Dr. Kelly James (SPC ’11) is a lot of things to a lot of people — radio host, professor and published author. But to those she has served for more than two decades in the mental health field, she is the hope doctor.
“My business cards read, ‘Love your future by healing your past,’” James says. “Holding hope for a client when they are not able to do it for themselves is a privilege that I take very seriously.”
James should know. She’s not only an expert in her field, but a survivor as well.
“God showed me that all the pain I had in my life was for a reason,” she says. “He helped me out of a painfully abusive marriage where I ended up in the hospital. He took care of me through that time, eventually leading me to Regent University.”
James earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision from Regent in 2011 —an education she says, “far exceeded any I could have gotten elsewhere.”
“It was hard,” James shares. “I was working two jobs while being a full-time doctoral student, but the challenge of juggling all of that made me more determined to succeed.”
And succeed she has. James was named the Top Mental Healthcare Professional for 2019 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) for outstanding leadership and commitment to the profession.
In addition to having a private practice, James is also a full-time professor, mentor to graduates, sought-after public speaker, and co-author of a recently published book titled, Why Aren’t You Over This by Now? How Trauma Messes You Up and What to Do About It. She also hosts a weekly live radio show by the same title.
And James’ legacy at Regent continues, with her son now a student, pursuing a degree in biblical and theological studies. To him and others, she offers this advice: “Learn all that you can while you are a student. Take everything the professors say and learn from their wisdom and expertise, because soon you will be the leader in your field.”