Mary Lynn Colosimo
Professor of Psychology
on faculty since 1988
Ph.D., The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 1981
M.A., Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, 1972
B.A., Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, 1972
Professional and Personal Interest
Since arriving at Trinity more than 20 years ago, Dr. Mary Lynn Colosimo, professor of psychology, believes that she has been called to the ministry of college teaching in psychology and education. Her students—those she instructs and those she mentors—would affirm that belief.
That affirmation is derived from Colosimo’s philosophy of teaching in which she sees all who enter the classroom as both teachers and learners. She describes what she calls the “active learning model” as one that offers students opportunities for classroom presentations based on their life journeys.
“To hear from them is a rich blessing every semester as they share how they also have been called to be part of the Trinity community,” said Colosimo.
A native of Chicago, Colosimo graduated from Bradley University (Illinois) with bachelor’s degrees in sociology and education, and then earned a master’s in counseling psychology from the same institution. She later completed her doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the University of Chicago and launched her teaching career at Trinity in 1988 as an adjunct professor in psychology and education.
Colosimo draws upon a variety of resources to help create a collaborative learning environment. The writings of authors such as Henri Nouwen, Parker Palmer, and Brennan Manning have helped to shape her thinking, and she has “invited diversity, embraced ambiguity, welcomed creative conflict, practiced honesty, and experienced humility” in her classroom since she began teaching. She sees her role as a catalyst to assist students in making the connection between “what they believe about the world from a Reformed perspective and how they live in that world.”
Her psychology students have access to “various avenues of scholarship and service as they attempt to create their own understanding of this world view. Shared leadership and responsibilities [between students and professor] are essential. All involved must be committed to a learning community, a family that is focused on valuing one another, caring about one another, and sharing honestly with one another.”
When students learn to see their world through the lens of psychology, Colosimo believes they can become better equipped to live as God’s servants by analyzing the person of Jesus Christ that the Bible describes. “Psychology helps us understand the soul, and when we read and study Scripture, we learn about inner beings, communal relationships, and the value of solitude. It is interesting to examine how Jesus’ personality was so complete from a psychological perspective and compare our personalities as children of God to his.”
Another area of Christian service and commitment is her involvement in several ministries in Harvey, Illinois, particularly Restoration Ministries and Tabitha House for Women, where she has served on the board since 1997. She initiated a weekly book club with the Tabitha House women and has taught an Interim in Harvey at Restoration Ministries for the past several years. It is her goal for students to experience a “renewed passion for service upon completion of these interim courses.” Students live at the ministry during Interim and participate in many of the service opportunities affiliated with Restoration Ministries, from working with the youth in an after-school program to ministering to the senior population in Harvey at the YMCA.
Colosimo participates in several professional organizations at both the local and national levels, including the Midwest Psychological Association, the American Psychological Association, National Association for Gifted Children, Illinois Association for Gifted Children, Illinois Administrator’s Academy, The Honor Societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Psi Chi , American Association of University Women, National Association for Supervision/Curriculum Development and the Illinois Association for Supervision/Curriculum Development.
In her research and teaching interests, she focuses on studying teaching philosophies from a Christian perspective; identifying links between teaching and learning, particularly multiple intelligences and the work of Howard Gardner; examining learning styles, birth order and links between home and school; and studying developmental interrelationships from birth to death. Recently, Colosimo has become interested in yoga, which she teaches on and off campus, and yoga therapy, as well as contemplative studies in the classroom.
When not engaged in teaching, mentoring, or participating in ministry service, she spends time swimming, running, listening to music, and practicing yoga and Pilates. She is also an avid skier, a sport she enjoys with her whole family. She and her husband have four adult daughters and live in Palos Park, Illinois. They are members of Parkview Christian Church in Orland Park.
- Cross-Cultural Psychology
- Life Span Psychology
- Orientation to Psychology as a Major
- Psychology of Gender
- Psychology of Personal and Psychological Growth
Professional Society Membership
- American Association of University Women
- American Psychological Association
- The Honor Societies of Phi Kappa Phi and Psi Chi
- Illinois Administrator’s Academy
- Illinois Association for Gifted Children
- Illinois Association for Supervision/Curriculum Development
- Midwest Psychological Association
- National Association for Gifted Children
- National Association for Supervision/Curriculum Development
Papers Published and/or Presented
“Contemplative Practices in Higher Education,” International Journal of Yoga Therapy. IAYT Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research. September 2011.
“Contemplative Practices in Higher Education,” Education as Formation: Christian Approaches, Calvin College, October 2011.
“The Bridge I Called Home: A Restoration Ministries Recovery and Relocation,” with Mike Aquaviva, Christopher Scott, and Jordan Voskui. The Other Journal. July 2009.
“A Model for Living in Balance in the Classroom and in Life.” Teaching for a Change Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. June 2007.
“How Shall We Learn? How Shall We Live?” Phi Kappa Phi Forum. Fall 2004
Several additional papers published and presented.