Dr. Maria’s heart has always been in pastoral care. For over 30 years, she served in various capacities in different organizations in fulfillment of this ministry—as a church worker, a youth pastor, a radio station manager, a municipal councilwoman, a pastoral counselor and a ministry coordinator. Currently, Dr. Maria is a practicing Psychotherapist, having received her training and Doctor of Psychology degree from the combined program of Institute of Psychodynamic Pastoral Supervision in Durham, NC and The Graduate TheologicalFoundation in Mishawaka, IN (now in Oklahoma, OK, USA).
She is a Board Certified Clinical Chaplain and Spiritual Care Practitioner under the Center for Spiritual Care and Pastoral Formation in the US and has been supervising CPE programs in the Philippines since 2013 to the present. She is a passionate teacher-trainer and mentor on how to provide pastoral care in highly traumatic situations such as national disasters or organizational crisis.
In 2015 she founded with her colleague the non-profit organization, Vanderpol Center for Leadership and Pastoral Formation, Inc., to offer trainings, seminars, executive coaching services and CPE programs in the Philippines. Vanderpol Center’s vision is to eventually be “Asia’s leading training institution and provider of holistic clinical pastoral care, crisis management and relational leadership trainings”. Dr. Maria currently sits as the Chairperson of Vanderpol Center’s Board of Trustees. Recently, Vanderpol Center has become the Spiritual Care Association (SCA) affiliate in the Philippines. SCA is an affiliate of the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network in the USA.
Prior to her doctoral degree, she graduated with the highest academic honors on Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care from the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary, Baguio City, Philippines. Her undergraduate studies was at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Dr. Maria loves learning, traveling, and empowering others. She is a single Mom to an artistic young man and has learned to love dogs.