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Richmont to Host Open House and Building Dedication

Richmont Graduate University welcomes our alumni, current students, friends, and the greater Southeastern community to join us as we dedicate and celebrate our new Atlanta campus on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

Beginning at 2:00 p.m., the university will join with the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce for our official ribbon cutting ceremony. Later that afternoon at 5:30 p.m., we look forward to hosting our open house with a building dedication ceremony at 7:00 p.m. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served and door prizes will be awarded to guests.

Each of these events are open to all and we look forward to having many friends gather at our new location: 1900 The Exchange SE, Building 100, Atlanta, GA 30339. As we prepare for this wonderful evening, please consider sending your RSVP to Zach Brooks at, 404-835-6138.

Spring 2015 Continuing Education Opportunities

Richmont is excited to offer the following Continuing Education opportunities this spring:

Child Trauma Intervention

When: February 27-28, 2015

Where: Richmont Graduate University, 1815 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404

Presenter: Jon S. Ebert, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry.

Topic: This seminar will provide an overview of clinical assessment and treatment of children who have experienced traumatic stress. The process of clinical evaluation of this population will be discussed, with review of the most commonly used evaluation tools. Treatment will be conceptualized in a core components manner, with identification of key goals of intervention with children who have experienced trauma, as well as the range of alternative interventions (i.e., expressive, body-based, sensory) which show promise for this population.

Learning Objectives:

Define common core components of childhood trauma treatment.

Apply a repertoire of skills for addressing relational safety for caregivers and children who have experienced trauma.

– Apply a repertoire of skills for building self-regulation in traumatized children.

– Explain the role of Self-Care and Regulation as essential in the work with complex trauma & adverse childhood experiences.

– Utilize a repertoire of skills for building developmental competencies.

– Discuss how to engage the Attachment System in the ARC Framework.

– Describe how to engage Self-Regulation in the ARC Framework.

– Describe how to engage Competence in the ARC Framework.

– Discuss how to engage Trauma Integration in the ARC Framework.

– Explain Case Formulation: through the ARC Framework.

– Demonstrate how to identify and prioritize Treatment Planning and Intervention: Using the ARC Framework.

– Demonstrate a basic understanding of the role and process of trauma experience integration.

CE Credit: 15 NBCC CE clock hours awarded.15 approved CE clock hours awarded to Psychologists.

Fees: $225 – This event is not sponsored by the alumni association and does not fall under the benefits of founding membership status.


Trauma and Biology

Richmont is opening a portion of this course in the Trauma Specialization to Richmont alumni and the surrounding community for Continuing Education Credit. This event is not sponsored by the alumni association and does not fall under the benefits of founding membership status.

When: March 6-7, 2015

Where: Richmont Graduate University, 1900 The Exchange SE, Building 100, Atlanta, GA 30339

Presenter: Wendy D’Andrea, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology at The New School for Social Research.

Topic: This seminar will review physiological impacts of traumatic experiences, including psychobiology of the acute trauma response; impact of chronic traumatic stress on a functional and anatomical neurological level; and physiological markers of the chronic stress response and their behavioral manifestations. The course will review current research regarding the intersection between trauma and the body, and implications for treatment will be discussed.

Learning Objectives: As a result of this seminar, participants will be able to:

-Summarize a basic understanding of the links between brain systems and behavior.

– Describe the biological systems implicated in the traumatic response.

-Identify ways self-regulatory capacity is impacted in trauma survivors.

-Identify at least three ways that physiological changes linked to trauma may manifest as emotional or behavioral symptoms.

-Apply at least three techniques used to stabilize physiological responses to trauma and return a client’s arousal level to their window of tolerance.

-Discuss the psychophysiology of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma and begin to identify self care methods for the therapist to minimize vicarious trauma in their work with the traumatized clients.

CE Credit: 16 NBCC CE clock hours awarded. 16 approved CE clock hours awarded to Psychologists.

Fees: $225.00 This event is not sponsored by the alumni association and does not fall under the benefits of founding membership status.

Note: Attendees are required to attend both days to receive CE credit for this event. Space is limited. Please register early to reserve your spot. Attendees will be admitted to this seminar on a first come, first serve basis.


Trauma Informed Care

The International Christian Alliance on Prostitution is partnering with Richmont Graduate University and NightLight Atlanta to present this four day workshop.

