About Us

New Life University was started in 2008 in response to the many requests for trained “Branches” style counselors from across the country. Branches Recovery Center has become an icon for Christ-centered mental health and spiritual counseling. Our unique approach of combining state licensed therapists with pastoral counseling, and our commitment to provide care without regard to finances makes the Branches philosophy a tremendous model for a new approach to ministry. To propagate that model New Life University is dedicated to training, equipping, and empowering ministry professionals in the area of counseling, life coaching, and mentoring.

The staff and faculty at NLU are largely working professionals, counselors and life coaches, who are gifted as teachers. They bring a collective many years of experience with a plethora of education and training. Most of the instruction is online or distance learning but that does not take away the opportunity for students to interact personally with the faculty and staff. Consistent email and phone connections are a regular part of the programs at NLU and a part of the course are offered in a classroom setting. Most of those are done in weekend, seminar fashion.

New Life University is not yet recognized as an accredited institution, however through strategic alliances with a number of colleges and universities and as a Certified Academic Institution with the National Christian Counselors Association we are able to offer certification in several areas and confer degrees for pastoral counseling.


Faculty and Staff

DR. MIKE COURTNEY, PRESIDENT

mike-courtneyEMAIL: mike@branchesrecoverycenter.com
Ph.D., Clinical Christian Counseling; MA, New Testament TheologyLicensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor
Mike Courtney is an author, speaker and Life Coach. He has 25 years experience in Pastoral Counseling to families, individuals and couples. He is also a husband and father who lives out his own recovery one day at a time. As director of the recovery center, Mike takes a personal interest in each client, each group and each recovery meeting. Mike is the author of Failure And How I Achieved It: a journey from addiction to hope. He and his wife Doris speak across the country on the intimacy that comes from brokenness.

CHANDY POWELL, DIRECTOR AND DEAN OF STUDENTS

chandy-powellEMAIL: cpowell@branchesrecoverycenter.com
Board Certified in Family & Marriage Therapy; NCCA Clinical member; EMDR Trained Clinician, Level 2
Chandy has her Masters of Arts in Clinical Christian Counseling and is an Ordained Minister of Pastoral Counseling. Chandy works with individuals of all ages, couples, and families dealing with anxiety, Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She is a Certified Temperament therapist and is Board Certified in Marriage and Family Therapy. When not counseling or teaching, Chandy is caring for her sweet family or floating in the pool while reading a novel. Chandy also has a small, private practice in Bradyville, TN: Counseling in the Country.

AMY CONNOR, ST AUGUSTINE DIRECTOR

amy-connorEMAIL: amyconnor@bellsouth.net
Pastoral Counselor, BA in Christian Counseling, Certified Temperament Counselor
Amy has her Bachelors of Arts in Christian Counseling and is an Ordained Minister of Pastoral Counseling. She works with individuals and couples, and is passionate about the restoration of women’s hearts and marriages. Amy along with Laban Doyle, and their spouses, founded the House of Restoration ministry and later established the Florida campus of Branches Recovery Center. She loves worship music, a good book, laughing with her family, and spending time at Kingsley Lake with the ones she loves.


Counseling Faculty

TRACEY ROBISON

tracey-robisonEMAIL: robisontracey@bellsouth.net
Licensed Professional Counselor; Mental Health Specialty; EMDR Trained Clinician, Level 1
Tracey specializes in treating those with depression, anxiety & bipolar disorder. Tracey also teaches suicide prevention classes, leads a depression small group and joins her husband in crisis debriefing for those facing a critical incident. Tracey’s work history includes helping start the Mobile Crisis Response Team in Rutherford, Williamson and Cannon counties, serving patients in the Community Assistance Program at Parthenon Pavilion, working with consumers through Magellan, and several years of private practice.

LABAN DOYLE

laban-doyleEMAIL: laban@branchesatthebeach.com
Licensed Pastoral Counselor
Laban has his Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology/Interpersonal Communications and Human Relations and is a Licensed Pastoral Counselor. He is also a Certified Life Coach, and specializes in working with individuals of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. He works with teens, individuals and groups who have real life questions about God, human suffering and the mess we sometimes find ourselves in. He enjoys writing, speaking, a good cha cha dance with his wife Ashley, and trips with his family.

TRISH WILSON

trish-wilsonEMAIL: trish@branchesrecoverycenter.com
Licensed Professional Counselor & National Certified Counselor; M.A. In Clinical Psychology; EMDR Trained Clinician, Level 2
Trish Wilson holds a Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor & a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Mental Health Special Practitioner specification. Trish specialized in individual, couple & family counseling. Her clients include children, teens & adults dealing with emotional health and/or substance abuse issues. Trish also leads Branches Recovery Center through managing the policies and procedures. To balance this task she loves amusement parks and cannot live without chocolate!

BILL ROBISON

bill-robisonEMAIL: brobison@branchesrecoveycenter.com
Pastoral Counselor, Life Coach; Masters of Arts in Psychology, MTSU; EMDR Trained Clinician, Level 1; Parent Project Certified Facilitator
Bill is a Counselor, Certified Life Coach, gifted artist, and avid cyclist who views Branches Recovery Center as a safe place where God is at work in the hearts of His kids. Bill has his Masters of Arts in Psychology and spent 10 years working with behaviorally disordered children, adolescents & their families. Bill specializes in individual & marital/relational counseling including topics such as depression, anxiety, sexual addiction, anger management & parenting. He is a Parent Project Certified Facilitator and is leading an ongoing anger management small group at Branches.

