Student Portal Faculty Portal Library Student Events Online Courses Continuing Ed

Faculty Spotlight

Richmont Graduate University Welcomes New Faculty Members

Richmont Graduate University Welcomes New Faculty Members

Seven New Members Join the Richmont Graduate University Faculty

Richmont Graduate University, a fast-growing, Christian graduate school hires seven new faculty members to join the team. Richmont provides master’s-level training in clinical mental health counseling, as well as ministry, in Atlanta, Chattanooga, and online. With a growing team of 18 full-time faculty, Richmont hopes to expand its footprint in the Atlanta and Chattanooga markets with these new team members.

Among these members are Jenny Chein, Laura Land, Brian Mesimer, Matt Casada, Stephanie Keane, Andrew Morse, and Emily Aikins. They will be joining Richmont Graduate University’s faculty staff, effective starting August 1, 2022.

“All of our professors are expected to be professor-practitioners and are expected to practice or supervise as an LPC, MFT, or Psychologist in addition to their teaching in the CMHC Counselor Education program,” said Dr. Steve Bradshaw, Dean of the School of Counseling at Richmont Graduate University. “This enriches our student experience in the classroom by having the ability to share confidentially real case studies in the learning process.”

Richmont Graduate University specifically looks for faculty members who are diverse, professionally-trained, and willing to integrate their faith into the content of counselor education training. 

“Richmont’s hiring process is rigorous, involving not just an online interview, but integration prompts, a teaching sample, and often a campus visit,” said Dr. Joshua Rice, Richmont Graduate University Provost. “Those who are ultimately considered have an obvious love for students and an approach to teaching counseling courses that integrates their expertise in the field with a committed Christian faith.”

See below for a biography and more information on each new faculty member:

Jenny Chien

Jenny Chien has served as an Assistant Professor of Counseling for Grand Rapids Theological Seminary since 2017. Chein received her Ph.D. in Counseling at Florida Atlantic University and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She is looking forward to joining the counseling team at Richmont Graduate University as an Associate Professor.

“I am thrilled to join the Counseling Program at Richmont Faculty,” said Chien. “What excites me most is to be working in a faith-based program that is both CACREP-accredited and values meaningful Christian integration.  I am looking forward to working with my faculty colleagues who are well-established in the field and getting to know the diverse student body.”

Laura Land

Laura Land has professional experience in teaching counseling and psychology since 2014 and has served as a supervisor since 2015. Land received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Counseling and Counselor Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She brings six years of clinical experience to Richmont’s team and is looking forward to her new role as an Associate Professor.

“I love Richmont’s student-centered approach in the design of their counseling program so students feel empowered to choose a plan of progression that works for their stations in life,” said Land. “This speaks to another element I respect, which is a true care for and emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion.”

Brian Mesimer

Brian Mesimer joins Richmont after serving as an adjunct instructor of counseling at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He received his doctorate degree in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Cumberlands in May of 2022. Mesimer holds a certificate in group crisis intervention and is a licensed professional counselor and National Board Certified Counselor. He is looking forward to joining the Richmont team as an Assistant Professor.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the faculty at a university which makes the integration of the Christian message in counseling a priority,” said Mesimer. “Richmont has a reputation for forming competent and compassionate counselors, and I am looking forward to being a part of that process.”

Matt Casada

Matt Casada joins the Richmont team as an Assistant Professor. Casada is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a qualified Clinical Supervisor. He received his doctorate degree in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University. Casada is also a member of the American Counseling Association, Association for Creativity in Counseling, Florida Mental Health Counselors Association, and many more.

“I am thrilled to join the Richmont faculty where I can be part of a team of faculty and staff who are investing in the growth and development of our students, both personally and professionally,” said Casada. “I look forward to the opportunity to engage Richmont students in a relational and experiential manner.”

Stephanie Keane

Stephanie Keane is looking forward to her new role as Assistant Professor at Richmont. Keane received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Keane plans to put her skills to use at Richmont as a Licensed Professional Counselor.

