(JACKSON, Miss.) — On May 31, 2021, Dr. Guy Richardson retired from his service to Reformed Theological Seminary. During his 22 years at RTS, Dr. Richardson was the second longest-serving president for RTS Jackson and has served as full-time faculty and director of the Masters of Arts in Counseling (MAC) Program for the Jackson and Orlando RTS campuses.
Prior to his work at RTS, Dr. Richardson received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Auburn University in 1972. He later earned three graduate degrees: a Masters of Christian Education from Reformed Theological Seminary (1977), a Masters of Education in Counseling from Georgia State University (1980), and his doctorate in Counselor Education from Auburn University (1983). In 1987, he was ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. He is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and served as the director for two church-based professional Christian counseling ministries: the first in Augusta, Georgia, and the second in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1996, the Richardsons moved to Newark, Delaware, where he was the interim pastor for Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Newark.
Dr. Richardson moved to Jackson with his wife, Denise, and their two young daughters in 1999. He was president at RTS Jackson until 2020 when he transitioned to Assistant Professor of Counseling and Program Director for the MAC program. Richardson became heavily involved with the counseling program in 2018 when he oversaw the transition from the Master of Arts in Family Therapy (MFT) to the Master of Arts in Counseling. It was a significant change for the seminary and required a large investment of his time. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students because the program now meets the academic and clinical requirements for the state boards overseeing Licensed Professional Counselors in most states,” he shared.
Dr. Richardson’s Colleagues
Dr. Bill Richardson, Professor of Counseling, recalls his long-lasting friendship with Dr. Richardson. “I met Guy in 1980 when we were both graduate students in the Counseling and Psychological Services Department at Georgia State University. For a believer studying Psychology in a secular university, Guy was an oasis of brotherhood-in-Christ for me. We developed a friendship that remains to this day. I was part of the RTS faculty when Guy became the Jackson campus president. His dual academic backgrounds in both Christian education from RTS and in psychology from Auburn University have been powerfully used by God in his service at RTS.
“But, beyond academic and administrative gifts, Guy is a pastor. In so many ways, Guy has continued to be that oasis of Christ-like brotherhood to me. On many occasions, for over 20 years Guy has ‘pastored’ me with godly encouragement. I know I am not alone. Guy’s office has always been more than an administrative helm. It was always been a place of loving, pastoral care, as well.”
Dr. Ligon Duncan, President of RTS Jackson, said, “For 21 of the 55 years of our seminary’s history, Guy Richardson was at the helm of the Jackson campus (only Luder Whitlock served us longer in that role). The hundreds of pastors, teachers, and counselors who were trained here during that time are the fruit of his labors. Furthermore, after his retirement as president, Guy continued to serve and lead as the Director of the MAC program in Jackson and Orlando. He is a bridge to our past and our future, having studied under Wallace Carr (who founded the counseling program of RTS), worked alongside Jim Hurley (who established the MFT and professional counseling program of RTS), and prepared the way for CACREP accreditation of our programs in Jackson and Orlando. Dr. Richardson’s legacy of humble, faithful, fruitful service will live on.”
Dr. Duncan continued, “The fact that the Executive Committee of RTS unanimously granted Dr. Richardson the title of President Emeritus, upon my recommendation, is an indication of our respect and appreciation for his ministry in our midst.”
Dr. Richardson’s Students
Dr. Richardson’s classes impacted students in multiple degree programs. David Jackson, who will graduate with his MDiv in 2022 reflected, “One of the best courses I’ve taken at RTS Jackson was Dr. Guy Richardson’s Pastoral Counseling course. To date, it has been the most life-changing and impactful course in my seminary journey. Not just the content, but Dr. Richardson’s teaching style and class structure kept me fully engaged from start to finish. We were given opportunities to discuss and debate controversial issues in class and opportunities outside the class to participate in real-life counseling situations. This course gave me the necessary tools and insight needed to effectively counsel and serve the diverse congregation the Lord has entrusted under my care. I am forever grateful for Dr. Richardson for his dedication as a pastor, teacher, and counselor.”
Jaycee Terry graduated with her MAC degree in 2020 and now works at RTS Jackson as Assistant Site Administrator for the MAC program. She said, “I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know Dr. Richardson as both a professor and coworker. His intentionality in developing meaningful relationships with those around him is one of his most memorable qualities. Dr. Richardson has dedicated his time to not only educating counselors on how to use their skills to serve the church but also to training future pastors on how to effectively counsel their congregants. I can’t thank him enough for the hundreds of hours he has devoted to improving not only the MAC department and Jackson campus but also RTS as a whole.”