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Richmont Student’s Article Accepted for Publication

ATLANTA, GA – (October 17, 2013)

Current Licensed Professional Counseling student Jenna Riemersma’s article, “A New Generation of Sexual Addiction: Etiology and Treatment Implications” has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity. Riemersma’s article, co-authored by Dr. Michael Sytsma, is currently under consideration for presentation at the 2014 Christian Association for Psychological Studies conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Preparing to graduate in May 2014, Riemersma has pursued Richmont’s Licensed Professional Counseling track with specializations in sex therapy, addictions and spiritual direction. Currently, she is completing her internship with HopeQuest – the only faith-based residential treatment facility in the U.S. currently providing clinical services for both men and women who are struggling with sexual addiction. While this is her first psychological publication, Riemersma has presented her research in the advanced sexual addiction course through the Institute for Sexual Wholeness (ISW).

Reflecting on her research and recent publication Riemersma said, “Writing for the journal has been an exciting process, as well as an honor. This article is an attempt to articulate the radical changes in the field of sexual addiction that have been introduced with the ready accessibility of graphic online content. We as clinicians need a template for articulating the unique etiology and treatment interventions required for this “new generation” of individuals struggling with sexual addiction, and it is exciting to be a part of that dialogue. Dr. Sytsma has been an invaluable support in the writing and publication process, and I am indebted to his expertise and mentorship for providing this opportunity. The privilege of working with field leaders such as Dr. Sytsma is one of the remarkable gifts of the Richmont community.” 

Dr. Sytsma, ISW faculty member and President of Building Intimate Marriages, served as a co-author of the article as well as Riemersma’s academic mentor.

“Jenna has done a great job in pulling this article together,” said Dr. Sytsma. “Doing the work to get an article that challenges standard thinking through the peer review process is difficult. The subject we are talking about merits discussion as our article is designed to escalate professional discussion on rapid onset sexual addiction. She did an amazing job in pulling our clinical observations together and adding her heart for the next generation into a model that works. It will be exciting to see what dialogue is created as others read through and react to the concepts in the article. I’m proud of Jenna’s professionalism on multiple levels and enjoyed working with her on this project. I hope other students will be challenged to follow her lead.”

Richmont Graduate University Launches Black Student-Alumni Collaborative

ATLANTA, GA and CHATTANOOGA, TN – (October 16, 2013)

On Friday, November 1, 2013, Richmont Graduate University will launch the Richmont Black Student-Alumni Collaborative (BSAC) with an Inaugural Brunch & Kick-Off from 10:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. the following day.

BSAC has been established to more fully address the unique needs of Richmont’s Black students and alumni during graduate training, in the counseling profession, in the church and in the broader community. The collaborative will function as a joint effort between alumni leaders, President Bob Rodgers, the Alumni Advisory Council, the Richmont Alumni Association, Faculty Advisor, Dr. Keny Felix, and Dean of Students, Dr. DeAnne Terrell. All BSAC members will be part of the Richmont Alumni Association and will work together in support of the university’s mission.

“I’m delighted and excited that BSAC will be launching in November,” said Dr. Keny Felix, Dean of the School of Counseling and BSAC Faculty Advisor. “We have experienced a great growth in the number of Black students attending and graduating from Richmont through the years. Responding to their unique needs is essential as we aim to fulfill the University’s mission of advancing ‘God’s work of healing, restoration, and transformation in the lives of individuals, churches, and communities.’ This extension of the Richmont Alumni Association will be a definite plus for the Richmont family and beyond.”

“We are very excited to better serve Richmont students and alumni through this collaborative effort as people from varying generations, counseling specialties, and backgrounds have exceptionally valuable insights to add to the counseling profession” said President Bob Rodgers. “I am particularly grateful to Keny for his efforts in launching and leading this group as it is an important piece of engaging and serving Richmont’s members.”

