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Milestones 2018

This year’s annual review, newly titled “Milestones” features a letter from President Dr. Timothy Quinnan, a faculty spotlight with Dr. Sonja Sutherland, academic program updates, and new scholarship programs. Click below to read more about the exciting growth and important accomplishments from the 2017-2018 school year at Richmont Graduate University.

 

Richmont School of Ministry Launches New Program

Richmont Graduate University’s School of Ministry is proud to announce the addition of the Master of Arts in Ministry: Anglican Studies Concentration. This new 36 credit hour program is available online and includes four unique sections:

  • Bible, History, and Theology
  • Ministry Tools
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Anglican Studies

The launch of this program also includes the availability of a Graduate Certificate in Anglican Studies which is 12 credit hours. This new certificate focuses on the specific Anglican Studies courses from the Master of Arts degree.

Roughly 80 million Christians identify with the Anglican tradition, making it one of most dynamic and vital expressions of the Protestant church in the contemporary world. For the vast majority of Anglicans–especially the tens of millions located outside the West–the contemporary tensions and debates within the Christian faith mean the time has come for a renewed commitment to the text of scripture and engagement with our treasured theological traditions. This course of study focuses on these impulses within Anglicanism, seeking to equip future leaders with tools in biblical study, theology, and history, and encouraging their engagement with contemporary ecclesial concerns.

– Sam Youngs, Ph.D., Richmont School of Ministry Faculty, Director of the Mission School of Ministry

This program was developed in partnership with the Mission School of Ministry in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and provides education and skills that are helpful for students who are aspiring deacons or priests in the ACNA. The program is also open to lay Christians seeking to deepen their academic knowledge of Biblical literature, theology, and spiritual formation. Applications are now being accepted for this program with a start date of January 2019.

Learn more about the Master of Arts in Ministry: Anglican Studies Concentration (click here).

Start your application for the Master of Arts in Ministry: Anglican Studies Concentration (click here).

Dr. Kristy Holloway Receives Recognition at SACES Conference

Congratulations to Dr. Kristy Holloway, Richmont Adjunct Faculty, for being selected as an Emerging Leader at the 2018 Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (SACES) Conference.  The SACES Annual Conference was held November 11th – 13th in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The SACES Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program is designed to help students and new faculty members discover how leadership can enhance their own professional development, enhance the diversity of SACES, and engage talented and dedicated counseling professionals to serve as future SACES and/or ACES leaders. The Emerging Leaders program involves a two-year mentoring leadership program. Emerging Leaders are selected based upon:
• a demonstrated commitment to the profession of counselor education and supervision,
• a demonstrated commitment to leadership,
• a willingness to expanding their leadership potential,
• a record of participation in state, regional, and/or national organizations (ACES, ACA, etc.)and conferences, and
• their potential to diversify the SACES leadership pipeline.

(information on Emerging Leaders program from www.saces.org)

Share Your Feedback: Strategic Plan Online Survey

Richmont key stakeholders are invited to participate in a survey regarding Richmont’s strategic plan. Students, alumni, staff, faculty, and friends of Richmont are all welcome to participate. Your feedback and ideas will help shape the future of Richmont. We value your opinion and feel strongly that incorporating your input will make our strategic planning process both effective and relevant.

Community Conversation events have been held on both campuses and we have had a great response. Many of you have already shared important thoughts concerning Richmont’s future growth. This survey will give everyone an additional opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions. The survey is online and can be completed in approximately five minutes. Survey information is anonymous and will be used by the Strategic Planning Committee to develop Richmont’s new strategic plan. 

You can complete the survey by clicking the link below:

Strategic Plan Survey

School of Ministry Adds New Faculty

Richmont Graduate University is proud to announce the addition of three new professors to the School of Ministry faculty.  Dr. Wesley Scott Biddy, Dr. Chris Green, and Dr. Jeff Horner will be joining the Richmont faculty this fall. These new hires are in response to the growth of the School of Ministry both in the number of new students and the new programs that are in development.

