The New Age and Roma Downey

Roma Downey & Mark Burnett

What does Roma Downey, the co-producer of The Bible miniseries, believe? We know she and her husband Mark Burnett are Catholic. But did you know she also attended the University of Santa Monica, a private graduate school founded by New Age spiritual and self-help guru John-Roger?  She will graduate with a master’s degree in spiritual psychology in June.

“As someone who has been on a spiritual journey for many years, it seems a natural extension of that work,” says Downey. “The skills I’m learning will ultimately qualify me to be a therapist.”

Says Roma, who lives in Malibu, ‘My kids go to school about a 40-minute drive away. I’m open to the group’s opinion about what we listen to on the way there. On the way back, I get my own selections — books on tape by Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins…My husband says I’m so self-realized I’m practically levitating.’


Good to know.


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35 Responses to The New Age and Roma Downey

  1. Sharon W. says:

    I'm truly not trying to be funny here, but is there someone who could explain to me what a master's degree in "spiritual phsychology" is?


    • Sharon W. says:

      Excuse me…correction…."psychology"


    • Deb says:

      haha..a fancy title that anyone with money can pay for..Lord help the person that comes to her for help


    • George says:

      It should be a redundant phrase. Psychology can't help but deal/mess with with a person's spirit. While most of the field of psychology is an attempt to deny the spiritual dimension of being human, all psychology should be spiritual. That's why there was NO psychology as a distinct discipline or field of study when Christianity was widely held and healthy. Pastors and elders who shepherded Christ's flock occupied the field, and gave better advice.


  2. Dave Mosher says:

    Greetings Amy and Mike! The blog was written Apr. 23, but doesn't say what year. I looked back at several previous blogs . The Mar. 25 blog refers to "this Sunday, March 28." Which would mean the Downey blog was written Apr. 23, 2010. So apparently Roma Downey graduated from USM in June 2010.

    For readers wondering what Spiritual Psychology is, it is basically a New Age degree. And USM was founded by a big-name New Ager who goes by the name of John-Rogers. Very occult. i wrote a blog about this, in which I included an excerpt defining Spiritual Psychology:

    God bless you, and keep up the good work!


    • Amy Spreeman says:

      Thank you Dave! I will share your article on our Facebook Page as well.


    • SallyVee says:

      Great round-up of info at your blog, folks.

      Oy vey! I noticed the name John Edward – The Dead Whisperer! Remember when Catherine Crier promoted that guy week after week on FoxNews? I think she single handedly propelled the guy to fame. I am told FoxNews has been promoting the Downey-Burnett series as well, with about as much discernment and depth as it applies to everything else – which is to say zilch, nada, zip. So glad we dumped cable TV a year ago… we were paying $110/month to stream all that toxic waste into our heads.


  3. SallyVee says:

    John-Roger has been around forEVER (I think his badly permed remaining hair testifies to that). Michael Medved wrote about him in his book Whatever Happened to the Class of '65? – a member of that high school class got completely bedazzled by J-R.

    Also, Arianna Huffington is an acolyte of J-R's… apparently to this day. Years ago when I first read about Huffington & J-R, I remember there was something about the color purple. His followers would always wear a purple blouse or scarf to signify their allegiance.

    Here's a snippet found on Discover The Networks:

    While visiting California [Arianna] met the man who remains her spiritual guide to this day, John-Roger (Hinkins), founder of a New Age church apparently spun off from the ECKANKAR cult teachings of Paul Twitchell. John-Roger’s Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA) is a faith based on “the Mystical Traveler, a spiritual consciousness that exists throughout all levels of God’s creation.”

    One disciple of John-Roger’s was the New York Times best-selling author Peter McWilliams. As a de-programmed ex-member, McWilliams wrote the expose Life 102: What to Do When Your Guru Sues You (1994). In this book McWilliams alleged that the charismatic John-Roger had told McWilliams the he (McWilliams) could be cured of AIDS if he wrote books giving John-Roger co-authorship and at least half of the books’ profits, which the “brainwashed” McWilliams agreed to do. To this day, John-Roger insists that he was the chief writer of such co-authored best-sellers as Life 101, and implied that McWilliams was more his scribe than a co-equal author.

    In Life 102 McWilliams described how Arianna Huffington, too, had been duped by John-Roger and had become a major contributor to, and an ordained minister of, MSIA. McWilliams released to the press a video of Huffington in a white robe being baptized by John-Roger. “I’ve gotten a lot of value from John-Roger’s work,” said Arianna Huffington. “He’s a good friend.”



