Student Portal Faculty Portal Library Student Events Online Courses Continuing Ed


Richmont Faculty & Students Present at the Annual CAPS Conference

Hundreds of Christian mental health professionals gathered in Atlanta on March 21-23, 2024 for the Christian Association of Psychological Studies Conference. Richmont’s faculty, Dr. Kathleen Bazile, Dr. Amanda Blackburn, Dr. Robert Duckworth, Dr. Preston Hill, Dr. Stan Hoover, and Dr. Mary Plisco attended the conference along with Richmont staff members Cassie Martin, Rochelle Mason, and Michelle West, and student presenters Hope Tuttle, Grace Rapp, and Abigail Guadnola.



And They Wrote a Devotion Instead: Enhancing Experiential Integration in Counselor Education and Group Supervision
Dr. Amanda Blackburn, Dr. Stanley Hoover, Dr. Mary Plisco, and Hope Tuttle

Deconstructed Lectio Divina: An Intervention to Increase Spiritual Meaning-Making Among Religious Dones
Dr. Preston Hill

Illuminating the Path: Integrating Spiritual and Religious Competencies in Clinical Training
Dr. Kathleen Bazile, Dr. Amanda Blackburn, & Dr. DeVon Mills.

Perspectives Regarding Motivations for Adoption by Ethnic Minority Christian Adoptive Parents
Grace Rapp, Mentored by Dr. Mary Plisco

Religious/Spiritual Abuse and Trauma: Areas of Consideration for Future Research, Therapeutic Assessment, and Program Evaluation
Abigail Guadnola, Mentored by Dr. Mary Plisco

Dr. Stanley Hoover Coauthors a Chapter of Christian Integration in Counselor Education

Richmont’s Dr. Stanley Hoover and Liberty University’s Dr. Jama Davis coauthored a chapter in the newly published textbook Christian Integration in Counselor Education. Hoover & Davis’s chapter focuses on Christian integration in helping relationships. The textbook is comprised of the perspectives of 55 contributing authors committed to the integration of faith in the counseling profession and is designed to be utilized in faith-based CACREP-accredited counseling programs.

Learn more about the textbook here.

Richmont Continues Record Enrollment Trend

Richmont Graduate University has achieved another remarkable record enrollment this Spring of three hundred and sixty-nine students.

As students and faculty began the 2024 Spring semester, Richmont welcomed its largest number of students engaged in courses at both Atlanta and Chattanooga campuses, a thriving online campus, and a newly established doctoral cohort.

At a time when many graduate institutions have struggled to maintain sustainable enrollment numbers, Richmont’s semester-to-semester retention rates are at 96%. Roxie Shellabarger, Vice President of Administration, attributes this to “the incredible investment of Richmont staff and faculty into students, as well as Richmont’s emphasis on community and self-care.”

Richmont Hosts Book Signing for President Quinnan

“Only God could write a story so touching as this” – Courtney Force, author of Soul Dancer

On January 22, Richmont hosted a gathering honoring President Timothy Quinnan’s new book, Call Me Jonah. The event included active audience participation during a Q&A group discussion, readings by attendees of favorite passages, and closed with a book signing of the fastest-selling debut novel in his publisher’s history. The sizable turnout included many Richmont faculty, staff, and current and former students.

When asked, Dr. Quinnan said that his goal with Call Me Jonah was to write a story that anyone could be uplifted by, regardless of age, personal faith, or worldview. Evidence of success in this aim was reflected in the diverse crowd that gathered to discuss what the book meant to them and how they felt a resonance with its themes. In addition to the title’s main spiritual and psychological themes, its overarching message is that “love is eternal and transcends everything in the universe, even our notions of time and space, reality, and life and death.”

For those who missed this event, a highlights video is posted below. Call Me Jonah is available for purchase at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Ozark Mountain Publishing.


Richmont receives grant from the Eudokias Foundation to further support prestigious research grant from the John Templeton Foundation

Richmont recently launched the Spiritual First Responders Project, a major research initiative initially funded by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation. This project advances mental health interventions for spiritual thriving and well-being among those who are experiencing mental distress, including those experiencing spiritual struggles, church hurt, and faith deconstruction. The Eudokias Foundation recognizes the urgency of this spiritual public health need and is generously partnering to provide financial support for this research initiative.

The Eudokias Foundation ( takes its name from Luke 2:14, which references both the glory and grace of God, with peace being available to people who genuinely receive that grace at an identity level. The mission and philosophy of Eudokias include fostering spiritual growth and mental well-being in the spiritual lives of individuals and communities by opening access to meaningful encounters with the Holy Spirit to empower people to have heartfelt confidence in being God’s beloved little children.

