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Monthly archive: June 2014

Dr. Amanda Blackburn to Serve as Dean of Students

CHATTANOOGA, TN & ATLANTA, GA – (June 17, 2014)

On Friday, June 13, Dr. Amanda Blackburn accepted the position of Dean of Students at Richmont Graduate University. After joining the faculty in 2010, Amanda has served as the Assistant Dean of Students on Richmont’s Chattanooga campus since 2011. She will begin her new position on July 1, 2014. A licensed clinical psychologist, Blackburn also serves as an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Richmont. While she and her family will soon transition to Atlanta, she will continue to teach classes and connect with students on the Chattanooga campus at least once a week.

“I am humbled and excited about the opportunity to serve Richmont students in this new capacity,” said Blackburn. “My time as Assistant Dean of Students in Chattanooga, walking alongside students during their time at Richmont and beyond, has been such an enriching and life-changing experience for me. I am honored to be asked to continue in this role in a new capacity.”

By July 1, Blackburn will assume her new role as Dr. DeAnne Terrell, Richmont’s immediate past Dean of Students, begins her new role as a private clinician and faculty member at John Brown University.

“I am grateful to DeAnne Terrell in her demonstration of humble service in students to Richmont during her time here,” said Blackburn. “She has been a selfless professional and personal mentor.”

“Amanda is the perfect person to be named the Dean of Students,” said Terrell who was instrumental in bringing Blackburn to the Richmont community. “She is wise, kind, supportive and encouraging. She has served the students in Chattanooga with grace and love for all these years and I know that she will continue to offer her loving support to all RGU students with excellence.”

“Amanda is an incredibly gifted teacher and committed friend of students,” said Richmont’s president, Bob Rodgers. “She is a remarkably capable professor and gives the best of herself to helping students have a full and meaningful experience at Richmont.”

Richmont to Move Atlanta Campus to New Location

ATLANTA, GA – (June 13, 2014)

By the end of this calendar year, Richmont Graduate University’s Atlanta campus will be moving to a new location on Windy Hill Road just off Interstate 75 North. After considering approximately 90 potential properties, university administrators identified a new 17,800 square foot space which will eventually provide 3,800 square feet more than what Richmont currently enjoys. As of June 4, 2014, thanks to a private lead gift of $1.2 million, Richmont’s Board of Trustees made an offer of $1.2 million and put the new building under contract. The building appraised at $1.4 million and was listed for $1.35 million.

“We are incredibly excited about this timely transition in the life of the university,” said President, Bob Rodgers. “This new building will offer a strategic location to both train students as professional counselors and ministers to continue partnering with local nonprofit organizations in order to serve metro Atlanta residents. We look forward to seeing what the Lord does in this next season.”

Formerly a Piedmont Hospital Sleep Center, Richmont plans to utilize this new building to grow the institution’s capacity through larger classrooms and also through technology and audio visual improvements and upgrades. The student lounge will be designed as a comfortable, accessible, attractive gathering space for individual and group meetings and study time, eating meals, accessing the library, and building friendships. The faculty and administrative offices are being designed to create even more interaction between the professors, staff and students. In time, the building will likely house one of the university’s Hope Counseling Centers.

In order to make this space become a reality architectural plans are in the second round of revisions, the environmental and engineering studies have all been initiated and the closing will likely occur during the first week of July. In order to successfully serve Richmont’s constituents, approximately 80 percent of the interior will need to be renovated. To be as efficient as possible in the renovations, much of the existing electrical equipment, lighting, plumbing, doors, and ceiling will be re-purposed. To this end, the university’s advancement team is working diligently to raise $850,000 funds to support this upcoming transition.

“Overall, the Board of Trustees, Administrative Council and I are incredibly excited about all that this new building has to offer,” said Rodgers. “It will provide a strategic location to both train students as professional counselors and ministers and to continue partnering with local nonprofit organizations in order to serve metro Atlanta residents. Thank you in advance for praying with us as we begin the process of planning and preparing to move by the end of the year.”

Richmont Students Garner 98% Passing Rate on National Counselor Examination for Second Year

ATLANTA, GA and CHATTANOOGA, TN – (June 11, 2014)

This spring, 50 of Richmont’s graduating students took the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) and achieved an exceptionally high passing rate of 98 percent for the second year in a row. Richmont’s mean scores on the NCE for the Atlanta and Chattanooga campuses surpassed the mean scores of CACREP accredited and Non-CACREP accredited institutions in every CACREP and Counselor Work Behavior subject area.

“The Board of Trustees and I are extremely proud of the quality of Richmont’s faculty and the performance of each of our students once again this year,” said President Bob Rodgers. “This year’s passing rate and individual scores are nationally impressive and they continue a well-established legacy of students scoring in the 90th percentile on the NCE.”

According to the National Board of Certified Counselors, the NCE is used to “…assess knowledge, skills, and abilities viewed as important for providing effective counseling services…It is intended to assess cognitive knowledge which should be known by all counselors regardless of their individual professional specialties.” After completing the four hour, 200 multiple choice question exam, students who satisfactorily perform on the NCE are eligible to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC). A passing score on the NCE is required for licensure as a professional counselor in most states, including Georgia and Tennessee.