The Inaugural Brunch & Kick-Off will include a meet and greet, vision casting, officer elections, games, fun and fellowship. For more information on joining the BSAC click here. To attend the Inaugural Brunch & Kick-Off, please RSVP to Lisa Byrd via email: For directions to Richmont visit the university’s “Find Us” page.

Dr. Doug Rosenau to Present at 2013 Alumni Reunion & Workshop

On Friday, November 1, Dr. Doug Rosenau will present, “The Colors of Intimacy: A Model for Enriching and Restoring Marital Lovemaking,” for Richmont’s alumni reunion and workshop. The event will be held in the Great Hall at Mt. Paran Church of God which is across the street from Richmont’s Atlanta campus. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a Hors d’oeuvres reception and will end at 9:00 p.m. Participants will be eligible to receive three hours of continuing education credit.

Presenter: Dr. Douglas Rosenau, Th.M., Ed.D.

D. Rosenau picDoug Rosenau, Th.M., Ed.D., has as his passion and calling:  “cultivating a sexually healthy church.” Over the past 35 years as a psychologist, pastor, LMFT and sex therapist, he has listened to over 50,000 hours of stories. Doug enjoys using this practical wisdom in writing (authoring A Celebration of Sex, co-authoring A Celebration of Sex After 50 and Soul Virgins: Redefining Single Sexuality), teaching (adjunct professor at Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta, Dallas Theological Seminary, Reformed Seminary-Jackson, Trevecca Graduate University), and mentoring (co-founder of Sexual Wholeness—the only uniquely Christian graduate training in sex therapy). He loves to be known as a sexual theologian and evangelist.

Workshop Information: “The Colors of Intimacy: A Model for Enriching and Restoring Marital Lovemaking”

This workshop will provide a model for counselors and educators to use for enhancing and restoring healthy sexual intimacy in marriage.  Learning to truly make love differs greatly from just having sex. Three interactive types of intimacy will be developed using color-coding (green, purple, orange). Each color in and of itself is crucial to falling deeper in love and creating an exciting sex life. One category focuses on companionship and connecting Green intimacy; one emphasizes romantic, sensuous, bonding Purple intimacy, and another highlights erotic, arousing Orange intimacy. These three categories form an intimate interactive continuum that help couples fall deeper in love and renew their sexual intimacy. This model can be an effective teaching tool for guiding Covenant Lovers into more playful and passionate lovemaking. Therapists who have used “The Colors” find it easy to explain in session and clients apply it readily to their marriages.

This workshop is designed to help you:

  • Identify three categories of intimacy using the “Colors” model.
  • Demonstrate the interactive nature of the three categories of intimacy in creating Total Intimacy and healthy sexuality within marriage.
  • Discuss the “Colors” model as an effective intervention for restoring sexual intimacy in traumatized marriages.

Fees & Registration:

Click here to register online.

  • Richmont Graduate University Founding Alumni Association Members, Clinical Supervisors, Faculty, and Staff receive FREE admission.
  • Basic Alumni Association Members: $20.00
  • RGU Students: $5.00
  • Non-members/Friends of Alumni: $50.00

Please contact Autumn Stephenson at for questions regarding the event or your membership status. To request a refund, please contact Autumn Stephenson at Refunds will only be issued if requested prior to October 30.

Continuing Education:

Three NBCC-approved clock hours awarded. Three approved clock hours for psychologists awarded. Seeking approval for Three GAMFT-approved core hours.

Richmont Graduate University is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) and may offer NBCC-Approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.  The ACEP is solely responsible for all aspects of the program. Richmont Graduate University is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Richmont maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


Caring for the Caregiver: A Retreat for Professional Counselors

Counselors and therapists need to be cared for, too. This fall, from October 18 – 20, the SoulCare Project is hosting a retreat at Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville, Georgia for pastoral caregivers, professional counselors or therapists in private practice. This year, Fil Anderson – author, speaker, Spiritual Care Team member at Samaritan’s Purse, and executive director of Journey Resources - will be joining the retreat to lead reflective exercises. Cost is $325 per person – this includes all lodging, food, facilitation and materials. To learn more, visit SoulCare Project.

