Fuller Theological Seminary is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Cynthia Blomquist Eriksson as the new Dean of the School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Eriksson brings a wealth of experience and a passion for integrating theology and behavioral science to her new leadership role.
Cynthia Blomquist Eriksson has a deep and longstanding connection with Fuller. She started her journey as an undergraduate psychology major at Wheaton College in Illinois, and her path led her to South America where she engaged in mission training and discovered her passion for trauma studies. In 1990, she began her studies at Fuller as a PhD Clinical Psychology student, with a focus on trauma in children. Her academic journey encompassed a broad range of courses in clinical psychology and theology as well as courses like Folk Religion and International Development in the (former) School of World Mission, and these all contributed to her profound understanding of psycho-social care in various cultural contexts.
Throughout her career, Dr. Eriksson’s research has centered on trauma, spirituality, culture, and diversity. Her work has illuminated the risks faced by individuals in high-stress or traumatic environments by shedding light on issues such as burnout, post-traumatic stress, and post-traumatic growth. Her years of research has not only expanded the field of psychology but has also enriched the practice of ministry.
Regarding her appointment, Dr. Eriksson shared her enthusiasm by stating, “I come to this Dean position with an incredible appreciation for the work that Fuller has done in the fields of Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Integration. Our faculty, alums, and students have led in scholarship and clinical practice. I affirm that legacy, and I want to draw that expertise to the pressing needs of the world right now.” Dr Eriksson affirms that her vision for the school includes empowering every member to contribute to the world, “where they truly are empowered to live out their calling and contribute to the Gospel of Christ’s hope and healing.”
Fuller’s School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy has long been a pioneer in the integration of theology and behavioral science. Dr. Eriksson envisions this integration playing a crucial role in addressing global challenges, such as climate change, mental health crises, and fostering dialogue within the church. “What we’re facing globally,” she remarks, “requires us to bring these understandings into the church and beyond.”
Dr. Eriksson’s international work, which has also spanned several countries, has yielded invaluable insights into the field of psychology globally. Her collaboration with humanitarian organizations has reinforced her value of frameworks like the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. These guidelines emphasize the importance of mental health care at various levels, from basic psycho-education to professional counseling and this directly aligns with Fuller’s mission of healing and transformation in the community, the church, and the counseling room.
President David Emmanuel Goatley expressed his confidence in Dr. Eriksson’s leadership by affirming that, “Cynthia Blomquist Eriksson is not only a scholar and a practitioner but also a deeply committed Christian. Her appointment is a testament to Fuller’s dedication to equipping graduates who can make a transformative impact in the world.”
The installation ceremony for Dr. Eriksson will take place on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at 10:00 AM and her installation address is titled “For Such a Time as This: Hope and Healing as the Mission of Mental Health.” The event will be held on the Pasadena campus of Fuller Theological Seminary and also live-streamed for those unable to attend in person, with live translations available in Spanish and Korean.
Fuller Theological Seminary invites the Fuller community, students, and the broader audience to join us in celebrating Dr. Eriksson’s new role as Dean of the School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy.
For more information about the installation ceremony, please visit fuller.edu/installation or call 626-584-5205.
ABOUT FULLER SEMINARY
Fuller Seminary is one of the largest multidenominational seminaries in the world with a global enrollment of more than 3,000 students in its master’s and doctoral programs. Fuller Seminary students may take classes in person, online, or through a hybrid of the two via campuses in Pasadena, Houston, and Phoenix. Founded in Pasadena, California, Fuller Seminary is committed to providing indispensable, formational education to diverse Christian leaders everywhere. Responding to changes in the church and world, Fuller Seminary is transforming the seminary experience to create a global learning community where leaders can access Fuller Seminary’s traditional graduate programs, as well as non-degree courses through the digital learning platform FULLER Equip, and free resources created by FULLER studio. Fuller Seminary’s distinctive integration of its four major disciplines—housed in the School of Mission and Theology and the School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy—is evident in its range of master’s and doctoral programs, uniquely equipping leaders for innovative, nuanced, and intellectually grounded service in a variety of roles and settings.