Barbara Kelly

Barbara Kelly

Program Director/Department Chair
  • Program Director/Chair
    Master of Arts in Psychology


  • The Chicago School Online
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Online)
325 N Wells St Chicago, IL 60654
325 N Wells St
Office Location
325 N. Wells St.
Office Phone
On-campus Ext.

Dr. Barbara Kelly earned her doctorate in psychology from the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in 1988, having previously received her baccalaureate and masters' degrees from the University of Michigan and Wheaton College, Illinois, respectively. She is a full professor in the Master of Arts in Psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and most recently served as Department Chair of the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology program at the Chicago campus (APA-accredited). Prior to joining The Chicago School in 2007 she served as Associate Dean for Counselor Education and Program Chair of the Counselor Education programs at Argosy University (2003-2007) and was a member of the faculty at Argosy University from 1998-2007. Her past positions include being a member of the clinical faculty at the University of Chicago (1993-1996) and co-director of the adolescent inpatient units at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Kelly has also served on the psychology staffs of several psychiatric hospitals conducting individual, couple, family, group, and multiple-family psychotherapy. She maintained a clinical practice in Chicago from 1988 until 2006. Her clinical and professional interests cluster around several interlocking areas: developmental (lifespan) psychology, the psychology of spirituality and religious experience, diversity issues, and the training of future mental health professionals. Dr. Kelly has been teaching online since designing and teaching her first online/hybrid course in 2001. She is a member of the American Psychological Association.

  • B.M., Music Education, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • M.A., Counseling Psychology, Wheaton College
  • Psy.D., Clinical Psychology, Forest Institute of Professional Psychology
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologist, IL
  • Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (inactive), IL
Areas Of Expertise

Select Presentations

  • Barr, M., Kelly, B., & Newhouse, N., (2011).  What's with online teaching anyway? A discussion with a panel of faculty from Online Programs. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Community Involvement

  • Senior Warden, Adult Sunday School Leader, Eucharistic Minister, St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Beulah, Michigan
  • President, Father Lovett Foundation Board, Beulah, Michigan
  • Volunteer: Glen Lake Community Library, Empire, Michigan

Professional Memberships

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • American Counseling Association (ACA)


Q: Please describe your teaching philosophy.
A: In the fields of psychology and counseling, students must be prepared to master a third-person knowledge base (the theories, techniques and skills of psychology), a second-person knowledge base (developmental and diagnostic assessment of others), as well as embark on and sustain an ongoing first-person understanding (self-knowledge; self-awareness). All this (and much more!) is required of practicing mental health professionals. The requisite third- and second- person knowledge bases are reflected in The Chicago School's Institutional Goals of Scholarship and Professional Practice (the material assessed by post-graduate licensure examinations), while the first-person awareness of self is reflected in the school's institutional goals of Diversity and Professional Behavior. Culturally sensitive, competent interpersonal relatedness requires an ever-expanding horizon of self-awareness and deepening attunement to self and other in the context of a community of care. These ongoing developmental processes must be catalyzed and nurtured in the classroom, the practicum/internship, and the graduate school community at large.

Q: Please provide a statement or philosophy regarding the practice of psychology.
A: The practice of psychology and counseling requires a fully engaged mind and a fully awake and open heart, willing to deeply connect with others who are suffering. To be so fully engaged at the level of mind and heart with those who suffer requires practices that nourish and sustain us, as well as ongoing and regular connection to more experienced guides and supervisors. This work requires a combination of intelligence, courage, good humor, and humility.

Q: Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
A: Having taught middle- and high-school orchestra for several years after undergrad, I found myself more interested in the kids' lives and their family situations than in finding new ways to get them to play in tune. I thought I might be of use to others and decided that clinical psychology was the best route for me to try to do just that. I've been at it ever since.

Q: What advice would you give to a student entering The Chicago School?
A: Your life will be changed.