“It has been a great privilege to have gotten to know Dan Maclellan and Russell Courtney through their work with The SoulCare Project. I have been on one of their retreats and I have worked with them in a jointly-sponsored retreat for pastors in the Chattanooga area. I believe this important work is run by men who exhibit a rare combination of warm humility and professional competence. I also believe that the work of Christian spiritual formation has been the “great omission” of the Church for centuries. It is very comforting to see new and important efforts toward the end of helping Christians toward authentic transformation into Christlikeness.”  -Dr. Gary W. Moon, faculty, Richmont Graduate University.

Richmont Student’s Thesis Accepted for Publication

ATLANTA, GA – (September 13, 2013)

Current Licensed Professional Counseling student Katie Rider’s thesis has been accepted for publication by Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention. Titled: “Religious Coping Style as a Predictor of the Severity of Anorectic Symptomology,” Rider’s thesis was also accepted for presentation in March 2013 by the Southeastern Psychological Association’s (SEPA) annual conference, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia.

Preparing to graduate in May 2014, Rider has pursued Richmont’s Licensed Professional Counseling track with a specialization in addictions. Her impressive senior thesis, in particular, offers empirical data regarding anorexic patients’ views of God’s grace and religious coping styles.

Reflecting on her thesis research Rider said, “I’m excited about this research because it empirically demonstrates the importance and value of incorporating religion, and Christian religious themes in particular, into the anorexia treatment process.” 

Richmont faculty Drs. DeAnne Terrell and Timothy Sisemore supported Rider in her thesis efforts and serve as second and third authors on the accepted article. Additionally, Dr. Janet Hecht of Talent by Design Consulting provided valuable statistical assistance.

 “As Director of Research, I am most proud of Katie’s work.  She is a role model for researchers in her diligence, time management, clarity of thought, use of resources, and writing style,” said CBI Director and Richmont Faculty member, Dr. Tim Sisemore. “I am delighted for her to publish her thesis, though frankly I am not in the least surprised.”

Henegar/CBI Counseling Center Welcomes New Counselors to Clinical Staff

CHATTANOOGA, TN – (September 12, 2013)

The Henegar/CBI Counseling Center, a part of Richmont Graduate University, is pleased to announce the additions of two new counselors to its clinical staff.

  • Jane Neall, recently graduated with a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling and brings a wealth of life experience to her work as a counselor. Her personal journey as a nurse, wife, mother, and cancer survivor uniquely equips her to serve clients throughout Chattanooga. Jane summarizes her approach to counseling saying, “I use an interpersonal process approach to therapy which means I understand current problems through the lens of personal history, patterns of thinking and relational style, but focus the therapy on current behavior and relationships. I use some cognitive behavioral therapy approaches and solution-focused approaches when appropriate.”
  • Ryan Thompson, began his training at Richmont in Atlanta before going to George Fox University where he completed a Psy.D. He is now a licensed psychologist and joins the Henegar/CBI Counseling Center from Hatch’s House of Hope in Chattanooga. He is a well-trained and experienced in psychological assessment, particularly cognitive functioning, and will provide counseling services to adults and children. He is also near certification as a trainer in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and will provide this important service to families as well as teaching other clinicians and interns the skills of PCIT. Dr. Thompson is also an adjunct professor at Richmont and will now serve as a member of the Clinical Faculty.

“Henegar/CBI Counseling Center continues to be blessed by God’s “parade of providence” in bringing such wonderful counselors to our staff,” said CBI Director and Richmont faculty member, Dr. Tim Sisemore. “I am very thankful for the superior quality of clinicians we have gathered here.”

About the Henegar/CBI Counseling Center: 

For more than 30 years, CBI has offered a broad range of counseling and psychological services to the Chattanooga community. Pursuing the highest professional standards, CBI remains true to the Christian tradition of faith and caring. On average, licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, counselors, and insured student interns provide approximately 1,400 client sessions per month.