When: June 14-17, 2015

Where: Richmont Graduate University, 1900 The Exchange SE, Building 100, Atlanta, GA 30339

Presenter: Dan Sartor, Ph.D., NCC

Dr. Dan Sartor is the Director of Trinity Counseling Services and Associate Professor of Psychology at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta, GA. He is licensed as a Clinical Psychologist (IL, GA, & TN), Clinical Professional Counselor (IL), and a Nationally Board Certified Counselor. Dan received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Biola University (Rosemead School of Psychology), and he holds an M.A. in Counseling from Reformed Theological Seminary. Dan trained as a generalist in Clinical Psychology; his clinical specializations include addiction recovery, sexuality issues, trauma recovery, couples’ counseling, and crisis of faith/spiritual issues.

Conference Description:

This series of conference workshops will address Trauma concerns as presented with individuals who have experienced human trafficking. The workshops will begin by describing the biopsychosocial and spiritual dimensions of health according to Interpersonal Neurobiology and Attachment Theory, identifying five characteristics of adaptive resilience in secure attachment. Next, the disruption of secure attachment through neglect, extreme stress, complex loss, and interpersonal trauma will be described, as the workshop defines the resulting anxious, dismissive, and disorganized styles of attachment. Classifications of post trauma disorders from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual—5 and the literature on Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified (i.e., complex trauma) will be applied for understanding the unique impact of interpersonal trauma on the individual. Thereafter, Judith Herman’s three stages of trauma recovery will be applied to describe and guide the healing process, concluding with implications for coordination of psychiatric (i.e., medication), psychotherapeutic, spiritual, and social services for comprehensive and effective efforts to facilitate resilience and the recovery from interpersonal trauma. This content is suited for beginner to intermediate practitioner levels.

*To view the conference schedule click here.

Learning Objectives: As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to:

-Describe biopsychosocial dimensions of health according to Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) and Attachment Theory.

-Identify five characteristics of health and adaptive resilience according to IPNB.

-Define the four styles of attachment according to Attachment Theory: Secure, Preoccupied, Dismissive, and Disorganized.

-Recognize the disruption to health often caused by neglect, extreme stress, complex loss/grief, and interpersonal trauma.

-Apply Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 5 (DSM-5) framework for Posttraumatic Disorders.

-Describe the impact of trauma on an individual’s spirituality and world-view.

-Recognize the signs of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

-Articulate the connection between chemical and process (i.e., behavioral) addictions and prior history of trauma.

-Identify six areas of disturbance caused by interpersonal trauma according to the literature on complex trauma (Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified; DESNOS).

-Apply Judith Herman’s (1992) three stages of trauma recovery as descriptive of the process to establish or restore the five characteristics of health and adaptive resilience according to IPNB.

-Explain the role of psychotropic, psychotherapeutic, spiritual, and social service interventions in trauma recovery, emphasizing the import of coordinated multi-disciplinary interventions to address the spiritual and biopsychosocial aspects of trauma recovery.

CE Credit: 7.5 CE clock hours will be awarded. Full conference attendance required for CE credit. No partial credit will be awarded. Participants must attend all CE sessions to receive CE clock hours.

Fees: Prior to March 31, 2015, the Early Bird rate for the full conference (including lunch and dinner) is $185.00. After the March deadline the rate is $200. For those who are unable to attend the full conference, the rate per session prior to March 31, 2015 is $35. After the deadline the rate is $40. The fees for continuing education credit are $30.

Questions on any of these events? Contact Autumn Stephenson at or 423-648-2679.


Richmont Moves onto New Atlanta Campus

ATLANTA, GA – (January 9, 2015)

This week, Richmont officially transitioned their Atlanta campus to their newly renovated building on the Northwest side of the city. After 6 months of renovations, classes and administrative functions are now fully operating out of the university’s newest space.

“We could not be more excited to call this new building “home” as we prepare to welcome a brand new semester of students on Thursday,” said President Bob Rodgers. “The amount of ministry and service that will come as a result of this new space is truly unfathomable. We are incredibly grateful to have a new place to train students, conduct research, and serve area residents.”

For nearly 20 years, the university previously occupied a building on the campus of Mount Paran Church of God. After considering more than 80 properties, Richmont was able to purchase the property in July 2014. Thanks to generous gifts from alumni, friends of the university, and local foundation’s, Richmont was able to customize the space to serve as the next site for the nation’s third oldest full accredited counseling school educating students from a biblical perspective.