    • Roxanne says:

      i also read in the above link that Huffington was a disciple of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. I learned alot about him via the testimony of former new ager Warren B Smith. Another weird connection to this University that Roma went to. One of the people involved in this University is none other than Dr. Bernie Siegel, the guy who has a spirit guide name George and apparently has the adoration of one Rick Warren. Enough so, that he got a honorable mention near the beginning of the Purpose Drivel Lie as someone to look to as a good example of hope. Serious face palm!


  4. Sharon W. says:

    Thanks Dave! I will take the time to read the link you gave….John Rogers, USM and spiritual psychology are not things I'm familiar with or knowledgable of….in more ways than one.


  5. I have worked in the area of Psychological Sciences for the University of Manchester for over 8 years… I have no longer been involved and had since left my job,

    My work at the university has not been without controversy as I had given a lecture in the diversity module of psychology the subject was faith and psychology I was introducing why they cannot be mixed and why Clinical Psychology was diametrically opposite to psychology, this was to a class of the entire 3rd year students in the doctorate program, inadvertently I gave the gospel and also the impact it has on my life, this was I think the first time every they had paid someone to do this as they admitted it was a completely new area for them, this caused a stir especially when I touched on the subject of homosexuality but of course with the consent of the programme director.

    Apart from contributing teaching I was one of the biggest opponents to IAPT 1,2 & 3 (Improving Access to Psychological therapies) this is another way of co-ordinating how CBT theories are used, I produced a case that IAPT at the time had been scrapped, I have had conversations with the UK's leading CBT specialist stating why I disagreed that CBT had been seen as the only model to recovery, when I was promoting a cheaper and proven method of health eating rather then conventional therapies, the problems with CBT is that it is based on clinical trails, as i also expressed to the university clinical trails does not necessary prove any results of long term recovery and can only meet the governments criteria of a quick fix solution to push hoards of the sick and disabled back to work, the UK government now has implemented in the working environment that psychometric evaluations should be implemented to prevent relapses.

    The UK government has spent billions of pounds based on CBT led research, I wrote two articles on this at the universities publications on the universities psychology magazine.

    I cannot see how we can base evidence on a individual case by case as Prof that CBT is working when they admitted they had failed as they put it was down to the therapist not the psychological method this is belloni.

    Their are varied groups that I have debated in this area, but part of my work did involve the BPS British psychological society, the BPS no longer are in charge of Psychology in the UK it is all now done through the HPC Health Professionals Council.

    This is not everything but the reasons for leaving is that the University had placed allot of pressure on me adapting new age and budhest practises in the way I work at the university the administrator who a liberal goes to an elim church stated for me to choose between God or Psychology, I choose God so I resigned.

    my work had involved with the teaching, formulation, developing and altering the psyc doctrate curriculum weather it is dealing in spiritual psychology that Carl Gustov Myoung did promote this was rooted in Theosophy must of what is developed for CBT's, IAPT 1, 2 and 3, Psycho-dynamic Theropy, Mindfulness techniques, Psycho-Theropy, Neuro-Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Psychology, Human Emotion etc, many of the fundementals of its philosophy is based on Buddhism and other eastern philosophies cannot be compatible with Christianity, Roma Dawney is dangerously mixing the two worldviews we know that the RCC does this anyway, Mark Burnett her husband has Jesuits working with him but even they have involvement with what is happening in Psychological Psudo-sciences..

    I do not see how anyone can be under a correct impression that we can use anything remotely psychological and expect to impact people with it, all it will do is convince the person that psychosis is one of like problems that can help people live a quality of life without Jesus…

    Former Consultant, University Of Manchester.
    Working for Christ

    Miguel Hayworth


  6. sure it comes under Transpersonal psychology is a school of psychology that studies the transpersonal, self-transcendent or spiritual aspects of the human experience.

    This includes include mysticism, religious conversion, altered states of consciousness, trance and spiritual practices.


  7. Rose Vosburgh says:

    Sharon, I just googled it…

    Says coursework includes just topics are these: The Mind Body Connection, Personality Testing, Meditation, Hypnosis, and Visualizaton, Issues in Life Span Development, Intuitive Counseling, Energy Psychology, Alternative Therapies, Past Lives Therapies (?!!), Life and Personal Coaching…to name a few.

