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School of Counseling

Richmont Achieves 100% Passage Rate of the National Counselor Exam

Richmont’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program celebrates a 100% passage rate on the National Counselor Examination in 2022 – significantly exceeding the national average and poising graduates for incredible impact on the mental health field and within their communities.

“Each year, most graduating students in the School of Counseling elect to take the National Counselor Exam (NCE) which is required for licensure in most states. We are very pleased to announce that, for the second time in fifteen years, Richmont students taking the NCE had a 100% pass rate in 2022. To put this in perspective, the national pass rate this year was 63%. The average score for Richmont students was 120 points while the average score nationally was 108 points. Since 2008, our average pass rate has been 97% for students taking the exam for the first time, which is much higher than the national average. These consistent results demonstrate the excellence of our program, the quality of our faculty, and the dedication of our students. We are immensely proud of these men and women for this accomplishment.”

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

Dr. Steve Bradshaw Announces Retirement; Dr. Cara Cochran Appointed Dean of the School of Counseling

After 45 years in higher education, 18 years of teaching at Richmont, and seven years serving as Dean of the School of Counseling, Dr. Steve Bradshaw will be retiring at the end of this academic year.  “I plan to continue serving Richmont students ​and alumni by teaching some Internship classes and providing supervision for recent graduates in order to obtain licensure,” Bradshaw explains. “So, I am not going away – just changing my role at Richmont. I look forward to continuing to hear of the great things God is doing through Richmont and its students in the upcoming years.”  An opportunity for former and current students and staff to express appreciation to Dr. Bradshaw is currently being planned for the end of the semester.

Dr. Joshua Rice has appointed Dr. Cara Cochran as Dean of the School of Counseling for a two-year term. “With a long history as an administrator in higher education, including serving as our Assistant then Associate Dean over the last 6 years, Dr. Cochran is a standout choice for this vital role,” says Rice.  “She loves students, she is a vitalizer and we have a lot to do.”

“I am thankful to be part of a university community where faith and clinical excellence are part of our identity,” Cochran remarks. “To have the opportunity to lead, and to continue to dream alongside the faculty and students in the role of Dean of the School of Counseling is humbling and very exciting. I look forward to working together to strengthen our degree programs and certificates, and to increase our impact and influence in the realm of counselor education.”

Richmont Announces Temporary Shift to Virtual Learning

As we begin our spring semester, out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our campus community, administration has determined that until January 20th in-person classes will be taught virtually, according to the regular campus schedule, via zoom.   Classes are scheduled to resume meeting in person on January 21st.  All other university services will be open, including libraries and counseling centers.

Richmont Welcomes New Assistant Professor: Dr. Kathleen Bazile

Richmont Graduate University welcomes Dr. Kathleen Bazile onto the full-time faculty this spring. Dr. Bazile comes to us from the University of Texas at El Paso, where she taught Ethics and Techniques of Counseling in addition to serving on committees and operating a private practice. Dr. Bazile completed her MA in Mental Health Counseling at Rollins College, and her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Mercer University, with a focus on social media and body image among women. “I feel very blessed to become part of the Richmont family,” she remarks. “I’m excited to get to know everyone and be an instrument to our students’ success!” Dr. Bazile will be working from the Atlanta campus. Her email address is

Alumni Profile | Gary and Kay Rupp

2019 Commencement Speaker: Dr. Rhonda Milner

Saturday, May 11th Richmont Graduate University will hold its forty-sixth commencement ceremony. The event will take place at Ridgedale Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee and will honor graduates from Richmont’s School of Counseling and School of Ministry programs.

This year’s commencement speaker is Dr. Rhonda Milner. Dr. Milner is a physician, counselor, spiritual director, minister, poet,  and best-selling author who also serves on the Board of Trustees for Richmont. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Georgia and then went on to graduate from the Emory School of Medicine. Dr. Milner is a board-certified radiologist and maintains a current Georgia medical license.

Dr. Milner is a graduate of Richmont Graduate University where she earned a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling and a Master of Arts in Ministry. She has specializations in Addictions Counseling, Counseling and Spirituality, and Spiritual Direction. She completed a two-year study with the Renovaré Institute in Christian discipleship and spiritual formation in 2013. She is a licensed professional counselor who also practices as a spiritual director in private practice at Chattahoochee Counseling Center, where she sees clients that could not typically afford counseling.

