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InterVaristy Press and Richmont Graduate University Partner to Continue Work of Conversations

For more than a decade Richmont Graduate University has published Conversations Journal, providing spiritually thoughtful and intellectually rich content to an audience seeking spiritual formation. As we release the final print edition of Conversations, Richmont is pleased to announce that we will be partnering with InterVarsity Press to continue providing content and connection for Conversations subscribers.

“InterVarsity Press has been involved from the conception of Conversations in providing article content, editorial direction, and support through advertising. The visions of Conversations, Richmont Graduate University, and our spiritual formation publishing in our Formatio line of books are strongly aligned,” said Cindy Bunch, IVP associate publisher, editorial. “We are eager to continue to support the good work of Conversations over the years and to expand the conversation about spiritual formation to a broader group of readers.”

The first free monthly e-newsletter containing content similar to that found in Conversations Journal will go out in January 2017. It will be distributed to Conversations subscribers and to IVP’s Formatio subscribers and will contain original articles as well as excerpts from IVP books. Richmont will continue to maintain the Conversations app and the website, conversationsjournal.com, where former subscribers can purchase back issues and visitors can receive one free issue download, find content, and sign up or unsubscribe for the newsletter.  To register to receive the newsletter, click the Formatio logo below:

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Gary Moon, founding editor of Conversations, said, “The Conversations Journal was born over fifteen years ago out of a number of greatly enjoyable and rawly honest conversations. The dominant theme was authentic transformation and why that condition seemed so difficult to live out. While I am sad that economic realities mean that normal life for this publication has come to an end, I am delighted that two of the journal’s most faithful partners, IVP and Richmont Graduate University, will be keeping the conversation going in the form of a monthly newsletter which will feature new content and reminders from the old.”

Although the social media pages for Conversations will no longer be active, readers can like Formatio on Facebook and follow @Formatio on Twitter for similar content.

Bob Rodgers, president of Richmont Graduate University, said, “We are pleased that Conversations will be able to continue with a newsletter and online presence with two core partners from the life of the journal: Richmont Graduate University and InterVarsity Press. I am thrilled that InterVarsity Press has the vision to continue to provide new content to subscribers that will be consistent with the themes and approach we’ve had all along. Past issues will continue to be archived online and available through the ongoing work of Richmont. We owe a great debt to editors Tara Mansbridge Owens and Joannah Sadler for their work over many years, and I am pleased that their good work will carry on in this new form.”

Bunch said, “I am grateful to Bob Rodgers for this opportunity to continue to serve Conversations subscribers. I will be personally involved in developing newsletter content. I hope that current subscribers will join us on social media by following Formatio on Facebook and Twitter. I look forward to engaging you there.”

Board of Trustees Appoints Interim President

Dr. Vanessa Snyder Appointed Interim President at Richmont

After extensive prayer and careful consideration, the Board of Trustees of Richmont Graduate University is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Vanessa Snyder as Interim President of the University. As a Richmont alumnus, experienced counselor, and accomplished professor, Dr. Snyder brings a wealth of experience and passion to this important post.

 Dr. Snyder will begin transitioning to the position immediately and will officially take over the role January 3, 2017.  Our current president, Bob Rodgers, has committed to work together with Dr. Snyder over the next several weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

 The Board of Trustees will continue the search for the next president of Richmont with the goal of naming a new president by fall of 2017.  Interim positions will be announced soon for filling Dr. Snyder’s current role as Dean of Clinical Affairs, as she will return to this position once a new president is named.  During this time of transition, Bob and Vanessa will be available for any questions or concerns you may have.

 The Board is excited about the recent growth and impact of Richmont Graduate University. We are committed to ensuring the University remains a leader in the education and training of professional counselors and ministers and to maintaining the unique Richmont environment as a place of healing, restoration, and transformation.