Right away the building began serving at capacity as students flooded the campus for orientation and their professional seminar course. The university was also pleased to host the Leader 2 Leader peer group including a variety of nonprofit Presidents and CEO’s for their monthly focus group. This month’s guest speaker was Mr. Horst Schulze, former President of The Ritz Carlton hotels.

The university looks forward to hosting an official open house on March 3, 2015 at the new Atlanta Campus (1900 The Exchange, Building 100, Atlanta, GA 30339). Please join the Richmont’s trustees, faculty and staff for this exciting event.

Richmont Team Competes in Chattanooga’s MainX24 Adult Big Wheel Championship

CHATTANOOGA, TN – (December 8, 2014)

 On Saturday, December 6, a group of Richmont Graduate University staff members and Henegar/CBI therapists participated in Chattanooga’s MainX24 Adult Big Wheel Championship. The race, which benefitted the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hamilton County (CAHSE), consisted of an adult-sized tricycle race.

 “We loved getting to participate in a fun and unique event that showcases Chattanooga’s Main Street community,” said Richmont Admissions Counselor, Tom Sanders.

 The MAINx24 event runs 24 hours and features a parade, several races, and an open house with small businesses. The event is growing in popularity as funds raised are in support of the Center’s work serving children who have been physically and sexually abused though and helping them therapeutically.

 “The best thing about the big wheel event is that you get to be kids again for the sake of benefiting kids,” said Ed Doreau, a therapist at Richmont’s Henegar/CBI Counseling Center. “You race a goofy and cumbersome big wheel around a track all while laughing and cheering each other on. The best part is that the event helps kids who need to get back in touch with their own childhood because they have lost some of it to trauma. It’s a beautiful and simple example of redemption in action.”

 The team of four Richmont racers and one organizer had a fantastic experience and are already looking forward to competing again next year!

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Richmont Graduate Writes Second Book on Christmas

CLEVELAND, TN – (December 5, 2014)

On November 28, Richmont alumna, Jennifer Hand, published her second e-book, 25 Days to Coming Alive. Featuring 25 story driven devotionals, this book provides an invitation for readers to “come alive” by connecting with the King during advent.

“It was in the early morning hours when I felt the Lord whisper the calling to write this book,” said Hand. “I was in my grandfather’s hospice room, listening to his labored breathing, wondering if it would be his last. Life had stilled and I began to think about the upcoming Christmas season.”

Knowing how busy the holidays can become for many people, Hand hopes her book will serve as an invitation for people to pause and remember the joy and miracles of the story of Christ coming to earth. Currently, the book is available for purchase on Amazon.

In March of this year, Hand released her first book, 31 Days to Coming Alive. It quickly landed on Amazon’s list of bestselling devotionals. The popular devotional helps people easily connect their hearts with Christ in order to come alive in their daily lives. Each daily devotional is written to connect scripture to reader’s hearts using life stories and topics include: coming alive in confidence, coming alive in prayer, coming alive in courage, coming alive in your common, and coming alive in community. These devotions speak to the reader’s soul and the heart at the end of each day and include a few questions or directives to practically apply the concepts.

After graduating from Richmont in 2012, Hand started Coming Alive Ministries to help people come alive in Christ through counseling, conferences and written resources. Today, Coming Alive Ministries provides opportunities for women to come alive in Christ through conferences and retreats, counseling, and written and multimedia resources. In particular, the conferences are designed to encourage attendees to live alive in Christ through worship, the Word, laughter, fellowship and fun. While teaching approximately 40 retreats and conferences a year across the globe, Hand also engages missionary families in counseling as a professional counselor.

Richmont Professor and Recent Graduate Collaborate to Create “Ministry and the Mind”

ATLANTA, GA – (December 3, 2014)

Dr. D. Jason Hayes, Assistant Clinical Professor of Counseling at Richmont, along with master’s student and Pastor, DeVon Mills, are collaborating to create “Ministry and the Mind.”  Intended to act as a parachurch ministry, Ministry and the Mind will educate and equip pastors and lay-leaders to better assist congregants struggling with mental health issues, addictions, and other life events that necessitate pastoral counseling. This also includes helping pastors know when they should consider, and how to go about, making a referral to a professional counselor.

“Today, like never before, pastors are facing complex emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs in their congregations,” said Dr. Hayes. “The goal of Ministry and the Mind is to equip pastors to know how to best meet these multifaceted issues.”