“I believe that God has led me in my path as a counselor educator and brought me to Richmont Graduate University knowing I would be welcomed with open arms,” said Keane. “I feel as though I am already a part of the Richmont family and I am very excited to continue to get to know the faculty and students at this incredible institution.”

Andrew Morse

Andrew Morse received his Doctorate of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision from Mercer University. More is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and a Prepare/Enrich Certified Facilitator. Andrew will join the Richmont team as an Assistant Professor.

“I feel so blessed to be joining the team at Richmont,” said Morse. “I’m looking forward to working alongside the faculty and staff to help students in their personal, spiritual, and professional development as they grow to become skilled and compassionate mental health counselors!”

Emily Aikins

Emily Aikins is in the process of receiving her Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Lee University. Aikins comes to the Richmont team with experience as an Adjunct Professor and is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist. She is looking forward to her new role as an Instructor at Richmont Graduate University.

“As an alumna, I am thrilled to be a part of continuing the excellent training provided by Richmont,” said Aikins. “Walking alongside students as they become counselors and therapists while discovering more about who they are and who God is, is one of the most exciting elements of being a part of Richmont faculty.”

For more information on our faculty and staff, visit

Richmont Welcomes New Full-Time Faculty

Richmont is pleased to welcome 3 incoming faculty to begin this fall, in addition to a new Director of Atlanta Clinical Training:

Dr. Michael Jones Dr. Michael Jones comes to us from the clinical faculty at Southern New Hampshire University, where he taught a full load while also maintaining a robust private practice with special emphasis on church outreach.  Also a seminary graduate, Dr. Jones completed his Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at Regent University, where his work focused on self-esteem among biracial adults.  “Richmont has a strong history of equipping therapists with a mission of changing the world,” he says. “I truly feel that is God’s calling that I join the faculty. I am excited about our future together and the Kingdom work we will accomplish.”  Dr. Jones is Richmont’s first faculty member exclusively dedicated to serving our online students.

Dr. Jack UnderwoodDr. Jack Underwood is an Atlanta local, the founder of Rise and Renew Counseling with offices in Buckhead and Norcross.  He completed his Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at Mercer University, where his research focused on utilizing the Delphi method to measure self-love.  “One of the greatest experiences, for me personally, as a counselor educator is to integrate Faith and Spirituality into the learning process for counselors-in-training as they grow in their Christian and professional identities” he explains.  “Being in the business of healing and transformation and having the freedom to bring the ultimate Healer and Transformer into the classroom at Richmont Graduate University, is an experience I am very much looking forward to and grateful for.”  Dr. Underwood will be working from the Atlanta campus.

Dr. Preston HillDr. Preston Hill has been serving us tremendously in an adjunct capacity, most notably teaching Dr. Dan Sartor’s courses during his sabbatical.  Dr. Hill recently completed a PhD in Theology at St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews, having previously completed an MLitt degree in Analytic and Exegetical Theology from the Logos Institute at St Andrews.  This fall he is releasing his first coauthored book with Scott Harrower and Joshua Cockayne entitled Dawn of Sunday: The Trinity and Trauma-Safe Church (Cascade), and is releasing his first edited volume entitled Christ and Trauma: Theology East of Eden (Pickwick Publications).  He has worked closely with Dr. Sartor on key curricular revisions to ensure that Richmont’s hallmark of integration is sustained throughout our coursework.  Dr. Hill is also in the process of supervision for licensure as a pastoral therapist in Tennessee.

LaShay DowleyOur new Director of Clinical Training in Atlanta is LaShay Dowley, a Richmont alumnus and an entrepreneurial clinical leader who has experienced success over a remarkable 20 plus-year career.  She is the owner of Enduring Connections Counseling Group in Decatur, and has served our interns in several roles, including a Hope Center site coordinator. “Shay Dowley is excellence personified,” Dr. Myers comments. “She has been of our greatest assets, often serving six Richmont interns a year for several years. She brings a wealth of clinical knowledge and experience…I am fully confident that she will provide high clinical excellence and a high level of integrity to the Director of Clinical Training role.” She assumed her new role in July.