We offer training programs for continuing education credits in Chattanooga and on-line. Programs are for clinical and non-clinical mental health professionals and front-line volunteers who have a role in fostering the well-being of individuals and groups in their community. This includes substance abuse counselors, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, pastoral counselors, social workers, and psychologists. It also includes a wide range of other paid and unpaid human services personnel.

Making Use of Continuing Education

There are more than 552,000 mental health professionals in the United
— 32,500 in Tennessee and 2,500 in Chattanooga. To maintain their licenses, they are required to participate in regular continuing education programs, up to 20 hours a year. In addition to licensed professionals, there are many more unlicensed professionals and front-line volunteers who routinely search for training programs to improve their ability to help their clients.

Out of simple necessity, many mental health professionals attend continuing education programs based not on quality and content but on convenience and cost. While this enables them to maintain their credentials, it defeats the underlying purpose of continuing education.

Our goal is to provide continuing education opportunities that are both accessible and effectual so mental health professionals don’t need to sacrifice either.

Theory of Change

Our theory of change is simple. It is possible to increase the collective capacity of the human services sector by leveraging the need that licensed mental health professionals have for continuing education and answering that need with high quality, actionable training on topics that are of strategic importance to the helping field. A more effective human services sector means enhanced quality of life, community vitality, and sense of place.

Social Impact

  • To increase the collective capacity of Chattanooga’s human services sector
  • To improve the individual effectiveness of human services agencies, organizations, and businesses
  • To enhance the quality of help received by human services consumers
  • To improve job satisfaction and stability among human services workers
  • To attract new talent and prepare the next generation of human services leaders
  • To attract new talent and prepare the next generation of human services leaders


We contract with highly qualified instructors who are recognized as experts in their fields and who are able to provide interactive (world cafe style) learning experiences for participants. Most hold advanced degrees from research universities, have published books and scholarly articles, and come to us with many years of relevant experience.


Grassroots Development is the inspiration of husband and wife team, Tim and Becky Dempsey — who have spent their careers developing and delivering training programs in a variety of contexts. Tim is a pioneer in prisoner reentry work, using a wide range of interventions to address factors associated with recidivism. He developed one of the few successful alternative staffing programs in the nation exclusively for former offenders. And he is one of the world’s leading experts on M. Scott Peck’s Community Building method. Becky has trained with some of the most recognizable names in Yoga and nutrition nationally. She established Chattanooga’s first Yoga studio and has provided wellness coaching to private clients for many years. She has a passion for hospitality and self-care and is the “Southern Twist” in our tag-line.


Chattanooga Endeavors (Fiscal Sponsor)
Serving the community since 1988, Chattanooga Endeavors is one of the oldest prisoner reentry programs in East Tennessee. The organization is best known for its pioneering work on employment following incarceration, which included a nationally regarded work-readiness program and an award winning alternative staffing venture.

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CECs)
Based in Marston Mills, MA, Commonwelath Educational Seminars is a national provider of continuing education for Psychologists, Social Workers, Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Nurses. They ensure that our materials meet the standards, regulations, and requirements for continuing education in all 50 states.