For a full biography of Dr. Snyder, visit: http://www.richmont.edu/dr-vanessa-snyder/

Richmont Celebrates Highest Enrollment in University History

On the heels of three giant announcements this summer – our President’s transition, our work with refugees in Greece, and our CACREP accreditation – comes yet another incredible piece of news. Fall 2016 has brought our highest enrollment in Richmont history! At our Orientation Days last week, we welcomed 79 new students into our University’s community. That’s a full 55% increase over the last year!

From a practical standpoint, it’s a wonderful time to join the counseling profession. The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor shows the fields of Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage & Family Therapy growing by 19% in the next decade. Labeling this as “Much Faster Than Average,” the U.S. Bureau of Labor predicts a particularly swift increase in demand for the services these professionals provide.

Of course, most future counselors engage in degree programs like Richmont’s because they are far more concerned about individuals’ ability to live fulfilling, productive lives than they are about the current job outlook. The same goes for our School of Ministry students. Richmont is a wonderful place to begin a career in either field, offering fully accredited graduate degrees in counseling and ministry, six certificates, and online options for ministry students.

On behalf of all our incoming students, we are praying for the Lord’s wisdom and joy to cover their academic and spiritual journeys at Richmont over the next 2-3 years. We are grateful that He has entrusted them to us for this season of their professional lives and look forward excitedly to what we know He will accomplish through them in the decades to come. From admission to graduation, we love to support our students in every way possible. Please join us in welcoming all the new faces and sending prayers to heaven for their spiritual and professional formation as they become counselors and ministers for Christ!

Richmont Welcomes Two New Faculty Members

drcaracochranATLANTA AND CHATTANOOGA (August 11, 2016) – Marriage and Family Therapy students, it’s time to celebrate! Richmont has hired a new AAMFT Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor to support your efforts. A familiar face at Richmont, Dr. Cara Cochran, will be returning as a part-time faculty member on the Chattanooga campus during the 2016-2017 academic year. She has been affiliated with the University since January 2004, at which point she became an instructor and Assistant to the Academic Dean. Upon completion of her doctorate the next year, she was promoted to Assistant Professor and Assistant Academic Dean, and four years later she became an Associate Professor. Beginning in 2011, Dr. Cochran focused on building a private practice and working in prestigious posts at Tennessee Temple University, which has since merged with Piedmont International University. We are so pleased to have her back with us as a part-time faculty member this academic year.

ILT ACA picKeith Myers, who has served as a clinical supervisor for Richmont since 2015 and will serve the institution as an adjunct faculty member in the fall, has accepted a full-time faculty position on the Atlanta campus in January 2017. With a targeted dissertation defense date of December 2016, he plans to hold a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision with specialized clinical practice in facilitating trauma therapy and advocacy work with veterans. Myers recently served as Co-Chair on the American Counseling Association (ACA) Ethics Committee while serving on that committee from 2013-2016. He currently works as an adjunct faculty member for both Mercer University and Argosy University. His background encompasses extensive work in trauma, ethics, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). On a personal note, he is married to one of our own: Richmont alumna Lavinia Myers.

Welcome to both of our new hires! We are excited for you to join our community and look forward to our students’ and faculty’s lives being blessed by your presence on our campuses. All the best in the new academic year!

 

Richmont Graduate University is a Christ-centered education and research institution committed to equipping graduates who function at the highest professional levels of clinical counseling and vocational ministry. The University offers fully accredited graduate degree programs from its School of Counseling and School of Ministry with the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling holding the highest accreditation available in its field (CACREP). With campuses in Atlanta, Chattanooga, and online, Richmont is known for its distinguished faculty and unparalleled in-field training, including serving some 25,000 clients annually through ten community counseling centers near its campuses. Richmont’s is the oldest faith-integrated counseling program in the eastern U.S., and its graduates consistently rank among the top 15% nationwide in licensing test scores. The University enjoys a rich heritage beginning in 1935, with roots in the former Psychological Studies Institute in Atlanta and the former Chattanooga Bible Institute.