Dr. Milner is also the founder of Healing Presence Ministry, a global social media and internet ministry based on her poetry and spiritual writings with a following of almost 3 million. Her first book, The Mended Heart: a Poet’s Journey through Love, Suffering, and Hope, is a bestseller in Christian poetry. Her manuscript, The Signature of God: His Name Written into Our Lives and the World, is due to be released in July 2019.  More information on her ministry can be found at

Rhonda, a native of Atlanta, lives with her husband of 36 years and their six dogs. She is the mother of 4 children, having lost her oldest son at age 25 in 2011. Her son died from accidental drowning. She subsequently started a nonprofit to raise awareness, which can be found at

Richmont Faculty and Student Present at CAPS Conference

The Christian Association of Psychological Studies (CAPS) is a non-profit professional organization comprised of Psychologists, Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Professors, Social Workers, Pastoral Counselors, and Students. CAPS mission is to encourage in-depth consideration of therapeutic, research, theoretical, and theological issues. Each year CAPS holds an annual national conference, and this year’s conference titled “Transformed: Emerging Trends in Training and Practice” was held in Dallas, Texas (March 21-23, 2019).

Richmont Graduate University is proud to have five (5) faculty members and two (2) students presenting at this year’s CAPS conference. The 2020 CAPS annual conference will be held in Atlanta, Georiga and eight (8) Richmont faculty members will be serving on the CAPS administrative team. The involvement of Richmont administration, faculty, and students with CAPS represents Richmont’s continued commitment to research and leadership in the field of counseling and integration.


The following is a list of presentations by Richmont faculty and students at the 2019 CAPS conference:

Breakout Sessions


Cara Cochran, PhD, Richmont Graduate University



Amanda Blackburn, PsyD, Jama White, PsyD & Mary Plisco, PhD, Richmont Graduate University

Richmont faculty: Dr. Dan Sartor, Dr. Amanda Blackburn, Dr. Jama White, Dr. Cara Cochran, and Dr. Mary Plisco


Dan Sartor, PhD, Cara Cochran PhD, Amanda Blackburn, PsyD, Mary Plisco, PhD, & Jama White, PsyD, Richmont Graduate University



Dan Sartor, PhD, Jama White, PsyD, Richmont Graduate University, Cayla Bland, PhD, Biola Univeristy, & Jill Bruce, PhD, Grace College



Cara Cochran, PhD & Meredith Kerley, BS, Richmont Graduate University


Poster Session

Richmont student Nicole Vernon and Dr. Mary Plisco


Nicole Vernon, B.S. and Mary Plisco, PhD, Richmont Graduate University


Now Accepting Transfer Students

Several universities have recently faced hardships leaving students with partially completed master’s degrees. Richmont Graduate University is available to assist in the completion of their Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree.

Richmont offers a generous transfer policy including:

  • Free transfer credit evaluation.
  • No transfer credit fees.
  • The ability to transfer up to 1/3 of total program credit (up to 22 credit hours). *extended to 2/3 for eligible argosy students
  • The ability to apply for financial aid and scholarships.

Students interested in transferring to Richmont should contact the Admissions Team and complete a transfer of credit request form.

Richmont Graduate University has a strong legacy of growth and financial stability. The university is debt-free and recently received 10-year reaccreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Furthermore, Richmont’s Clinical Mental Health program is CACREP accredited and consistently has high NCE scores and job placement rates.

Richmont Faculty Featured on WebMD

Richmont Faculty Publish Article on Attachment and Spiritual Formation

Richmont Graduate University faculty members Daniel Sartor, Ph.D.; Cara Cochran, Ph.D.; Amanda Blackburn, Psy.D.; Mary Plisco, Psy.D.; and Jama White, Psy.D. published an article titled “The Role of Attachment in Spiritual Formation at Richmont Graduate University.” The article is featured in the latest edition of The Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, a publication of the Institute of Spiritual Formation at Biola University.

The article describes the model of how Richmont provides spiritual formation training in its counseling programs. “This model of spiritual formation has a dual foundation which includes the centrality of love to the Christian life and the importance of attachment to the development of persons. The training is intentionally designed to invite students to pursue a more secure attachment to God, healthier relationships with others, and a more grace-based self-awareness.”

You can access the article via the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care website: Link to Article

To learn more about Richmont’s CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and how faith is integrated into the program, connect with our Admissions Team or attend an upcoming Preview Day.