on faculty since 1977
Ph.D., Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1986
M.A., Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1975
B.A., Trinity Christian College, Palos Heights, Illinois, 1974
Dr. Michael DeVries ’74 was on track to graduate from Trinity with a degree in math until his curiosity spurred him to change his major to psychology.
“When I was in college, it seemed as though psychology had very little Christian presence. There seemed to be no correlation between psychology and faith, and I wanted to explore that idea. Now I believe a strong tie exists between the two.”
One train of thought suggests that Christians ought not suffer certain psychological conditions and maladies. Such a theory implies that spiritual weakness causes physical ailments, but De Vries disagrees with that viewpoint.
“Spirituality is always a part of trying to understand how we experience troubles and calamities. Christians can suffer the same limitations as anyone else. When people develop psychological problems, it doesn’t mean they have weak faith. As a professor and clinician, I am careful to integrate Christian perspective with established psychological science.
DeVries, chair of the psychology department, returned to the College to begin his teaching career in 1977. He completed his doctorate in clinical psychology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Off campus, he pursues a clinical practice at Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc., in Oak Forest, Illinois, an agency founded by his wife, Louella ’93. They opened that private practice in 1996, three years after she finished her psychology degree at Trinity.
“Teaching and working at the clinic give me a sense of balance in my career,” DeVries said. “They complement each other very well. The things I teach in class are what I apply at the clinic, and my experiences with my clients give more depth to the principles I teach my students.
“I stress challenging students to think critically about their worldview assumptions from a Christian perspective. Trinity provides an academic community in which a Reformed, Christian worldview can develop in the field of psychology. I enjoy working toward this goal with students and promoting their participation is the discipline of psychology as Christians.”
When he is not immersed in the psychology of Freud or the philosophy of Martin Buber, Dr. DeVries enjoys golf, tennis, and an occasional game of chess.
Born in Lansing, Illinois, DeVries and his wife live in Tinley Park, Illinois. They have four children and attend Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.
“Metanarrative and Perspective: Reflections on Integration,” Christian Association for Psychological Studies Convention, Arlington Heights, Illinois, 2002.
“In Dialog With Martin Buber: Toward A Christian Psychology of Interpersonal Relations, Society for Christian Psychology, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 2006