Richmont Receives Highest Form of Accreditation Available to Counseling Programs Nationwide

ATLANTA AND CHATTANOOGA (August 9, 2016) – In a time when U.S. suicide rates are steadily climbing and mental illness is at an all-time high*, Richmont continues to excel in training licensed counselors. The University has again proven its excellence by garnering accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the preeminent accrediting body for counselor education. CACREP is the highest form of accreditation to counseling programs, denoting excellence in academic and clinical performance.

A SACS-accredited university since 2003, Richmont received news of the additional accreditation last month after 3 years of extensive evaluation of its academic and clinical training programs. Richmont President Bob Rodgers says, “Richmont is proud to have its unique blend of professional excellence with Christian service approved by CACREP. This accreditation lends additional credibility to Richmont’s already outstanding reputation in the clinical counseling field.”

CACREP is specialized within the world of accreditation to assess graduate programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, signaling that the program’s content and quality have been evaluated to meet strict standards set by the profession. Choosing a CACREP-accredited school assures students they will gain the knowledge and experience necessary for licensure and clinical success in most states. Degrees granted by universities with CACREP accreditation lead to a smoother path toward licensure for new therapists all over the country.

“With the job market for mental health counselors projected to grow at more than twice the pace of the average growth for all occupations in the U.S.,** quality education for professional counselors has never been more important,” says Dr. Vanessa Snyder, Dean of Clinical Affairs. Dr. Snyder recently returned from leading a Trauma Team from Richmont to assist Syrian refugees and relief workers in camps in Greece.

Richmont Graduate University is a Christ-centered education and research institution committed to equipping graduates who function at the highest levels of clinical counseling and professional ministry. The University offers fully accredited graduate degree programs from its School of Counseling and School of Ministry. With campuses in Atlanta, Chattanooga, and online, Richmont is known for its distinguished faculty and unparalleled in-field training, including serving some 25,000 clients annually through ten community counseling centers near its campuses. Richmont is the oldest faith-integrated counseling program in the eastern U.S., and its graduates consistently rank among the top 15% nationwide in licensing test scores. The University enjoys a rich heritage beginning in 1935, with roots in Atlanta’s former Psychological Studies Institute (PSI) and the former Chattanooga Bible Institute.

*Source: http://www.nami.org
** Source: U.S. Dept of Labor, Health Guide USA

Richmont Achieves CACREP Accreditation

We are proud to announce that Richmont Graduate University has received CACREP accreditation.  The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) has accredited the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. This accreditation is a significant milestone for our university and recognizes the commitment of our faculty, staff, and students to excellence in the field of counseling.

This accreditation is a result of the hard work of our dedicated and talented faculty and staff. The process of accreditation is lengthy and includes self-assessment, a comprehensive report, and peer evaluation. According to the CACREP website: “CACREP Accreditation provides recognition that the content and quality of the program has been evaluated and meets standards set by the profession. The student, as a consumer, can be assured that appropriate knowledge and skill areas are included and that the program is stable, professionally and financially” (www.cacrep.org). The CACREP accreditation is retroactive for eighteen months, meaning the classes of 2016 and 2015 are considered CACREP accredited.

Richmont has a long history of academic and clinical excellence, and this recognition is yet another accomplishment we can celebrate!

President Bob Rodgers Moves to New Post in Global Fight Against Human Trafficking

ATLANTA-CHATTANOOGA (July 14, 2016) – The Board of Trustees of Richmont Graduate University announced today its acceptance of President Bob Rodgers’ resignation to take on a new leadership challenge for a cause “close to the heart and mission of Richmont,” said Richmont Board Chairman Talley Clower of Chattanooga.

After first sharing his plans with the Board’s chairman, President Rodgers announced in the July 12 Board meeting his appointment as the new president and chief operating officer of Street Grace, a faith-driven organization working to end Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking in Metro Atlanta and throughout the United States. As president of Richmont Graduate University, Rodgers has worked on the issue of human trafficking globally through University counseling and ministry initiatives and through his role as founding chairman of the Freedom Coalition, a human trafficking initiative in partnership with Atlanta-based City of Refuge.

