Chattanooga Bible Institute/Richmont To Celebrate Its 90th Anniversary

  • Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Chattanooga Bible Institute/Richmont will celebrate its 90th anniversary on Jan. 28.

“One CBI/Richmont counselor will have a positive impact on the lives of 8,000 souls.” When Reid Henson spoke those words in 1999, the CBI board listened. Mr. Henson was a CBI board member, vice-chairman of a major Coca-Cola bottling company, and philanthropist for Christian causes.

Founded in 1932, Chattanooga Bible Institute provided scholarly Bible study for lay ministers. By the mid-1990’s the demand for CBI’s core mission was waning and the Board, under the leadership of Henry Henagar and Board-Chair Eleanor Willingham Powell, decided that Christian-based counseling would be the focus of CBI. To that end, CBI established a counseling center that would grow to include six counselors by the end of 1998.

In 1999, the opportunity presented itself to take over the financially struggling Richmont Graduate University (then known as Psychological Studies Institute), a Christian-based graduate school conferring masters degrees in counseling..

In 2000, the CBI board made the bold decision to take over Richmont. By the time CBI/Richmont obtained the required SACS and CACREP accreditation, CBI had depleted its endowment and had five students. The CBI Board had figuratively thrown its bread unto the water.

Today CBI/Richmont, operating out of its Chattanooga and Atlanta campuses (both fully paid for) has 360 full-time graduate students, making it one of the largest graduate schools of its kind in the nation.

Since 2000, CBI/Richmont has conferred master’s degrees in counseling and that number will grow by over 180 per year into the future.

Consider that, based on Reid’s estimate, the 2023 graduating class alone will positively impact the lives of 1.4 million people. Twenty years from now CBI/Richmont graduates will have impacted as many as 30 million lives.

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