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Integrating Faith and Learning: In Our Counseling Department

October 06, 2011
By Terry Kok

Calvin Christian School has been providing quality Christian education to families in north San Diego County for 50 years.  We strive to “integrate faith and learning” in every area of our school and curriculum, even in the counseling office.

Brian Duyst is now in his twelfth year as Calvin Christian’s high school guidance counselor.  I recently asked Brian how he integrates faith and learning in his position as counselor.Brian began by explaining that there are two very distinct parts to his job.  One is his role in personal counseling and the other in college/career counseling. 

In personal counseling he talks to all students about how we live in a broken world.  That means we all have struggles.  He reminds them that God has designed us to need each other and that we should not suffer alone.  When counseling someone individually Brian reminds the student that what affects him or her affects their faith as well and our faith is the most important part of who we are. When a problem or concern is shared he often asks, “How does God fit in with all of this?” He tries to help them develop their ability to discern God’s will in difficult situations.  An example would be “How can you forgive when someone is hurting you?”

In the area of college/career counseling area Brian walks through a series of steps with each student.  These steps help them make decisions in using their gifts and talents and accomplishing their career goals.  These discussions help the student decide the appropriate colleges or universities for which to apply and sometimes he helps a student with other options for “life after high school graduation.”  He always starts with urging them to pray for wisdom and guidance.  He shares about his transition from high school to college and how he saw God was the one constant that would be with him when he went off to college.

In both personal and college/career counseling Brian often talks with students about how the Calvin Christian experience, or other experiences changed them.  He points out that God is vitally interested in who each of us is becoming as a person.  

At Calvin, as in all other areas of learning, our counseling staff strives to make the connection of faith and learning natural and purposeful.  As you can see from this brief glimpse, that is happening at Calvin.

I would encourage you to look further into our counseling program at Calvin by visiting our website.  And please, share any comments you might have about experiences you have had at Calvin that have impacted your Christian story.