The two will offer their first training workshop, Effective Pastoral Counseling in a Defective World, on Saturday, February 21, 2015. The workshop will cover topics such as “Who Comes to Church?” which examines the prevalence of mental illness, addictions, and survivors of childhood abuse in the general population and what that looks like in a local congregation.

Similarly, Dr. Hayes’ session on the Millennial Generation will address issues unique to working with this population. Regarding the Millennial Generation, the Pew Research Foundation states, “They are more ethnically and racially diverse than older adults. They’re less religious, less likely to have served in the military, and are on track to become the most educated generation in American history.”

Other topics to be discussed during February’s workshop include an introduction to basic counseling skills, what authentic relationships look like in regard to counseling, and a question and answer session. The workshop will also be recorded and DVDs will be available for purchase shortly after.

 “The composition of the church has shifted dramatically over the past few years,” said Pastor Mills. “Dr. Hayes and I feel it is imperative that the local pastor be as educated and well equipped as possible in order to address the myriad problems affecting those who attend their churches.”

The workshop will begin at 9:00a .m. and end at 2:00 p.m. Registration is $50.00 per person and includes lunch. To register, read details and download directions for the February 21 training visit:

Richmont Participates in Giving Tuesday

We have a day dedicated to giving thanks and today, Giving Tuesday, is a day for giving back.

Richmont Graduate University is joining with charities, families, businesses, and students around the world to dedicate today to celebrating generosity and giving back. Would you join us by making a special gift to Richmont?

The community we enjoy at Richmont isn’t accidental – it’s intentional and effective. The Lord has faithfully guided our administrative steps, spoken through our faculty, and encouraged our students as they answered His call on their life. We are humbled and grateful for His many blessings.

In turn, we are committed to “giving back” to the communities where we have campuses. We do this by professionally training students as counselors and ministers while also hosting a network of counseling centers that provide an average of 24,000 counseling sessions every 12 months. Our students and professors also continue to receive national recognition through their test scores, research initiatives, publications, and conference presentations.

Your gift this Giving Tuesday will create financial margin that allows our mission to continue to thrive.

This fall, because a friend of the university has generously contributed the final $200,000, we are now $500,000 away from finishing our $2.1 million goal of transitioning the Atlanta campus to its new location. While this relocation budget is in addition to our daily operating costs we are looking forward to having a permanent home in Atlanta like the faculty, staff and students enjoy in Chattanooga. For alumni who support the university this winter, your gifts will be matched dollar for dollar thanks to a $10,000 matching grant from the Alumni Advisory Council.

Your gift matters to us! As millions around the globe participate in Giving Tuesday would you consider joining them by giving to Richmont? You can give online now via Richmont’s web site. After you do, share it with your friends via #GivingTuesday.

We continue to have wonderful opportunities to advance God’s work of healing, restoration and transformation in the lives of individuals, churches and communities. Thank you in advance for giving generously to support what the Lord is doing through Richmont.


Richmont Professor Writes Children’s Book about Christmas

CHATTANOOGA, TN – (November 14, 2014)

Dr. Erica Skidmore, Assistant Clinical Professor of Counseling at Richmont, along with her husband, Rev. Ben Skidmore, have written a children’s book for Christmas. The book, A Bed for the King, is the familiar story of the Nativity but with a twist. Told from the perspective of the animals present for Jesus’ birth, A Bed for the King is a story about how God uses our willingness to give to others, even if we feel we do not have much, in order to build His Kingdom.

“I believe the Lord gave us the idea for A Bed for the King out of our desire to teach our own children that Christmas is about more than just presents,” said Dr. Skidmore. “Every December, we have the opportunity to celebrate the coming of Christ. We also have a chance to begin the New Year focusing on the gifts of the season – caring for others, compassion, and kindness.”

“The Christmas season is a time when, more than any other season, people are inspired and encouraged to reach out to their neighbor in kindness and giving,” said Reverend Skidmore. “Then somehow, by December 26, the kids are complaining that they’re bored, the checking account is low, and kindness and giving are often after-thoughts. We hope A Bed for the King will be a way for people to have a new experience on December 26 – one in which families can look back at the positive memories of the lasting impact on the Kingdom they have created by engaging with each other and their community.”

The book also includes instructions and activities for families to use in order to put the book into practice. The activities offered were influenced by Dr. Skidmore’s experience as a clinical psychologist and Reverend Skidmore’s experience in ministry and each one encourages acts of kindness and seeks to create family traditions around the real meaning of Christmas.

