Richmont Graduate University provides graduate level counselor education that integrates psychology and practical theology. The school is accredited to give three degrees: Master of Arts degrees in Professional Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy and a Master of Science in Christian Psychological Studies. Richmont operates campuses in both Atlanta, GA and Chattanooga, TN.
Richmont's history dates back to 1933 when the Chattanooga Bible Institute was founded to support churches and ministries in the Chattanooga area. In 1973, a group of Christian psychologists and counselors established a counseling center and an educational program to provide training in Christian counseling. This organization became known as the Psychological Studies Institute or PSI. In 2000, PSI and CBI merged, and in 2003, became an accredited graduate school. In 2008, the school adopted the name Richmont Graduate University. Richmont also operates counseling centers in Atlanta and Chattanooga.
For the first four decades of Richmont's existence, the focus was on training generations of professional Christian counselors who understood both the best in psychological knowledge and clinical skill AND how to incorporate faith into therapy in ways that are both ethical and meaningful. The school was one of the oldest such institutions in the country and has trained thousands of counselors through the years. Today, students in Richmont's School of Counseling can earn either the M.A. in Professional Counseling (base degree is 67 hours) or the M.A. in Marriage and Family therapy (base degree is 77 hours). In addition, students can specialize in addictions, child and adolescent counseling, trauma therapy, sex therapy, or Christian spirituality and counseling.
In 2010, the school's Board of Trustees authorized a new School of Ministry, scheduled to launch fall of 2012. The mission of the school is to provide graduate level training for ministers who plan to work in local church settings. Rather than training theologians, the goal is to train pastors. Toward this end, the 45 hour Master of Ministry degree has three equally weighted components: Bible and theology, spiritual formation, and practical skills and application.
The university has plans to begin a doctoral program in its School of Psychology. This program is tentatively scheduled to begin in the fall of 2013, though funding and other considerations are still pending.