    A degree in 'Spiritual Psychology leads to the following careers: Teaching at a college :-(, Research, Industrial and Business Consulation, Personal and Life Coaching, Private Mental Health Practice. (Yikes!)

    Looks to me like the New Age is gaining ground…getting acceptance everywhere now.


    • you also want to stay clear of the meyers briggs test this is used in many churches and is actually doing more harm then good.


      • Sharon W. says:

        I remember taking the Meyers Briggs test some 27yrs. ago. It was part of the screening process in applying for a Security position at a nuclear power plant. I'm more than befuddled though in understanding as to what in the world would be the purpose of using it in an organized church?


      • Miguel Hayworth says:

        I am not sure why my postings have been removed but I can only expose through my own experience in working in the field of psychology in the past I no longer do.

        I do not find any psychological teachings and practices can ever be compatible to biblical Christianity, and many now turn to the MBTI even used in Rick Warrens materials.


    • Sharon W. says:

      Thanks Rose for checking it out. The New age stuff has definitely morphed into all kinds of strange teachings since I first was aware of it's impact some 25yrs. ago. A real synchronization with "the world" and "spiritual matters".

      It kinda reminds me of something I believe Jacob Prasch had said at one time where they will be using similar or same words as our faith in Christ Jesus but meaning something completely different…..a definite challenge to our witnessing the truth & grace of the One True God.


      • Miguel Hayworth says:

        exactly Sharon I did a series on the Reformation

        during my time in London exposing ecumenical events

        This was part of what I had written

        Ultimate Gold was organised in conjunction and in Partnership with the ecumenical Catholic led More than Gold. Its main focus is on Mission in an ecumenical context, Simon Clinton Pastor of Highway Church Stratford who was one of the people behind Ultimate Gold, stated to First Plumbline Apologetics, he knew nothing about the Pagan Eucharistic Adoration, but in spite of his ignorance of it he agreed to place an open invitation to the Eucharistic Adoration service to encourage its visitors to Ultimate Gold to partake in the Catholic Mass of Transubstantiation, this was printed on the Ultimate Gold programme, (Please click to see image) this will show you the gross apostasy and how theologically and fundamentally flawed this really is.


      • Miguel Hayworth says:

        The way i see it now is that hords of evangelicals are pushing for the Catholic mass, even with YWAM they have a Karigma group this is the Catholic YWAM but they are certainty disguised as "evangelical" and they are not.


  8. Mary says:

    People need to know this about her. Not every program that has a spiritual element, such as "Touched by an Angel" which Christians loved, is "Christian". Far from it. Yet it was so popular for so long. Now that spiritual leaven has come home to roost because I hear so many believers who think that the History Channel is capable, or even wants to, make a movie about the bible that is solid and true. The naivete of the church that believes it is entitled to entertainment is stunning.


  9. Missy says:

    Wow, I was not familiar with John-Roger, but I would really love for someone to ask Roma about this. The University has endorsement quotes on their site from Barbara Marx-Hubbard, Jean Huston? How can anyone think that to be compatible with their Christian faith?

    I found an old LA Times article on John-Roger that is quite eye opening:


  10. Dave Mosher says:

    This article gives a New Age definition of Spiritual Psychology:… Note that: 1) the writer graduated from the same school as Roma Downey,. And 2) Downey has stated elsewhere that she hopes to become a "therapist" (similar to this writer, I assume).


  11. Neil says:

    What few people will bring about this couple is their many marriages. Did Roma Downey marry and divorce three times and if so, were they according to scripture? The answer is no because all three of her previous husbands are alive. How can someone who ignores scripture be trusted to bring it to life through a movies series?


  12. 4Grace says:

    Is it true that Roma Downey supported Obama in this last election? I wasn't sure what I heard.


  13. Brian says:

    This morning, I "Googled" Della Reese's spirituality. Among the options, were her Metaphysical Website.


  14. "Roma Downey is a practicing Catholic and an active in her faith Christian woman.” Source: Roma Downey’s own website:


  15. Danoma says:

    Wow, way to put so much time and energy into critiquing and judging someone you don't know. It's not like there aren't people more worthy of this like say…terrorists. But let's all dissect this woman's beliefs, which are between her and God. Truly doing the Lord's work.


    • Julie says:

      She is not doing God's work. Her "god" is the fake New Age counterfeit; the "universal force" nonsense. She is a New Ager through and through and should be avoided at all costs. Her heretical "christian" movies are proof of her heretical, anti-biblical, New Age beliefs. What does light have to do with darkness? Nothing.


