Southwestern College (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

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Southwestern College
Former names
  • Quimby Center
  • Quimby College
Motto "Transforming Consciousness Through Education"
Type Private, Graduate school
Established 1976 (1976)
Chairman Dr. Tina Ludutsky-Taylor
President James Michael Nolan, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
Location 3960 San Felipe Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States
35°38′10″N 106°03′15″W / 35.636093°N 106.054115°W / 35.636093; -106.054115Coordinates: 35°38′10″N 106°03′15″W / 35.636093°N 106.054115°W / 35.636093; -106.054115
Affiliations HLC[1]

Southwestern College is a graduate institution in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The institution offers specialization in Counseling and Art Therapy/Counseling.[2] It is currently the only school in the state of New Mexico to offer a Master's Degree in Art Therapy.[1]


The creation of Southwestern College traces its roots from Quimby Metaphysical Library, a library which has a large collection of religious and metaphysical books, and manuscripts of American transcendentalist and the Father of the New Thought Movement, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby. The library was founded by Neva Dell Hunter on 1945 in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The library was eventually known as Quimby Memorial Library. The school's vision, mission, philosophy, and programs are also influenced by Rudolf Steiner, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alice Bailey, perennial wisdom traditions, and Hindu scriptures.[3] In 1976, the center was rededicated as Quimby College by Robert Waterman,[4] with Hunter as the guest of honor. Hunter's ideas were used by Waterman in founding the core curriculum of the college and of its programs. The college's initial intention was to train counselors who were well-versed and practiced in areas of spirituality and consciousness. In 1979, the college started to offer programs in Counseling. Quimby College later became Southwestern College.[5][6]

In 1996, Southwestern College became accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.[1] Also in the same year, Dr. Marylou Butler became the school's second President.[7] In 1998, the college's Master of Arts in Art Therapy/Counseling was approved by the American Art Therapy Association.[8] In 2006, Dr. James Michael Nolan was selected as the third president.[7][9]

Dr. Nolan earned his doctorate from The Ohio State University, in Counseling Psychology. Under his leadership, the College tripled the size of its campus, built an Art Therapy building, the Tierra Nueva Counseling Center, and launched professional certificate training in Human Sexuality, Infant Mental Health, and Interpersonal Neurobiology. It has also created scholarships for Native Americans and other minority candidates.

Since 1980, Southwestern College has offered the "Transformation & Healing Conference" on its campus in Santa Fe.


The College has a holistic approach to mental health and integrative care. Southwestern College is accredited to offer two degrees: an MA in Art Therapy/Counseling and an MA in Counseling.[10]

The college offers 2 degrees:[11]

  • Master of Arts in Art Therapy/Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Counseling

The New Earth Institute[edit]

The New Earth Institute of Southwestern College offers certificates. The certificate programs are open to people who already have an undergraduate or graduate degree.

There are 5 certificates offered:[12][13]

  • Children's Mental Health
  • Grief, Loss and Trauma
  • Interpersonal Neurobiology, Somatics and Action Methods
  • Transformational Ecopsychology
  • Vision Quest Leadership
  • Human Sexuality

Awards and recognition[edit]


  • Southwestern College received the Manuel Lujan Sr. Award in the 19th Annual Piñon Awards in 2005[14]


  1. ^ a b c "The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association: Southwestern College". The Higher Learning Commission. April 14, 2011. Retrieved February 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ Robert Waterman Speaks of the Beginnings of Quimby/Southwestern College. - NewThoughtSantaFe. February 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ Katherine Ninos Talks about Southwestern College. - NewThoughtSantaFe. February 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Ellavivian and Robert Waterman". Retrieved March 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ Jim Nolan explores one of many influences at Southwestern College. - NewThoughtSantaFe. February 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Dr. Jim Nolan & Southwestern College: A Holistic and Spiritual Approach to Professional and Personal Growth". February 19, 2010. Retrieved March 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "SWC History". Southwestern College. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  8. ^ "AATA Educational Institutions". American Art Therapy Association. Retrieved February 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Southwestern College Santa Fe, New Mexico - James Nolan". Southwestern College. Retrieved March 7, 2012. 
  10. ^,ShowBasic/Itemid,/instid,1790/
  11. ^,ShowBasic/Itemid,/instid,1790/
  12. ^
  13. ^,ShowBasic/Itemid,/instid,1790/
  14. ^ Cleve, Emily Van (October 5, 2005). "19th Annual Piñon Awards Honor Food for Santa Fe". Retrieved March 5, 2012. 

External links[edit]