MICHAEL BRISCOE

michael-briscoeEMAIL: mbriscoe@branchesrecoverycenter.com
Licensed Professional Counselor; Mental Health Specialty
Michael is a Licensed Professional Counselor. He holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology and has been licensed to practice individual counseling in the state of Tennessee since September of 2001. In addition to skilled counseling methods, Michael likes to work with his clients in assessing personal life goals, such as career goals, and how these goals relate to your overall health. He believes that YOU are an active participant in your healing and that with time and hard work you will find progress toward your goals.

DEBI RUSSELL

debi-russellEMAIL: drussell@branchesrecoverycenter.com
Licensed Pastoral Counselor
Debi is a Licensed Pastoral Counselor & the Support Groups Coordinator at Branches. She specializes in individual counseling for teens & adults, marriage counseling & spiritual growth. She is passionate about the topics of women’s issues, boundaries & co-dependency. Debi has another ministry thru her husband Scott Russell who is a missionary for e3 Ministries. They travel to India to spread the gospel. When Debi is not counseling others you will find her carpooling her three kids, chatting on Facebook or spending time with her friends & family.


Coaching Faculty

ROB NICODEMUS

rob-nicodemusEMAIL: rpnicodemus@gmail.com
Life Coach, Nutritarian Health Coach
Rob is a life-coach that disciples clients toward spiritual growth in their relationship with Jesus Christ. He desires for others to gain knowledge of God’s unconditional love and acceptance & to learn that our love for God and other people can only come from Christ who is living in us.Rob also assist clients in making a life style change of eating primarily plant based foods which address chronic health conditions, reverse some diseases and prevent future poor health conditions supercharging the body in its self-healing properties which results in permanent weight loss.

TERRY MACKAY

terry-mackayEMAIL: terry@takechargeinterviews.com
Life Coach, Interview Coach (takechargeinterviews.com}
Terry’s background includes 11 years of teaching undergraduates and graduate students, including placing students in intern programs and consulting projects. Additionally he has over 20 years’ experience as a manager, mentor, and coach for a Fortune 100 firm. Terry has trained and coached all levels of employees, from the newest hire to the experienced board room executive. His interviewing experiences include both sides of the process. He has an insider’s knowledge of the critical factors hiring managers are seeking, and has successfully coached many individuals over the past 10 years who have been seeking new roles.

BILL ROBISON

bill-robisonEMAIL: brobison@branchesrecoveycenter.com
Pastoral Counselor, Life Coach; Masters of Arts in Psychology, MTSU; EMDR Trained Clinician, Level 1; Parent Project Certified Facilitator
Bill is a Counselor, Certified Life Coach, gifted artist, and avid cyclist who views Branches Recovery Center as a safe place where God is at work in the hearts of His kids. Bill has his Masters of Arts in Psychology and spent 10 years working with behaviorally disordered children, adolescents & their families. Bill specializes in individual & marital/relational counseling including topics such as depression, anxiety, sexual addiction, anger management & parenting. He is a Parent Project Certified Facilitator and is leading an ongoing anger management small group at Branches.


Mentoring Faculty

ROB NICODEMUS

rob-nicodemusEMAIL: rpnicodemus@gmail.com
Life Coach, Nutritarian Health Coach
Rob is a life-coach that disciples clients toward spiritual growth in their relationship with Jesus Christ. He desires for others to gain knowledge of God’s unconditional love and acceptance & to learn that our love for God and other people can only come from Christ who is living in us.Rob also assist clients in making a life style change of eating primarily plant based foods which address chronic health conditions, reverse some diseases and prevent future poor health conditions supercharging the body in its self-healing properties which results in permanent weight loss.

TERRY MACKAY

terry-mackayEMAIL: terry@takechargeinterviews.com
Life Coach, Interview Coach (takechargeinterviews.com}
Terry’s background includes 11 years of teaching undergraduates and graduate students, including placing students in intern programs and consulting projects. Additionally he has over 20 years’ experience as a manager, mentor, and coach for a Fortune 100 firm. Terry has trained and coached all levels of employees, from the newest hire to the experienced board room executive. His interviewing experiences include both sides of the process. He has an insider’s knowledge of the critical factors hiring managers are seeking, and has successfully coached many individuals over the past 10 years who have been seeking new roles.

JENNIFER COURTNEY

jennifer-courtneyEMAIL: jennifercourtneyfitness@yahoo.com
Certified Fitness Trainer
Jennifer Courtney is a Certified Fitness Trainer by the International Sports Science Association. She has a passion to see people live to their full potential unencumbered by the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. As a former collegiate athlete and a professional educator Jennifer is uniquely qualified to instruct her clients to healthy, active lifestyle changes. Jennifer holds a BS from Freed-Hardeman University and a M.Ed. from the University of West Alabama. Jennifer is a marathon runner, and avid tennis player and she and her husband, Joshua, are joyful parents to two budding athletes, Jon-Mical and Jakson

KAREN KEEGAN

karen-keeganEMAIL: karenkeegan@comcast.net
Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor
Karen Keegan is a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor and Inner Healing Prayer Minister. She was born and reared by missionary parents in Nigeria, West Africa, and currently lives in Murfreesboro with her husband Scott. They have three grown girls and two grand-boys. Karen is the co-founder of M&K Ministry—which reaches out specifically to Adult Missionary Kids. She is also available to work with clients at The Branches.