Dr. Wesley Scott Biddy

Wesley Scott Biddy earned a B.A. and an M.A. at Lee University, a Th.M. at Duke Divinity School, and a Ph.D. at Marquette University. Dr. Biddy has presented papers at conferences organized by the American Academy of Religion, the Conference on Christianity and Literature, the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, and the Society for Pentecostal Studies, among others. His articles have appeared in Pneuma and Ars Disputandi. He joins Richmont having most recently taught at Mount Paran Christian School.

Dr. Chris Green

Chris Green earned a B.S. and an M.M. at Southwestern Christian University, an M.S.T.S at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, a D.Min. at Oral Roberts University, and a Ph.D. at Bangor University. Dr. Green has served as faculty at Pentecostal Theological Seminary, Southwestern Christian University, Mid-American University, and Oral Roberts University. His research and writing focus on the relationship of vocation, holiness, and scriptural hermeneutics.

Dr. Jeff Horner

Jeff Horner earned a B.A. at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), an M.A. and an Ed.D. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and an M.Litt. degree at the University of Bristol in England. Dr. Horner has spent 17 years working in independent Christian schools in North Carolina, California, and Georgia.  He has worked as a contractor for the College Board and served on SAIS Accreditation and SAIS Reading teams. Dr. Horner has served as adjunct faculty at Southern Baptist Theological University and Point University. He has published articles in The Journal of Church and State, Religious Education, Christian Education Journal, and has a forthcoming article in Perichoresis.

 

Richmont Achieves Gold Standard in Counseling Education

Richmont Graduate University, a leader in training counselors, has again proven its excellence by extending its accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offered by Richmont is now accredited through 2024. CACREP is the highest form of accreditation to counseling programs, denoting excellence in academic and clinical performance.

I am immensely proud of our faculty and staff. Clearly, it was a sustained, collective effort which led to this success. When you couple this news with a very positive accreditation site visit by SACSOC earlier this spring, it strongly suggests Richmont will continue to grow and thrive well into the future.”

– Dr. Timothy Quinnan, President of Richmont Graduate University

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 program 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.

Richmont Graduate University is a private, Christian institution committed to preparing graduates to function at the highest levels of professional clinical counseling or vocational ministry. The University is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers graduate-level Master’s degree programs from its School of Counseling and School of Ministry. The University operates two physical campuses in Atlanta and Chattanooga, and a virtual campus online. Richmont is renowned for its distinguished faculty as well as its unparalleled field training, which guarantees all students on-site internships. Through Richmont’s ten University-operated counseling centers near its campuses, over 25,000 clients are served annually.

Richmont is the oldest faith-integrated counseling program in the eastern United States, and its graduates consistently score above the average for other CACREP accredited programs. Established in 1933, Richmont enjoys a rich heritage and has over 1,400 distinguished alumni making a profound and positive difference in the lives of others. Richmont alumni serve their communities through careers at mental health clinics, non-profits, private practices, and churches, and more.

New RGU Commons at the Atlanta Campus

Dr. Quinnan builds the RGU Commons at the Atlanta Campus for students, faculty, and staff.

The RGU Commons is an outdoor seating area that was made possible through a gift from the President and the Student Annual Fund. The RGU Commons is located on the west side of the Atlanta Campus and is ready and open for students, faculty, and staff to enjoy.  It features a permanent weatherproof outdoor table and seating. The new RGU Commons is in response to student requests for outdoor seating areas.

There is plenty of room for expansion of the RGU Commons. If you would like to donate to help expand the RGU Commons, you can do so by going to richmont.edu/give and making a tax-deductible donation.

Alumni Profile: Liz Norris

Richmont Alumni are making a positive impact in our local communities and throughout the world. The average Richmont graduate will impact some 10,000 lives during the course of their career. At Richmont we take the responsibility of that impact to heart as we prepare students and support alumni in their careers.

Meet Liz Norris, she is a Richmont alum, Licensed Professional Counselor (as of June 2018 – congratulations!) and also works as an Admissions Counselor at Richmont. Liz has the unique perspective of guiding counselors who are starting their careers, managing her own clinical practice, and serving as part of the Richmont Trauma Team. Listen to her thoughts on why she chose Richmont and the impact the University is making throughout the world.

Thank you, Liz, for the impact you are making on the world.

