Department of Psychology
Fr. Joseph Goertz, Founder of USC Department of Psychology
Prague and Vienna
Fr. Goertz studied psychology in Prague and Vienna and taught psychology and philosophy at the St. Augustine Seminary in Sankt Augustine-bei-Bonn, Germany. He received his theological training at the SVD seminary St. Gabriel at Mödling near Vienna. The “anthropological atmosphere” in St. Gabriel seminary benefited Fr. Goertz greatly in his later academic work.
Fu Jen Catholic University
In Fu Jen Catholic University of Beijing Fr. Goertz was head of the Psychology Department and director of studies. He built up an excellent Experimental Psychology Laboratory. After Fr. Goertz was expelled from China during the Chinese revolution in 1951 he accepted an academic post at San Carlos.
San Carlos University
In 1954 Fr. Goertz established the Psychology Department at San Carlos, where he taught until his retirement in 1976. He was Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences. In 1965 San Carlos established the Office of Research and Scholarship and Fr. Goertz became its Director. He was considered one of the architects of research and serious academic scholarship at San Carlos. He served in the San Carlos Publications as one of the Associate Editors during the time of Fr. Rudolf Rahmann, SVD, Ph.D. in anthropologist. His keen interest in research on Philippine Folktales was in a decisive way instrumental in the creation by San Carlos of an organization for cultural research of the Philippines ~ the Cebuano Studies Center.
Fr. Goertz was a man who achieved in his personality what Cardinal Newman described as the “essential unity of the ideals of the man of faith.” This might explain the fact that Fr. Goertz was first of all an academic teacher, one to whom teaching was a “true ministry.” He spent almost 18 years of psychological work in Beijing, a couple of years in Europe, and 22 years in San Carlos.
Today Fr. Goertz is remembered through the Joseph Goertz Research Fellowship in Cebuano Studies, an annual award granted by the Cebuano Studies Center. This annual award is made possible by a permanent Fund from the S.V.D. Generalate in Rome. Historically the Psychology Department’s theoretical perspective is the only one in the country that is rooted in the German tradition.