“We are tremendously proud of our students once again,” said Dr. Keny Felix, Dean of the School of Counseling. “Their outstanding performance on the NCE reflects the exceptional quality of the counseling program at Richmont.”

As an academic institution, Richmont currently hosts campuses in Atlanta, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Richmont offers master’s-level training in counseling to help individuals, families and groups successfully confront life’s challenges. Presently, students have the opportunity to pursue master’s degrees in: Professional Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Ministry, and Psychological Studies as well as specializations in addictions, child and adolescent therapy, sex therapy, spirituality and counseling, and trauma counseling.

Additionally, in order to serve Richmont’s campus communities, the university hosts a network of Community Counseling Centers that offer reduced-fee counseling/mental health services to children, adults, families and groups of all walks of life, regardless of their insurance status. Through this network, Richmont offers subsidized services such as: Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), child and adolescent therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), depression/anxiety counseling, grief/loss counseling, marital counseling, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) counseling, and self-esteem/body image counseling. The university is thankful for an avenue to offer access to counseling services that help client’s better understand their personal histories and how their thoughts, beliefs, feelings and physical responses have been affected as a result.

Currently, several of Richmont’s counselors are accepting new clients. Open five days a week, scheduling information can be obtained by calling 423-756-2894 or by visiting: the CBI web site.

Richmont Trustee Emeritus, Hugh Huffaker, Jr., Passes Away at 84

CHATTANOOGA, TN – (June 10, 2014)

On Friday, June 6, 2014, Hugh Dayton Huffaker, Jr., a trustee emeritus of Richmont Graduate University passed away in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A well respected business man and civic leader, Huffaker was born and raised in Chattanooga before meeting his wife, Marion Henderson, at the University of Chattanooga. The two were married for 62 years and had three children.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Hugh joined his father, Hugh Huffaker, Sr., in business at Ferger Brothers and Huffaker Insurance Agency. Alongside his brother, Bob, he eventually started Huffaker and Associates Inc., where he served as president and later chairman of the board. In 1982 he also started Huffaker Realtors which developed portions of Signal Mountain and Hixson. Upon selling Huffaker Realtors in 1997 it was the largest independent real estate company in Chattanooga.

A very active member of the Chattanooga community, Hugh served on the board of the Chattanooga Bible Institute (CBI). In 2000 he was instrumental in the merger of CBI and the Psychological Studies Institute (PSI) in Atlanta, GA. In 2008, PSI was renamed Richmont Graduate University. A friend of CBI and Richmont for more than 30 years, the university was pleased to acknowledge Hugh’s investments of time, talent and treasure with an honorary doctorate in 2013.

“Hugh was an incredible voice at Richmont during several of our most formative years,” said Richmont President, Bob Rodgers. “He was a person of integrity who gave the best of himself in service to others. There are countless individuals and families who have benefitted from his insights and service. We are grateful for the sacrificial legacy he left on campus and throughout Chattanooga.”

In addition to his faithful service at Richmont, Hugh was a charter member of Rivermont Presbyterian Church, a Rotarian, a past president of the Insurers of Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Board of Realtors, as well as a McCallie School board member and former board chair. He was one of the original organizers of CARTA and also served on the boards of the Maclellan Foundation, Lay Renewal Ministries and the Electric Power Board.

The memorial service will be held Saturday, June 21, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Rivermont. Friends are welcome to visit with the family at the church on Friday, June 20, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, June 21, from 2:00 -3:30 p.m. The family has requested that memorial contributions be made in Hugh’s honor to Richmont Graduate University or the Rivermont Presbyterian Church Missions Program.

Richmont to Offer a Certificate in Spiritual Direction

ATLANTA, GA – (June 4, 2014)

This fall, Richmont Graduate University’s School of Ministry will begin offering a Certificate in Spiritual Direction. Through this 15 month, 4 consecutive semester program students will learn to help others discern the active presence of the Triune God and perceive the Holy Spirit’s movement in ordinary life. Throughout the curriculum of five 3-credit hour courses, spiritual directors will journey with directees, assisting as they deepen their lived intimacy with Christ, the One True Director.

“In the fast paced, ‘get things done now’ culture in which we live, the art of listening to God and the capacity to discern his voice are in serious disrepair. To sit with a trained Spiritual Director provides a powerful corrective,” said Leland Eliason, Dean of the School of Ministry. “The benefits are life changing – with Christians discovering anew their center in the Presence of the Living God. The Scriptures say, ‘Be still and know that I am God’ and Spiritual Directors help us to do just that!”

Coursework is intentionally structured to help students apply the classroom material in “real life.” Therefore, two-thirds of class time will be focused on content and one-third on putting content into practice. The practical component will include supervision while giving spiritual direction one-on-one and in triads or groups. In order to facilitate student convenience while preserving a sense of community, coursework will be offered predominantly online, through a week-long orientation, and through two three-day courses. This program is designed to be completed in 15 months.

“This program will be hugely important for anyone who has ever felt God’s leading to help people further their lived intimacy with Christ,” said Richmont’s President, Bob Rodgers. “Richmont has a long-standing history of offering excellent graduate level training and we are very excited to offer this certificate program which will help students practice effectiveness within ministry, church settings, and their daily lives.”

For more information on prerequisites, application procedures and costs visit the Certificate in Spiritual Direction page on Richmont’s web site or contact the School of Ministry at 404-835-6124.