As CBI’s fiscal agent, Richmont Graduate University has campuses in Chattanooga, TN and Atlanta, GA. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Richmont offers master’s-level training in counseling to help individuals, families and groups successfully confront life’s challenges. Presently, students pursue master’s degrees in: Professional Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Ministry, and Psychological Studies as well as specializations in addictions, child and adolescent therapy, sex therapy, spirituality and counseling, and trauma counseling.

Currently, these two new Henegar/CBI counselors are currently taking new clients. Scheduling information can be obtained by calling 423-756-2894 or by visiting: Open five days a week, the counseling center’s physical address is: 1815 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404.

Richmont Graduate University and Emmanuel College Offer Joint Master’s and Bachelor’s Option

ATLANTA, GA and CHATTANOOGA, TN – (August 21, 2013)

On Friday, August 9, Richmont Graduate University and Emmanuel College officially entered into a strategic partnership to offer Richmont’s “3+2” program on Emmanuel’s Franklin Springs, Georgia campus. The 3+2 program will offer Emmanuel students the opportunity to complete their Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree from Emmanuel in three years and their Master of Arts in Professional Counseling degree from Richmont in two years, resulting in five years of undergraduate and graduate coursework.

“We are honored to partner with Dr. Stewart and the incredibly talented faculty, staff and students at Emmanuel College,” said Richmont President Bob Rodgers. “The 3+2 program is a fantastic way for students to accomplish two degrees and reduce the amount of time and expense that is traditionally required to complete a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. We look forward to welcoming the first class of Emmanuel students into this partnership this fall.”

Ultimately, by participating in the 3+2 program, students are typically able to significantly reduce their overall tuition costs and the amount of time they spend in graduate school. After spending three years at a partner institution, 3+2 participants may pursue their master’s degree in Richmont’s School of Counseling or School of Psychology.

“Richmont and Emmanuel share a common purpose and framework for teaching quality academics in a Christ-centered environment,” said Emmanuel President, Dr. Michael Stewart. “Our collaboration will strengthen both institutions and provide students a unique opportunity to prepare themselves for the future. We truly excited about the possibilities.”

Richmont Clinicians Provide C.A.R.E. Training to 84 Hamilton County Teachers

CHATTANOOGA, TN – (August 27, 2013)

On Friday, August 23, approximately 84 Hamilton County public school pre-K teachers received Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement Training (C.A.R.E.) from Richmont’s Community Counseling Center (RCCC) clinicians, Michelle Shelley and Anaely Hernandez-Johnson. Each educator received C.A.R.E. training free of charge thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga.

“It was an honor to train Hamilton Country Pre-K teachers in C.A.R.E.,” said RCCC Director, Michelle Shelley. “These teachers are a vital part of their student’s lives and each teacher has an opportunity to make a mark on each of these children’s lives. We are thankful for their hard work with children in the Chattanooga community.”

C.A.R.E. training is unique because it is a trauma-informed modification of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy principles intended for use by non-clinical adults. In three hours, C.A.R.E. training prepared educators to better utilize three P’s – Praise, Paraphrase, and Point-Out Behavior – to improve their interactions with children. As a result of the training, Chattanooga educators are now equipped with techniques to:

  • Give more effective directions that children are more likely to obey; increase positive and appropriate behaviors in children; and manage problematic behaviors more efficiently.
  • Help decrease stress associated with caretaking and provide tips for parents on reducing child behavior problems at home, school and in public settings.
  • Know which child-adult situations require praising, paraphrasing and pointing-out behavior and which ones require selective ignoring techniques to redirect behaviors.

After training, participants provided feedback such as:

  • “You have done a great job. Keep up the great work. Some of our young teachers don’t have these skills and are frustrated with students.”
  • “It was very informational and all pre-K-12 should have this training.”
  • “Great job presenting! This was the best professional development we have had.”

Additionally, like the Community Foundation, Earth Fare and Acropolis Mediterranean contributed to the success of the C.A.R.E. training by donating materials and food items in order to encourage participation in the C.A.R.E. training event.

Richmont Clinician Named Finalist for Latino Leadership Award

CHATTANOOGA, TN – (August 20, 2013)

Richmont clinician Anaely (Ani) Hernandez Johnson has been named a finalist for the 2013 Latino Leadership Award  and will be honored at the awards banquet on Monday, September 16, 2013.

“Ani is an extremely valuable member of Richmont’s clinical team and this nomination highlights her contributions to the health and growth of Chattanooga’s residents,” said Richmont Graduate University President Bob Rodgers. “We look forward to celebrating Ani and the other nine finalists with La Paz and the rest of the community.”

Hosted by La Paz Chattanooga, the Latino Leadership Award recognizes and honors Latino leaders who are supporting the Chattanooga community in meaningful ways.  At the upcoming banquet, La Paz will announce the final two distinguished recipients selected from the finalists for the Latino Leader of the Year award (selected by a special committee including La Paz staff and board members) and Chattanooga’s Choice leader of the year (selected through a community-wide vote). During this year’s banquet, opening remarks will be provided by Chattanooga’s mayor, Andy Berke, and the keynote address will be given by Dr. Julia Perilla of Georgia State University and the National Latino Network.

Since 2010, Ani has served the Chattanooga community as a bilingual Marriage and Family Therapist at Richmont Community Counseling Center. By offering bilingual counseling services, Ani has meaningfully addressed the realized deficit in mental health services accessible to the Latino Community. At present, she counsels children, adults, families and couples, and most of her work is trauma-related in some way. Additionally, over the last couple of years, she has built a collaborative relationship with La Paz Chattanooga by offering reduced fee counseling/mental health services to constituents and staff.

“Ani has become a vital part of the Richmont Community Counseling Center team since her days as a Richmont student,” said Richmont Community Counseling Center Director, Michelle Shelley. “Her heart for the underserved community, especially the Latino community is always apparent. She has been a tremendous asset to the center and to the community as one of the only bilingual therapists serving the Latino community in the Chattanooga area on a sliding scale basis. I am so proud to call her apart of the Community Counseling Center team and am grateful for her unfailing commitment to serving the underserved in the Chattanooga area.”


Richmont Students Garner 98% Passing Record on National Counselor Examination

ATLANTA, GA and CHATTANOOGA, TN – (August 13, 2013)

In April, 62 of Richmont’s graduating students took the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) and scored and exceptionally high passing rate of 98.39% for the year.

When the NCE results were combined for Richmont’s Atlanta and Chattanooga campuses students’ scores surpassed the scores of other students from both CACREP accredited and Non-CACREP accredited institutions who took the exam in every single category.

“This year’s NCE scores simply confirm what many of us already knew: that the students and faculty at Richmont are incredibly talented,” said President Bob Rodgers. “The Board of Trustees and I are extremely proud of the quality of Richmont’s faculty and the performance of each of our students! This year’s passing rate and individual scores are not only nationally impressive, but they continue a well-established legacy of students score in the 90th percentile on the NCE.”

According to the National Board of Certified Counselors, the NCE is used to “…assess knowledge, skills, and abilities viewed as important for providing effective counseling services… It is intended to assess cognitive knowledge which should be known by all counselors regardless of their individual professional specialties.” After completing the four hour, 200 multiple choice question exam, students who satisfactorily perform on the NCE are eligible to become a National Certified Counselor (NCC). A passing score on the NCE is required for licensure as a professional counselor in most states, including Georgia and Tennessee.

“We are tremendously proud of our recent graduates who took the NCE,” said Dr. Keny Felix, Dean of the School of Counseling. “This year’s scores continue to reflect the high degree of academic excellence at Richmont. We look forward to our graduates’ continued success as they enter the mental health field and fulfill their calling as professional counselors.”