After reading the book, Dr. Gary Moon, former President of Richmont, and the Executive Director of the Martin Institute and Dallas Willard Center said, “Writing a children’s book is not easy; I know, I have tried. The good ones engage the child and stirs imagination. The really good ones do that while causing a tear or a smile to form in the eye of the adult reader. A Bed for the King is a really good children’s book about the heart of Christmas – and it is superbly illustrated. I know. It made me cry.”

For a peek into the pages of A Bed for the King or to get your copy in time for Christmas visit

Richmont Professor Travels to Moldova to Train Counselors

ATLANTA, GA – (October 28, 2014)

This October, Vanessa Snyder, Assistant Professor of Counseling at Richmont, traveled to Moldova to conduct research and provide training on a trauma treatment model for staff working with victims of sex trafficking. Partnering with Hope for Justice, Snyder has traveled and trained with the organization in the past. This trip, however, focused on teaching the organization’s residential workers in aftercare shelters best practices within the three phase “heart trauma model.” Ideally, aftercare therapists will be better equipped to offer a more holistic approach to their clients who have experienced immense adverse life experiences.

Moldova-1“There is such a strong focus on the rescue of children and women who are being trafficked. While this is a necessity, it can, at times eclipse an equally desperate need for quality aftercare services,” said Snyder. “Having evidence based treatment for survivors of such complex trauma and organizations that are trauma-informed is a passion of mine.”

A 2008 graduate of Richmont, Snyder will be completing her degree in December from Regent University with her doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision. Her areas of research interests include: sexual abuse and trauma; trauma effects on the God perception; and complex trauma model protocol used for human trafficking. With her teaching experience and specialized research, her relationship with Hope for Justice has grown over the last three years. Later this month, Snyder plans to speak at the organization’s national conference in Nashville, Tennessee to present her research and trip experiences.

A licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist, Snyder’s work in Moldova is not only preparing aftercare workers to offer whole-person focused treatment, but the data she collects and studies from the shelters informs future service provision and therapeutic practice across the counseling field. Best practices in aftercare shelters is a passion of Snyder’s and her studies influence individual treatment models, self care for clinicians, and future organizational development.

Richmont Faculty to Present at the CAPACITY Conference in October

ATLANTA, GA – (October 10, 2014)

This October, Dr. Keny Felix, Richmont’s Dean of the Schools of Counseling and Psychology and Dr. Leland Eliason, the Founding Dean of Richmont’s School of Ministry, will be speaking at the 2014 CAPACITY Pastors and Leaders Conference in Austell, Georgia.

The three-day conference is boutique style allowing the 500 attendees to select plenary sessions and workshops that span a wide range of leadership conversations. According to the conference web site, the weekend is specifically “designed to equip and empower pastors and leaders” while challenging “conference attendees to go to the next level of personal development, authenticity and ministerial and organizational growth.”

“Bishop Dale C. Bronner is delighted to have Richmont Graduate University as a Sponsor of this year’s CAPACITY Pastors and Leaders Conference,” said Richmont professor, Reverend Courtney Wright. “We have been working on this conference for almost two years and have planned every detail to make it impactful and intentional. We have designed the conference to benefit those who are in any form of leadership, whether it be pastoral, ministerial or vocational.  Our belief is that it will bless all who attend and take them to a higher level of personal, ministerial and professional excellence.”

This year, both Drs. Felix and Eliason will be presenting during the conference’s breakout sessions. Specifically, Dr. Felix will present, “The Importance of Restoration and Respite for those in Ministry and Leadership” and Dr. Eliason will present, “Authentic Leadership: Is There Any Other Kind?”

“I am very much looking forward to presenting on “Authentic Leadership” this year during the Saturday break-out session,” said Dr. Eliason. “Participants will be invited to visualize how the content applies to their ministry situations and to describe the steps they plan to take to ensure that wanted changes take place. The learning outcomes thus move from information gathering to leadership transformation. I have never been more excited about presenting at a conference for Christian leaders!”

“We know that effective ministry is not a sprint but a marathon,” said Dr. Felix. “To serve well and fulfill their call, ministers and leaders need respite as they navigate through the different seasons of ministry. Otherwise they become at risk of dysfunction, engaging in unhealthy behaviors, or moral failure in response to the pressures of life and ministry. I look forward to sharing on this critical topic, as well as addressing the restoration of ministers and leaders when they fail.”