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Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Today, Richmont is a fast-growing, Christ-centered graduate school providing a master’s-level training in Christian counseling. We are active at both of our campuses in the Atlanta and Chattanooga communities.

Richmont Graduate University was founded by hardworking visionaries who desired to impact the world for Christ. Richmont’s legacy began in 1933 when the Chattanooga Bible Institute (CBI) was founded by Dr. James L. Fowle, Reverend H.E. Wright, Mrs. Ellen Poindexter, Mrs. George Elder, Mrs. Mark Senter, Mrs. Hilda Spence, and Mrs. Howard McCall. From these incredible visionaries, CBI faithfully served the Chattanooga, TN community by providing training, counseling, library resources and support for clergy and laity of all denominations.

In 1973, a group of Christian mental health professionals who explored integrating Christian faith and professional counseling founded the Atlanta Clinical College. After opening a counseling center, they partnered with a major state university to offer advanced professional training and research within a Christian context at what became known as the Religious Consultation and Research Society before being incorporated as the Psychological Studies Institute (PSI). The individuals who were initially committed to the founding of PSI included: Dr. William J. Donaldson, Jr. – faculty member at Georgia State University; Dr. Donald G. Miles– CEO of Georgia Mental Health Institute; Dr. John R. Richardson – pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church and chaplain of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents; and Dr. Paul L. Walker – pastor of Mount Paran Church of God.

For more than 25 years, PSI offered a diploma in Christian counseling through its partnership with Georgia State University. In the fall of 1998, PSI began offering its own Master of Arts in Professional Counseling degree after receiving authorization from the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

In August of 2000, the Chattanooga Bible Institute merged with the Psychological Studies Institute formalizing a working relationship that had begun in 1997. Only three years after the merger in 2003, PSI received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). In 2008, Psychological Studies Institute changed its name to Richmont Graduate University.

Today, Richmont provides graduate education that prepares compassionate and capable ministers and professional mental health counselors who serve and lead around the globe. Richmont’s counselors work within behavioral health centers, homeless shelters, addiction rehabilitation facilities, churches, and other community-based programs that serve uninsured/underinsured populations.


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