We would love to hear updates from Richmont alumni and from people impacted by our alumni. Contact us with your stories and updates:

Scottie Blackburn, Director of Communications, sblackburn@richmont.edu

Martha Busby, Director of Alumni and Career Services, mbusby@richmont.edu

Latest Edition of Connecting Magazine Available Online

Connecting Spring 2018

Connecting Magazine is a publication for Richmont alumni and constituents. The latest issue features an interview with President Timothy Quinnan, campus updates, information on the new Richmont app, alumni profiles, and a recap of the 2017 Alumni Reunion. Enjoy the latest edition by clicking below. In an effort to be good stewards of our resources, Richmont will be printing less hard copies and will be making publications available online through our website and monthly newsletters. Connecting will also be available under the Alumni section of the Richmont website.

 

Choosing the Right School

Maybe choosing a graduate school is a no-brainer for you. Maybe the ordeal of choosing your undergraduate school taught you what to look for. Perhaps you know exactly what you want, or you at least have an idea or two. Or maybe you don’t. And that’s okay because there are a lot of factors that go into choosing not just the right school, but the school that is best for you and your specific needs.

But before you dive into research, the best first step is to perform a personal inventory: take time to think about who you are and why you have decided to pursue a graduate degree. You might not reach definitive answers, but evaluating your personal reasons for graduate school will better help you navigate decision making. Here are four key elements to get you started thinking through graduate school options.

Faith and Integration

How much do you want your faith to coalesce with your learning experience? There are varying models of how Christians approach counseling: some view psychology apart from a biblical critique, and some strongly critique modern psychological insights. And still, other schools have “integrated” programs of Christian theology and psychology, such as Richmont Graduate University. Dr. Dan Sartor, Richmont’s Vice President of Integration, says,  “. . . while many other institutions teach from a Christian worldview, very few actually incorporate integrative studies in Christian theology and spiritual formation,” which is precisely Richmont’s nuanced model. More than teach from a Christian perspective, Richmont integrates theology with science in the classroom. When choosing a school, reflect on its approach to counseling in relation to your understanding of faith and learning.                        

Training Opportunities 

Most if not all graduate schools will require practicum experience or internships upon graduating. At Richmont, however, students are guaranteed internship experience from the very beginning of their educational experience. Richmont’s clinical training sequence was designed for students to build their set of specialized counseling skills, culminating with an internship in their final year. Beyond simply offering internships, determine how strong the school’s connections are to the surrounding community. Does the school, like Richmont, have strong relationships and positive reputations with local hospitals and counseling centers? Is the school likely to help you secure an internship placement if it is not guaranteed? Lastly, what is the school’s view on the relationship between biblical knowledge and scientific data, and how does it affect its training model?                             

Faculty

Because graduate school is a smaller, more concentrated and specialized experience than undergrad, it is important to evaluate the school’s faculty. How many professors are there to students? How experienced are they in their fields, and do they still practice? Depending on the availability of the faculty, the amount of time you spend with them will vary. In graduate school, it is important to find a faculty that has the time and passion and experience to properly mentor you in your field. One-on-one time with professors is priceless. Do your research into the school’s faculty and try to find professors who not only specialize in your preferred study but who also will know and care for you individually. 

Accreditation

A school’s most recent accreditation is like a dental hygiene report card: it gives you a good idea of the institution’s current health. Accreditations are either institutional or specialized. Specialized accreditation, such as CACREP, reviews a professional preparation program within institutions, which is important for graduate schools. It gives you insights into a program’s fulfillment of its “institutional settings, mission and objectives, content, practicum experiences, student selection and advising, faculty qualifications and workload, program governance, instructional support, and self-evaluation,” according to CACREP’s website. A specialized accreditation score goes beyond spotlighted and flashy factors like school rankings, ratings, and brands—they prove the financial and professional stability of a specific program. Richmont currently holds a CACREP specialized accreditation, which is the highest form of accreditation given to counseling degree-specific programs in the U.S.

After you have done the research, the most important next step is to talk to people on the ground. Once you have narrowed down a few schools, ask the admissions office for the contact information of a few current students or alumni. Talk to the students about their experience, ask them questions and learn from their stories. And remember you do not have to be alone in choosing a school—ask for advice and prayer from trusted friends and family.