Asbury Seminary receives $2 million grant for mental health programs

Published 3:30 pm Friday, September 1, 2023

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Asbury Theological Seminary was granted a $2 million endowed scholarship for its new mental health counseling programs recently.

This scholarship comes from the Bobbie Bailey Foundation of Tucker, Georgia, specifically for the seminary’s master’s degree in mental health counseling program. The Grant was announced on Monday, Aug. 28, by Audrey Morgan, chairwoman and CEO of the foundation and Bobbie Bailey’s sister and business partner. 

According to this data, the foundation has donated about $20 million, and it typically donates to faith-based nonprofits, school musical and theater programs, and university scholarship programs. 

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The seminary has offered its own counseling degrees since 1975, but due to sustained growth in the program and sustained need for mental health services, the seminary opened a new school of counseling in 2022. Now, it offers master’s degrees in marriage and family, pastoral and mental health counseling.

Recently, the master’s in mental health program received accreditation by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). 

A degree’s accreditation by the seminary is achieved only after finishing its 75-hour mental health counseling program. 

In giving the Bobbie Bailey Foundation’s grant to Asbury Seminary, Morgan noted the explosive growth of the mental health crisis in America and her desire to see more Christianity-based perspectives to address the crisis. 

“Nearly one-quarter of American adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year, and the impact of COVID-19 has increased the need for counselors. We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of mental health needs,” said Dr. Jacqueline Smith, dean of the school of counseling at Asbury Seminary. “Being able to produce competent counselors who the world can turn to during dark times is critical.”

“This significant gift in the early phase of developing our school of counseling program will help us attract quality students who are called to facilitate healing for our mental health crisis. We are blessed and strengthened by this gift and the partnership of the Bobbie Bailey Foundation with Asbury Seminary,” said Tammy Hogan, Asbury vice president for advancement.