    • Miguel Hayworth says:

      Danoma I am did not say anything against her personally, the practices that Roma promotes is what is being questioned here, Roma Downey does represent another Gospel that is the point here as she is pushing this publicly then anything that is taught against sacred scripture is to be exposed and rejected publicly according to scripture, for this we cannot be neutral about the gospel or any teachings in the Bible, leading people astray in to what we regard as heretical must be challenged.

      It it for this I conclude that:

      After all did not the RCC set it self to this very day to challenge heretical teachings and condemn it where ever it leads people way from Roman Catholicism itself, for the same reason anyone who leads masses into either praying the rosary, the mass and all its sentimentalism will be opposed.

      Roma Downey states that she believes in the Catholic Mass and goes out her her why to defend Roman Catholicism even works with the jesuitical order to make this happen.

      Here is what it is and why Roman Catholicism takes people away from the Gospel as what Roma Downey does.

      It is essential that every protestant evangelical who represents the Gospel cannot afford to give any apathy with regards to what Rome represents with regards to its dogma’s, sacraments, interpretative teachings and doctrines in many area’s because it sets to undermine the authority of scripture that comes from God and replacing this with man’s authority even if what Rome teaches even if it is very close to scripture itself containing much error and has leavened its entire system with hypocrisy, it exults tradition in many practical ways in placing its own supremacy over the word of God.

      Rome claims infallibility that is mediatorial and imperialistic it represents a theocracy and has its own government that carries a whole lot of implications with regards to faith and salvation, none of its claims can ever be founded or gain any scriptural support with regards to its various teachings, especially when it comes to area’s like the priesthood of its clergy in this you have the Mass to offer Christ as a sacrifice for the absolution of sins, this means that Rome itself is a fundamental and foundational rejection of Jesus Christ who is our only redeemer and upon close examination of the sacraments go on to nullify the Grace of God and Rome forces itself onto the will of the people who Rome is supposed to be responsible for taking a powerful hold over many people’s lives.

      It has been the work of those men before me whom have spent their lives in investigating the claims made by Rome for our own benefit often resulting in their own sacrifice throughout history because they rejected even as much as the idolatry committed that the average catholic apologist is so keen to justify and defend.

      Studying Rome’s doctrine of justification shows they have separated themselves from the New Testament scriptures and brings with it that human effort is needed for God to accept any sinner this amounts to departing from any truth of the scriptures themselves and would rather demand elegance from the people to the Roman See.

      The first duty of Protestants, as it seems to me, is TO AWAKE FROM APATHY, WHICH SO WIDELY PREVAILS AMONG THEM, TO THE PERIL OF ROMISH AGRESSION. Let us frankly acknowledge the fact that there exists a deplorable amount of indifference to this peril in our protestant churches today. It is a menace, however, which is no imaginary danger, existing only in the fears and hatreds of sectarian zeal, but a formidable reality. The conquest of England and Scotland for the Pope is, let me repeat, one of the dearest aims of the Roman Church, an aim to which her energies have been solemnly dedicated for over sixty years, and which is being prosecuted with the most intense devotion and inspired by special liturgical services.

      In May 1869 the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Britain ordered that public as well as private prayers and intercessions should be offered up constantly to God for the conversion of England, and that the exposition and benediction if the blessed sacrament on the second Sunday of every month should be for this intention.

      It for the reasons mentioned above that this should remain the duty of every evangelical to make sure that the Yoke of Rome remains broken our constant war is not against Catholics but the system that has so many under the yoke of Rome, this is the system that we continue to war against because of Rome’s direct assault and its testimony against the scriptures themselves, we must teach and train our youth in guarding them as Rome has done with their youth against so called contamination from the separated brethren and its influences, it duty of the non-Catholic evangelical church to give the world our example of scriptural living as at the moment the world is more focused on what Rome does, demonstrating why Rome is at fault and encouraging people to look to the scriptural Gospel as the only power of God that leads to salvation and not one that claims the authority of Tradition etc.


  16. Bonnie says:

    Let all of keep Roma Downey and her husband in prayer That they will turn thy hearts to OUR LORD CHRIST JESUS GOSPEL AND HIS FINISH WORK AT THE CROSS. Because what they are doing is, Will here is what OUR LORD says: Galatians 1:6-12
    marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.


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