Rodgers has served as the fourth president of Richmont Graduate University, the oldest graduate school in the eastern U.S. with a program that integrates professional counseling with Christian worldview. With campuses in Atlanta, Chattanooga and online, Richmont provides a Christ-centered education and fully accredited graduate programs in Counseling, Ministry and Spiritual Formation.

Since 2010, Rodgers has led Richmont into an era of institutional and financial growth including spearheading the opening of a debt-free $2.3 milllion Atlanta campus, championing the addition of a new accredited master’s degree program in Ministry, adding successful online programs, doubling the University’s endowment, and increasing assets by more than 30%. Richmont’s 2016 Fall enrollment is slated to be the largest in the University’s history, while its growing student body continues to achieve academic excellence with 2015 graduates turning in a 100% pass rate on the National Counselor Examination and consistently ranking in the top 15% of nationwide test scores. Employment stats for 2015 Richmont graduates show 90% employment within 6 months for graduates of the School of Counseling and 100% employment for School of Ministry graduates within six months.

With a reputation for “giving back” to the community, Richmont has, under Rodger’s leadership, launched two university-sponsored trauma centers, one in Atlanta and the other in Chattanooga, the only trauma center in the region. In 2015, Richmont’s 10 community counseling centers in Atlanta and Chattanooga conducted some 24,000 one-on-one counseling sessions and are expected to exceed 25,000 sessions in 2016. On an annual basis, Richmont counseling and ministry students serve more than 90 non-profit and mental health facilities in the Atlanta and Chattanooga area.

“Employment of mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists is projected to grow 19% by 2020, much faster than the forecasted 7% average growth for all occupations*,” Rodgers said. “Simultaneously, the number of people seeking mental health treatment, skilled clinicians, and strong faith communities are growing at an unprecedented pace. I believe Richmont stands in a class of its own to equip the next generation of clinical counselors and ministry leaders to meet our nation’s growing need. It has been immeasurably rewarding to serve this distinguished faculty and dedicated, nurturing community of staff and students.”

“Bob’s leadership has been invaluable to the success of Richmont Graduate University. It has served as an incredible stabilizing influence and catalyst for growth. His vision and wisdom have contributed to the quality and expansion of academic and counseling programs, new advanced degree programs, on-line degree availability, and dynamic synergy among students,” said Atlanta’s Jan Linder, immediate past president of Richmont’s Board of Trustees and head of the search committee for Rodgers’ successor.

Rodgers will continue to serve in his role as president until a new president or interim is named.

Richmont Graduate University is a Christ-centered education and research institution committed to equipping graduates who function at the highest levels of clinical counseling and professional ministry. The University offers fully accredited graduate degree programs from its School of Counseling and School of Ministry. With campuses in Atlanta, Chattanooga and online, Richmont is known for its distinguished faculty and unparalleled in-field training, including serving some 25,000 clients annually through ten community counseling centers near its campuses. Richmont’s is the oldest integrated counseling program in the eastern U.S. and its graduates consistently rank among the top 15% nationwide in licensing test scores. The University enjoys a rich heritage beginning in 1935, with roots in Atlanta’s former Psychological Studies Institute (PSI) and the former Chattanooga Bible Institute.

 

CONTACT:
Beth Bragg Henon  bbhenon@gmail.com 404.538.8590

Scottie Blackburn  sblackburn@richmont.edu 423.903.4808

 

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*Source: U.S. Dept of Labor Statistics

Richmont Sends Trauma Team to Aid Syrian Refugees

ATLANTA, GA AND CHATTANOOGA, TN – July 11, 2016 – Richmont is sending a team of therapists to work with refugees in Greece and Turkey next week. Dr. Vanessa Snyder will lead the trip, joined by Dr. Lorrie Slater, Richmont alumni Liz Norris and Nia Baker, Richmont student Mary Horton, and Horton’s husband Doug. Paramount in their mission is the training of humanitarian workers in compassion fatigue and trauma counseling and also providing counsel to to families at the detention camp in Lesbos.

“The Bible makes clear our call to attend to the hurting, the marginalized, and the oppressed. This team has answered that call, and we are inspired by their service,” says President Bob Rodgers.

The influx of refugees onto the Greek island of Lesbos in the past year has been staggering, up 40% from the previous twelve months. Many emigrants do not survive the voyage to Lesbos, and many more arrive at Greek shores only to be turned away or deported. Richmont’s team will work with those who are seeking political asylum, literally running for their lives from their home countries. Hungry, impoverished, and traumatized by their circumstances, this population relies entirely upon the work of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the United Nations, NGOs, and volunteers for their needs to be met. Richmont is proud to be an active part of the mission to serve the hurting in Greece.

Says Dr. Lorrie Slater, “I am so thankful for the opportunity to join with Conscience International and Richmont’s Institute of Traumatology to bring relief to humanitarian workers and refugees in Lesbos. It is a privilege to serve those in need of hope and healing during this time of crisis.”

The team will depart July 17 and return July 26. They request your prayers for safety and strength as they prepare to minister.

Dr. Vanessa Snyder to Present at Courage Worldwide Training

SACRAMENTO, CA – JUNE 2016 – Dr. Vanessa Snyder, Director of the Richmont Trauma Center in Atlanta, will present at a Courage Worldwide trauma training in Sacramento on June 28. Focusing on sex trafficking and its impact on survivors, the training is entitled, “Trauma and the Brain: Applications for Clinicians Working with the Spectrum of Trauma” and will serve clinicians and community members working with trauma-exposed populations and parents of trauma survivors. Snyder will be joined by two other leaders in the field of clinical trauma work, Dr. Angela Chanter and Jon Daily. The three mental health professionals will cover the manifold ways in which trauma neurologically reorders mental processes and behaviors.

“There are so many courageous helpers working with girls and women who have been rescued from trafficking,” says Dr. Snyder. “The uniqueness of this population demands all of us in the field of trauma to continue to study, research, equip those working tirelessly in this fight in order to see lives and families restored.”

Courage Worldwide, Inc. exists to bring hope, healing, and restoration to child victims of human trafficking. Its primary focus is building and operating Courage Houses, which are residential treatment facilities for those rescued from trafficking, and also providing trainings for those working with trauma survivors in various professional fields. Courage Worldwide reports that 100% of its constituents were drug-addicted and diagnosed with mental illnesses prior to treatment at a Courage House; after treatment, 78% of disorders were stabilized and 100% improved her GPA to over 3.0.

“Dr. Snyder is playing a vital role in the care of trauma survivors across the globe. Richmont stands behind what she is doing and looks forward to her continued service for those most in need of restoration,” says President Bob Rogers.

Dr. Snyder is part of Richmont’s own efforts to counteract sex trafficking in the greater Chattanooga and Atlanta areas. She holds a Ph.D. from Regent University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Certified Sex Therapist. She specializes in sexual abuse, complex trauma, dissociative disorders, same-sex issues, and gender identity disorders. She serves as Dean of Clinical Affairs at Richmont and Director of the Richmont Trauma Center in Atlanta.

Richmont Alumni Provide Retreat for UTC Colleagues

CHATTANOOGA, TN – MAY 2016 – Last week, four Richmont alumni teamed up to serve the women on the University of Tennessee Cru staff. Beth Wayland’s ministry, called WITH, Inc., was invited to plan and direct the retreat, focusing on each woman’s personal journey, relationship with Christ, and personal soul care.

President Bob Rodgers says of the alumni, “At Richmont, we are honored to play a part in our students’ spiritual formation, acting as a conduit through which Jesus Christ works in their lives. Alumni like these women make us proud.”

The Cru staff is a college ministry focused on the spiritual guidance of students attending area universities. Their efforts include Bible studies, mission trips, conferences, weekly meetings, and more. Their website is www.chattanoogacru.com.