including M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A. in School Counseling, M.A. in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling, M.A. in Pastoral Counseling, M.A. in Human Services, M.S. in Psychology, Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision, and Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies.