Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling
and Theological Faculty & Staff 
Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Programs  <>  

Photo of Sr. Suzanne Mayer, I.H.M.
Sr. Suzanne Mayer, IHM 
Professor & Director
Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling
B.A., Immaculata University
M.S., Villanova University
M.S., Neumann University
Ph.D., Loyola University in Maryland


As a Sister of the Immaculate Heart I am proud to say I have had a long-standing history with Neumann University and have found a home in its Franciscan spirit. In 1990 I graduated from the then fairly-new masters in Pastoral Counseling and then went on for my doctorate in pastoral counseling from Loyola University in Maryland. After having taught eight years as an adjunct in the pastoral care and counseling program here, I was invited to a become a fulltime professor in 2011. Just this year, I agreed to take on the coordination of the pastoral programs and the undergrad theology.  In every role, in every year, I have discovered more creative, giving, caring people – in the faculty and staff and, even more, in the students. As I always say, “The students are the best part of this program.” Along with Neumann, I have also taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Immaculata University and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. In my “free time” I work as a pastoral counselor, primarily with children and members of religious orders, and as a consultant, lecturer and retreat director with groups of religious across the United States, I especially love interacting with those in formative stages, including working as an instructor in the In-Search inter-novitiate program for the contiguous dioceses.

From high school I knew I wanted to be a teacher and this has been fulfilled, beginning as a lay teacher in the primary grades right out of high school, and moving up through elementary and secondary education as an English teacher. I am known as the master of the APA among the pastoral counseling students. Currently, along with my teaching and advising I love spending time giving lectures, retreats and days of recollection and writing for publication in areas such as development and growth, women's roles and issues, the integration of spirituality and psychology and formation for religious growth. I have been published as a poet and hold a special interest in writing and teaching about forgiveness and the areas of trauma and crisis.



Photo of Janice Merrill-Rossi
Janice Merrill-Rossi
(610) 558-5572



Photo of Timothy S. Hanna
Timothy S. Hanna
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling Program
B.S., University of Florida
B.A., University of South Florida
M.T.S., Weston Jesuit School of Theology
M.S., Loyola University Maryland
Ph.D., Loyola University Maryland


Dr. Timothy S. Hanna earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology with a minor in Spanish from the University of Florida, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy from the University of South Florida. He then attended Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA, where he earned a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) degree. Seeking to integrate psychology and theology with a practical outlet of service, he attended Loyola University Maryland, where he first earned a Master of Science degree in Pastoral Counseling before subsequently earning his Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision.


During his time in Maryland, Dr. Hanna gained both teaching and clinical experience at local community colleges. He is now a clinically licensed (L.C.P.C.), nationally certified counselor (N.C.C.), with continued interest in promoting spiritually-integrated mental health care at community levels. His research interests include social justice and liberation, personality and ideology, and religious and spiritual integration in counseling and mental healthcare. He remains an engaged member of the ACA, with particular attention to the ACES and ASERVIC subdivisions, as well as the APA, AAPC, NAMI, and AERA.


Dr. Hanna is committed to promoting spiritually-integrated, personal and professional formation through his work with students in the M.S. and Ph.D. programs of Pastoral Counseling. He views such integration as an essential pathway to fostering holistic well-being in ourselves and in others.




Rev. Wallace Fletcher, Jr.
Adjunct Faculty
Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling
B.A., Sterling College
M.A., Union Theological Seminary
M. Div., Princeton Theological Seminary
D. Min., Lutheran Theological Seminary


Rev. Wally Fletcher, D.Min., is Executive Director of The Dialogue Center for Counseling and Consulting in Plymouth Meeting, PA, and Cherry Hill, NJ. He has extensive training and experience as a therapist, consultant, educator and non-profit executive. He is a certified psychoanalyst and clinical supervisor in the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP # PO81814) and a certified Clinical Fellow (and supervisor) in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (#1924). He has taught in the Pastoral Counseling program at Neumann University for fifteen years and was awarded the Part-time Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005. Dr. Fletcher also teaches courses in the Organizational & Strategic Leadership program at Neumann as well as courses in the history and evolution of psychoanalysis at the Philadelphia School of Psychoanalysis. He is an ordained Presbyterian clergyman and served as pastor of a small rural congregation before entering specialized ministry. He has published an article on "Group and Group Dynamics" for the second volume of The Encyclopedia of Christianity and is a regular contributor on pastoral themes for Lectionary Homiletics, a national journal for preachers.


His current research interest is in the history of the relationship between spirituality and mental health practice in pastoral counseling and psychoanalysis. In March 2010, he was invited to deliver the 30-Year Anniversary Lecture for the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital entitled: “The Role of Spirituality in Mental Health Care- The Passionate Conversation between Prof. Freud and Pastor Oscar Pfister and its Legacy”.



Photo of James A. Houck
James A. Houck
Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Director, Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling Program
B.A. Messiah College
M. Div., Asbury Theological Seminary
M.S., Loyola University in Maryland
Ph.D., Loyola University in Maryland


Jim Houck earned his Ph.D. in pastoral counseling from Loyola College in Maryland. He currently serves as an assistant professor of pastoral studies and clinical coordinator for the department. In addition to having provided pastoral leadership in various settings, Dr. Houck is also a licensed professional counselor in Pennsylvania, and holds professional memberships in the National Board for Certified Counselors, the American Counseling Association, and the International Association for Near Death Experiences. His research interests include grief and bereavement, trauma, spiritual and religious coping, after death communication and near death experiences.


"For me, the field of pastoral counseling is an on going professional and personal integration of clinical psychology with pastoral, theological and spiritual issues. Students come to understand that it is within this integration that we are being transformed by God's grace working in and through us as pastoral counselors."



Photo of John Kruse
John V. Kruse
Associate Professor, Theological Studies
Coordinator, Theology
B.A., University of Dayton
M.A., University of Dayton
Ph.D., Saint Louis University


I am a historical theologian with expertise in Franciscan spirituality and the office of the papacy. I came to Neumann in 2006 and have taught the following courses: Theological Foundations, Themes in Christian Scripture, Contemporary Catholicism, Sacramental Theology, Sexual and Medical Ethics, and Francis and the Environment. My publications include Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Pope John Paul II, Lent and Easter Wisdom from Pope John Paul II, Advent and Christmas Wisdom from St. Francis of Assisi, Lent and Easter Wisdom from St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, and the article “The Changing Role of Hugolino dei Conti di Segni (Gregory IX): A Hermeneutical Tool for Understanding the Lives of Francis" published in the Italian Journal Miscellanea Francescana (2008). My scholarly interests currently are focused on the relationship between St. Clare and the papacy.



Photo of Sophia S. Park
Sophia S. Park
Assistant Professor
Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling
B.A., Westmont College
M.Div., Columbia Theological Seminary
Th.D., Columbia Theological Seminary


I am passionate about teaching theologies and theories of Pastoral Care, Spiritual Formation, and Marriage and Family Therapy, where diverse images of God are reflected through the multi-cultural communities in which we live.  In the current milieu of diversity, where more families are embodying multi-cultural and multi-ethnic relations, locally and globally, the skills to engage in inter-cultural and inter-faith dialogues are essential to being competent leaders as pastors, chaplains, and therapists.

Having lived in seven countries on five continents during my formative years, I developed the ability to see and engage cultures and their people from both subjective and objective perspectives.  By engaging theologies and theories of human living through multiple vantage points, I hope to impart not mere “sensitivity” to other cultures but a reverence for the complex and exhaustive nature of God’s creations as a reflection of the diversity of God.

Prior to joining Neumann, I worked in various clinical, pastoral, and academic positions including a hospital chaplain in medical and mental health/addiction fields, a Director of Youth and Children’s Ministry, a Pastor of Congregational Care, as well as adjunct professor at Luther Seminary (MN), Bethel Seminary (MN), and McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University (GA).  Additionally, I have extensive experience as a marriage and family therapist (LMFT) working with individuals, couples, and families from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. My publications can be found in Christianity Daily, The E-Journal of AAPC and Women Out of Order (Fortress Press, 2009).



Sr. Diane Tomkinson
Sr. Diane V. Tomkinson, OSF
Associate Professor, Theological Studies 
Coordinator, Spiritual Formation & Direction
B.A., Swarthmore College
M.A., Washington Theological Union
Ph.D., Fordham University

I joined the faculty at Neumann University in August 2013, as an Associate Professor of Theology in the Department of Pastoral and Theological Studies. I teach undergraduate theology courses and foundational courses in Franciscan theology and spirituality for the M.S. in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling, the Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling, the graduate Certificate in Spiritual Formation and Direction, and the Certificate of Advanced Study in Spiritual Formation and Direction Supervision.  As of January 2015, I coordinate our Spiritual Formation and Direction Program.


I am a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, the sponsoring congregation of Neumann University. In my teaching, writing and scholarship, I am passionate about retrieving and passing on the Franciscan theological and spiritual tradition, with a special focus on the contributions of early Franciscan women, especially the late thirteenth-century mystic, St. Angela of Foligno. As an itinerant Franciscan, I have lived our mission in both rural and urban settings from Vermont to South Carolina. I served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious and Theological Studies at Salve Regina University from 2005-2010 and as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Middlebury College from 2003-2005. I have also served as a family caregiver, in formation ministry with new members of my congregation and in pastoral ministry for over ten years in various parish and campus settings. I hold a Ph.D. in Theology from Fordham University, an M.A. in Theology from Washington Theological Union, and my B.A. from Swarthmore College.



Photo of Mary Beth Yount
Mary Beth Yount
Associate Professor, Theological Studies
Program Director of the Ph.D in Pastoral Counseling
B.A., University of St. Thomas
M.A., St. Mary’s University 
Ph.D., Duquesne University


Dr. Mary Beth Yount teaches theology and ethics courses at the doctoral and undergraduate levels and directs dissertations. Named one of “Philadelphia’s Most Interesting People” by NBC-10, her academic and non-profit work has been featured in over a hundred media outlets, both scholarly and popular, including TIME magazine and Rome Reports.


Her honors and awards include the Benemerenti Medal from Pope Francis, two Catholic Press Association awards, and our own annual scholar’s award. She has received over a half million dollars in community grants and hundreds of thousands in academic funding. Dr. Yount is a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and a delegate at relevant Vatican events. Her degrees are a Ph.D. in Theology from Duquesne University, an M.A. in Theology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, and a B.A. in Theology with a minor in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX.


Dr. Yount’s publications over the past several years include chapters to five books, seven articles, and guest-editing a journal. Her specialty is the intersection of religious, philosophical, educational, and cultural dialogue, especially practical theology (such as lay ecclesial ministry and the theology of the family) and applied ethics. The current focus of her research is fundamentalism and diversity—such as how to bridge religious divides through interfaith volunteering, increasing diversity within church leadership, and the role of ritual in developing competencies for encountering religious extremism. She is currently working on an invited chapter exploring ritual and augmented reality experiences such as Pokémon Go.


Dr. Yount taught at Duquesne University and was an academic publishing project coordinator at Duquesne University Press. She has been founder and executive director of both a non-profit organization and a federally-funded preschool for needy families, director of content and programming for the World Meeting of Families, director and assistant director of two schools, a publishing marketing and promotions assistant, and an early childhood educator. She is married and the mother of four young children.