This generous in-kind support highlights the importance of Richmont’s Spiritual First Responders Project which is being recognized by philanthropies like Templeton and Eudokias.

Richmont’s Dr. Oliver and Dr. Hill Keynoting at the Tennessee Association of Pastoral Therapy Conference

The Evangelical Purity Culture Movement (PCM) is a social movement focused on eliminating premarital sexual behavior which began in the 1990s and still continues today. This presentation will focus on the efficacy of the PCM as well as the long-term emotional, psychological, and sexual implications for women who came of age in the PCM. It will also address clinical implications for counselors and therapists working with this population, as well as suggestions for healthier alternatives to sexuality education for today’s youth.

Among those who leave religion, there are some who persist with spiritual desires for meaning and transcendent connection. Many of these “spiritually practicing” religious “dones” experience unique mental health challenges likely related to the religious trauma and social adversity they cite as top reasons for disaffiliating from religion. In this talk, I’ll discuss the challenges and possibilities for “remixed” spiritual experience among this population by setting faith deconstruction and reconstruction in a theological context and drawing implications for mental health care among this group.

Dr. Emily Oliver will be presenting on the Evangelical Purity Culture Movement and Mental Health Treatment Considerations.

Dr. Preston Hill will be presenting on Meaning and Mental Health with Religious “Dones”.


Click HERE to learn more about this continuing education event and purchase your ticket.

January 19, 2024
6:45 – 9:00 PM
(Virtual Gathering on Zoom)

2 hours CE credit

Richmont Launches The Spiritual First Responders Project Funded by The John Templeton Foundation

Until recently, social sciences only studied different religious identities (Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, etc) and identifying as none of these meant being labelled a religious “none.” However, recent studies in psychology have discovered a new group of people called the religious “dones.” Unlike some “nones” who have never been religious, this new group contains people who were religious at one point but have now deidentified from religion.

But, religious “dones” aren’t always completely “done.” Sometimes they may not have totally deidentified but would describe themselves as “deconstructing.” Studies also show that the spiritually-seeking religious “dones” have the highest rates of depression, anxiety, and mental health needs.

Our project is devoted to providing access to mental health care and spiritual meaning making for spiritually seeking religious “dones.”

Learn more at

Richmont partners with The Ken Matheny Center for the Study of Stress, Trauma, and Resilience (MSTAR) at Georgia State University

Richmont’s Office of Christian Integration is partnering with The Ken Matheny Center for the Study of Stress, Trauma, and Resilience (MSTAR) at Georgia State University to host two upcoming presentations both focusing on the theme of Mental Health & Faith Deconstruction. These presentations will take place at noon on Monday, October 23, in Room CEHD 1030 on the Georgia State campus.

Presentation 1 will be delivered by Daryl Van Tongeren from Hope College. It is entitled, “Religious Dones: The Science of Religious Deidentification.”

Presentation 2 will be delivered by Preston Hill from Richmont. It is entitled, “Posttraumatic Spiritual Yearning: Religious Dones in Theological Context.”

The event is free but requires registration at this link:

Register Today

Richmont’s School of Ministry celebrates record enrollment

In the opening week of the Fall 2023 semester, Richmont welcomed its largest number of School of Ministry students to date with 81 enrolled, including an exciting second cohort of doctoral students.

“In a time when so many graduate schools in theology and ministry are fighting to survive, it is encouraging to see Richmont’s School of Ministry expand its reach. Our focus on wholeness and formation along with practical skills is resonating, and this is encouraging.”

– Dr. Joshua Rice
Provost and Dean of the School of Ministry

95% NCE Pass Rate

Richmont’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program celebrates a 95% passage rate on the National Counselor Examination in 2023 – significantly exceeding the national average and poising graduates for incredible impact on the mental health field and within their communities.

“Richmont students have once again achieved an outstanding performance on the National Counselor’s Exam (NCE)… 95% of Richmont students who took the NCE in 2023 passed on the first attempt. The national average for 2023 was 81%. The pass rate for Richmont students on this important examination consistently, and significantly exceeds the national average.

The scores on the NCE demonstrate the quality of our program and the incredible investment of our faculty. This demonstrates that the rigor of our academic program leads to success on the road to students achieving their professional goals.”

Dr. Cara Cochran
Dean of the School of Counseling, Richmont Graduate University