About The Founder



Joseph M. Scerbo was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1970.  He possesses two Masters degrees: one a Master of Teaching Science in Counseling Psychology from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.; and the other a Master of Arts in Theology from St. Paul’s College, Washington, D.C. In 1983, Friar Joe received his Ph.D, an interdisciplinary doctorate in Religion and the Personality Sciences from the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley.

His dissertation was entitled “Reconciliation, the Purpose of Spirit-directed Psychotherapy.”  Fr. Joe has received additional training in Gestalt Therapy and Transactional Analysis with Mary and Bob Goulding at the Western Institute for Family and Group Therapy. He has studied Psychosynthesis in Florence, Italy with Roberto Assagioli, M.D., and has been mentored by Claudio Naranjo, M.D., the original developer of the Enneagram tool for human transformation.

Fr. Joe has been involved in campus ministry at Newman Centers at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Berkeley, and Los Angeles City College and also served as a Retreat Master at Graymoor, Garrison, N.Y.

Fr. Joe is past President of the Catholic, ecumenical, and eucharistically-centered Association of Christian Therapists, International. A.C.T. is an organization of Christian health care professionals in the medical, therapeutic and pastoral-counseling fields who are open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit and especially the gift of healing. He continues to be active in this organization and is now stationed at St. Paschal Baylon Catholic Church in Thousand Oaks, California. He served as Academic Dean of Trinity College of Graduate Studies for sixteen years.



Friar Joe is a member of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement, two distinct religious communities dedicated to Christian Unity and inter-religious understanding. The mission of his Franciscan community is translated into action by social, ecumenical and pastoral ministries, now located on three continents. St. Francis of Assisi, their patron, said, “We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart and to bring home those who have lost their way.” In the spirit of the Seraphic Saint, the friars are dedicated to serve the poor, the homeless and those with physical and emotional disorders, including people living with HIV/AIDS and those seeking recovery from alcoholism and chemical dependency. His community sponsors the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, publishes the journal, Ecumenical Trends, and sponsors meetings, Colloquia and workshops in areas of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue.