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School of Ministry

Dr. Mike Stewart Named Dean of the School of Ministry

CHATTANOOGA, TN & ATLANTA, GA – (July 9, 2014)

It is with great pleasure that Dr. Michael (Mike) Stewart is officially announced as the new Dean of the School of Ministry. The Founding Dean of Richmont’s School of Ministry, Dr. Leland Eliason, graciously took a sabbatical from retirement to commit five years to establishing the School and the certificate programs. In his tenure, the School was incepted, fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), began offering coursework online, hosted internationally renowned author and pastor, John Ortberg, Jr. for a two-day conference, and launched the Certificate in Spiritual Direction program.

“At the end of the final integrative seminar for the School of Ministry’s first graduating class, I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude,” said Eliason. “Every one of the graduates spoke of how the degree program had been used of God to transform their lives. They referred to the outstanding quality of the teachers, the power of community, and to the threefold emphasis of knowing, being, and doing. The curriculum we have worked so hard to create – works! It has been an extraordinary privilege to be part of creating and implementing this degree program.”

“We could not be more grateful to Leland for all he has given to lay a foundation for the School of Ministry,” said Richmont’s President, Bob Rodgers. “We are thrilled that he will continue training future ministers and that someone as capable and qualified as Dr. Stewart will take up the reigns of leadership. This is an incredibly exciting time in the life of the university and we look forward to seeing many more students receive training to serve God and others.”

Dr. Stewart will begin leading the School of Ministry in a full time capacity on August 1, 2014 from the university’s Atlanta, Georgia campus. This will allow Eliason to transition to a teaching and advising capacity within the School.

Previously the President of Emmanuel College, Stewart led an unprecedented nine-year season of growth which included more than $20 million raised in funds. He also oversaw the building of new student housing, the addition of nine new athletic programs, an athletic center, seven new academic programs, as well as full membership into the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. Interestingly, Stewart was not only the President of Emmanuel, but he completed his Bachelor’s degree there prior to completing his Master’s degree at Liberty University and Doctor of Ministry degree at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

“Dr. Mike Stewart’s presidency of Emmanuel College has been characterized by courage, authenticity and breakthroughs,” said Eliason. “Those are the qualities that are needed for leading the School of Ministry to its next levels of growth. He lives by the values imbedded in the School of Ministry – the integration of faith and learning, integrity, and innovation. I am very excited about his capacities to enable the School of Ministry to fulfill its purposes to advance God’s kingdom, to enrich the body of Christ, and to equip Christians to offer transformational ministry.”

“I am very much looking forward to joining the team at Richmont,” said Stewart. “The School of Ministry fills an incredibly important niche in serving today’s churches and Christian ministries. I am grateful for the opportunity to follow in Dr. Eliason’s footsteps as the School only grows in influence.”

The university looks forward to welcoming Stewart and his wife, Pam, to campus this summer.

Richmont to Offer a Certificate in Spiritual Direction

ATLANTA, GA – (June 4, 2014)

This fall, Richmont Graduate University’s School of Ministry will begin offering a Certificate in Spiritual Direction. Through this 15 month, 4 consecutive semester program students will learn to help others discern the active presence of the Triune God and perceive the Holy Spirit’s movement in ordinary life. Throughout the curriculum of five 3-credit hour courses, spiritual directors will journey with directees, assisting as they deepen their lived intimacy with Christ, the One True Director.

“In the fast paced, ‘get things done now’ culture in which we live, the art of listening to God and the capacity to discern his voice are in serious disrepair. To sit with a trained Spiritual Director provides a powerful corrective,” said Leland Eliason, Dean of the School of Ministry. “The benefits are life changing – with Christians discovering anew their center in the Presence of the Living God. The Scriptures say, ‘Be still and know that I am God’ and Spiritual Directors help us to do just that!”

Coursework is intentionally structured to help students apply the classroom material in “real life.” Therefore, two-thirds of class time will be focused on content and one-third on putting content into practice. The practical component will include supervision while giving spiritual direction one-on-one and in triads or groups. In order to facilitate student convenience while preserving a sense of community, coursework will be offered predominantly online, through a week-long orientation, and through two three-day courses. This program is designed to be completed in 15 months.

“This program will be hugely important for anyone who has ever felt God’s leading to help people further their lived intimacy with Christ,” said Richmont’s President, Bob Rodgers. “Richmont has a long-standing history of offering excellent graduate level training and we are very excited to offer this certificate program which will help students practice effectiveness within ministry, church settings, and their daily lives.”

For more information on prerequisites, application procedures and costs visit the Certificate in Spiritual Direction page on Richmont’s web site or contact the School of Ministry at 404-835-6124.

Richmont Hosts May Graduation with 75 Students

ATLANTA, GA – (May 16, 2014)

On Saturday, May 10, 75 students participated in the university’s spring graduation ceremony. The university awarded degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy, Christian Psychological Studies and Professional Counseling. Of special note, this year also marked the first class to graduate from Richmont’s School of Ministry.

“Graduation is always such a special time to celebrate each of Richmont’s graduates and their years of diligent work,” said Bob Rodgers, Richmont’s President. “It was also a wonderful time of acknowledging the Lord’s faithfulness and hand of provision at work in Richmont and in the lives of each student.”

In addition to honoring this year’s graduates, Richmont named Kenyon Knapp as 2014’s Distinguished Alumnus. A 2005 Richmont graduate, Knapp serves as the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and is a tenured Associate Professor of Counseling at Mercer University in Atlanta, where he teaches master’s and doctoral level courses.  Kenyon founded and is the chairman of the Mercer Atlanta Research Conference; represents Counselor Education research with selective membership on the Institutional Review Board; and is a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Evaluator and CACREP Site Team Chair. Apart from the academic world, Knapp loves to serve the Lord through international missions work and crisis counseling.

Similarly, Ronald Bunger, Richmont’s Chattanooga campus librarian, received this year’s Peterson Award for the commitment and service he has shown to the university that has consistently exceeded his job demands and institutional expectations. Bunger has faithfully served the university for 10 years and is well regarded by students, faculty and staff.

As the first graduates from Richmont’s School of Ministry assembled on stage to receive their diplomas, Dr. Leland Eliason, Dean of the School of Ministry said flashes of individual student responses to the Ministry degree program passed through his mind, several of which included:

  • “I gained a vision to reach out to those who have given up on church through a course that at first I thought would be unhelpful!”
  • “For the first time in my life I have an understanding of the Trinity – it has renewed my understanding of God.”
  • “I’ve released and been freed from a load of hurt and resentment. I am ready and anxious to give my life in service to the Lord.”

Reflecting on graduation and on the past two years, Eliason said, “What a privilege it has been to be part of the launch of this program! These are graduates that I am very proud of and I believe they will be effective in transformational ministry for the rest of their lives!”

This year’s graduation also honored Dr. DeAnne Terrell for 15 years of service as the Dean of Students at Richmont. At the end of May, she will be transitioning to extend her talents and leadership capabilities as a professor at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

“DeAnne has expertly and steadfastly served at Richmont,” said Rodgers. “She is a thought leader in the field and is exceptionally beloved by students and staff both past and present. She is irreplaceable member on this team and has been a true gift to us.”

While students, faculty and staff know Richmont will not be the same without Dr. Terrell everyone is excited to rejoice with her in this next season. Thankfully, she will remain an adjunct professor at Richmont and will return to Atlanta in order to occasionally teach counseling courses.

*Photo Credit: Josh Booth Photography

Master of Arts in Ministry Degree Program Approved for Online Format

On Wednesday, February 26, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) approved Richmont’s proposal to offer the Master of Arts in Ministry degree in a fully online format. This will be the university’s first master’s degree program to be offered online.

“Since Richmont’s School of Ministry began in 2012, we have had prospective students from around the country asking for online course options,” said Richmont’s President, Bob Rodgers. “The Master of Arts in Ministry strikes a desirable balance between theological learning and practical application in the areas of discipleship, spiritual formation and leadership. Since students cannot always move to one of our campuses in order to take classes we are therefore excited to meet the clear national demand for coursework through online instructional delivery.”

The university looks forward to offering current ministry curriculum online beginning in August of this year. Typically, students complete coursework over a period of six academic semesters and, while there will be an in-person program orientation for classmates to get to know one another, coursework will be conducted remotely

“What a great encouragement it is to receive the approval by SACSCOC for the School of Ministry to move its entire Masters of Ministry degree online,” said Dr. Leland Eliason, Dean of the School of Ministry. “This two year English track degree is uniquely designed to equip those who are called into ministry whether in churches or faith based organizations or those who want to be better prepared to serve God within marketplace ministries.”

Since the beginning, feedback from faculty and students in the School of Ministry has exceeded expectations. For two years the program has successfully offered coursework via evening classes and intensive weekend class formats. The online version of the degree will broaden the School of Minstry’s reach as the curriculum that has received such enthusiastic endorsement from the students who have been enrolled in the residential program during the past two years will be offered virtually. Click here to learn more about the School of Ministry or to apply for the fall 2014 semester.

Richmont partners with local Atlanta churches to preview the Master of Arts in Ministry

The School of Ministry at Richmont Graduate University will co-host two Preview Evenings for those interested in learning more about the Masters of Arts in Ministry. Richmont will partner with Mount Paran Church and Trinity Anglican Mission next month to allow church members and the surrounding communities an opportunity to learn more about the degree program that is aimed at preparing and equipping leaders in ministry.

The events will be held:

  • Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at Mt. Paran Church 6:15 – 7:00pm (Banquet Room)
  •  Thursday, March 20, 2014 at Trinity Anglican Mission 6:30 – 8:00pm (Youth Room)

For more information about the Masters of Arts in Ministry degree or to RSVP for one of the above events, please contact McCall Garner, Assistant to the Dean, mgarner@richmont.edu or (404)835-6124.

Richmont hosts Dr. Becky Beaton of TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and the Chattanooga Area Psychotherapy Association

Chattanooga, Tennessee – (June 6, 2013)

The Chattanooga Area Psychotherapy Association (CAPA) is sponsoring a seminar on hoarding featuring Dr. Becky Beaton from TLC’s hit show “Hoarding: Buried Alive” on Richmont’s Chattanooga campus on Friday, June 14.

Event Link:

http://capaweb.net/Default.aspx?pageId=1178413&eventId=685636&EventViewMode=EventDe tails

Through this one-day workshop, participants will have the opportunity to obtain 6 continuing education credits. During the seminar, the following learning objectives will be accomplished:

  1. Explain the new DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Hoarding Disorder, including the latest research and treatment.

  2. Discuss events throughout history such as war, the Great Depression, and natural disasters that effect multiple generations regarding attachment.

  3. Examine the etiology and progressive nature of this disorder, including the role that trauma, loss, and aging play in its development.

  4. Demonstrate treatment through film clips of Dr. Beaton and other experts treating clients on the television series “Hoarding: Buried Alive.”

  5. Participants will also explore their own attachment patterns regarding belongings.

While serving as one of TLC’s featured psychologists, Dr. Beaton is also the Director of the Anxiety and Stress Management Institute in Atlanta, GA. Her one-day clinic will help Southeastern clinicians better recognize and treat hoarding behaviors in their clients.

Richmont Graduate University is pleased to partner with CAPA by providing the venue for this seminar and hopes to continue collaborating in the future.

Richmont Confers Degrees on 83 Students in the Largest Graduating Class to Date

Atlanta, Georgia – (May 13, 2013)

On Saturday, May 11, the Board of Trustees at Richmont Graduate University conferred Master’s degrees on 83 candidates. As the university’s largest graduating class to date, 46 students received their Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, 31 received their Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, and 4 received a Master of Science in Christian Psychological Studies. An honorary doctorate celebrating Hugh Huffaker’s generous gifts of time, talent and treasure was also awarded. Additionally, one degree was awarded posthumously for Richmont student, Shelley Byers, who passed away earlier this year.

“The day was a beautiful celebration of God’s faithfulness, the devotion of the graduates, and the love and support of all the family and friends who were there,” said Richmont’s Dean of Students, Dr. DeAnne Terrell. “Our goal is always to bring God glory throughout the ceremony and our hearts are full of gratitude for the great things He has done.

In addition to honoring this year’s graduates, Richmont named Elizabeth Dial as 2013’s Distinguished Alumna. A Nationally Certified Licensed Professional Counselor, Dial now uses her Richmont training in private practice at Serenity Counseling & Consulting, as a staff psychotherapist for the North Georgia Health District and as a contracted trainer through Emory University’s SEATEC program.

Similarly, Moose Lutes, Richmont’s Director of Financial Aid, received this year’s Peterson Award for the commitment and service he has shown to the university that has consistently exceeded his job demands and institutional expectations.

The university was also pleased to host Dr. Timothy Irwin as this year’s graduation speaker. As a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Irwin is an acclaimed author on leadership, a managing partner of IrwinInc., and a trusted consultant for some of the nation’s most successful companies including SunTrust Banks, Chick-fil-A, IBM, Gerber Products Company, The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, The Coca-Cola Company, and Turner Broadcasting Systems. His leadership guidance has also been featured on Fox News, via the Catalyst conference, and in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Investor’s Business Daily.

Speaking to Richmont’s newest graduates, Dr. Irwin encouraged students from Proverbs 4:23 and offered them several practical steps to take in avoiding the pitfalls that could disqualify them from leading, including: adopting a practice of frequent and rigorous self awareness; handling power with great care; speaking the truth of scripture into their lives; and creating a personal board of advisors. Overall, he graciously reminded students that their hearts are the core of their being and, even with all their excellent training, they should not get caught up in self-importance, but rather serve with humility.

Reflecting on the day, Dr. Keny Felix, Dean of the School of Counseling said, “Graduation is one of our most exciting times of the year. It is the culmination of years of diligent work on the part of students as they prepare to enter the field as counselors and marriage and family therapists or serve through various forms of ministry. We are certainly proud of the Class of 2013 and give God the glory for the privilege of witnessing his transformation in their lives during their tenure at Richmont. We are also grateful for the family members and friends who saw them through this season of their lives.”

Richmont Graduate University Names Bob Rodgers New President

Effective immediately, Robert G. (Bob) Rodgers, Jr. has been named President by the Richmont Graduate University Board of Trustees.

“Richmont is a highly respected university with excellent academic programs and a strong reputation and legacy,” said Rodgers. “We have incredible students, dedicated and gifted faculty and staff, and we are positioned to grow substantially in both the School of Counseling and the School of Ministry. I look forward to seeing Richmont’s students and staff transform lives and communities in even greater measure going forward.”

A former university trustee and donor, Rodgers joined the staff in 2010 in order to lead the university’s development efforts. He has served as Richmont’s Executive Vice President since 2011. As Executive Vice President, Rodgers has also held the position of COO, overseeing of the day-to-day operations of the university.

Before joining Richmont’s staff, Rodgers’ was the Founder and President of Quantum Search and has more than 24 years in leadership development, consulting and executive search in the not-for-profit, healthcare and general corporate arenas. He also previously served as Vice President of a nationwide restaurant company, with oversight responsibilities for 20,000+ associates in 21states.

“We are so fortunate to have found such a strong leader who already understands and believes in the mission of Richmont,” said Board Chair Jan Linder. “His presence provides exactly what we need at this strategically important time in our history.”

As an academic institution, Richmont currently hosts two campuses in Atlanta, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Richmont offers master’s-level training in professional counseling to help individuals, families and groups successfully confront life’s challenges. The mission of Richmont Graduate University is to provide Christ-centered education and research that advances God’s work of healing, restoration, and transformation in the lives of individuals, churches and communities. Presently, students have the opportunity to pursue master’s degrees in: Professional Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Ministry, and Christian Psychological Studies as well as specializations in addictions, child and adolescent therapy, sex therapy, spirituality and counseling, and trauma counseling.

Additionally, in order to tangibly serve Richmont’s campus communities, the university hosts a network of Hope Counseling Centers throughout metro Atlanta, as well as the Henegar/CBI Counseling and Richmont Community Counseling Centers in Chattanooga. These centers offer counseling/mental health services to children, adults, families and groups of all walks of life, regardless of their insurance status.

For more information please contact: Jennifer Cooper
President’s Office
(404)835-6117

www.richmont.edu

Trent Gilbert to present at SACAC

Atlanta, Georgia – (April 2, 2013)

This April, Trent Gilbert, Vice President for Enrollment at Richmont Graduate University, and Tyler Peterson, Associate Provost of Enrollment Management at Auburn University at Montgomery, will co-present a seminar at the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling’s (SACAC) annual conference.  Their workshop, “Distilling the Campus Visit Experience,” is based on real-world experiences and will help admissions counselors learn how to successfully host visitors on campus.

“Our session at SACAC will be a great opportunity to continue to share the importance of the overall experience that a prospective student has while interacting on their campus visit,” said Peterson. “Trent Gilbert has been one of the frontrunners of this philosophy in higher education, and the schools that are taking his advice are seeing success. It is important that we look outside of higher education for ideas, and a lot of companies are providing great experiences for their customers, and the experience we offer our students should be just as strong.”

As an affiliate of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), SACAC represents approximately 1,500 members throughout the Southeast in order to “…to promote high professional standards in the college admission process by exchanging ideas, sharing common goals and preparing counselors to serve students in the transition from high school to college.” This year, Richmont will be one of 95 universities in attendance at the 2013 conference.

“SACAC always provides great opportunities to share successes and failures as well as to learn how other schools are overcoming the challenges facing admission offices today,” said Gilbert. “Tyler and I believe higher education admission departments could use some fresh ideas, so it will be a fun opportunity for us to present on ways that ideas from the “outside world” can be utilized.”

Welcome to Richmont’s New Website

We’re proud to announce that our new website is live! We’re hoping that you’ll visit us often to find out more about what is happening in our community. Happy exploring!