By Chris Karenbauer
Professor of Psychology Kristin DeWitt has had a full career in academics since she graduated from Clearwater Christian College in Florida. Originally, DeWitt only desired to pursue her bachelor’s in Physical Education, but after she graduated, the president of Clearwater urged her to pursue a master’s degree.
“I heard that if you were getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology, you had to go on for a master’s, and I did not want to get a master’s,” DeWitt said.
Ironically, Dewitt now sits with two master’s in Counseling Psychology and Clinical Psychology with a doctorate in Clinical Psych.
Throughout her career, DeWitt has learned to trust that God has a plan for her life. In 2015, Clearwater Christian College closed down, and DeWitt was forced to find a new job.
“It was a pretty difficult transition, and hard to trust the Lord through it,” DeWitt said. “The transition from a job that I had been at for almost 30 years, to lose that job and then have to find another job, was a really scary time in my life.”
DeWitt turned to Isaiah 41:10,13 during her time trying to find a new job.
“Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you with my righteous right hand. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you’.”
This time in DeWitt’s life taught her to lean on God to give her strength, help her and uphold her.
In July 2015, God answered DeWitt’s prayer and found a teaching job at Cedarville University. Now, she teaches full-time, and she also tries to find time in her busy schedule to mentor her students.
“Through the stressors of life or a busy schedule, there is importance in leaning into God. And I know that I need to be in the Word every day because that’s where my strength comes from and my guidance,” DeWitt said. “But also in mentoring students or teaching students, I would not want to do it without being in the Word of God to guide me.”
DeWitt expresses her gratitude toward her students for their passion to learn in the classroom and to grow spiritually. She describes how their behavior encourages her to keep going, even when she is swamped in classes.
“When it comes down to my various classes, it’s just how interested my students are in wanting to learn more and how inquisitive they are with some of their questions,” DeWitt said.
No matter what she’s doing – coaching, teaching, mentoring or spending time alone – DeWitt is always leaning on God and turning to the Bible to guide her every day. She looks to Romans 15:13 to guide her.
“May the God of hope and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
“As I live my life in front of students, with students, friends, and others, I want to reflect his hope and joy to the point of even overflowing with it,” DeWitt said.
Every morning, DeWitt won’t get out of bed without thanking God for his mercies in her life. Mercies she believes are personalized just for her, for everyone who puts their trust in him.
DeWitt’s commitment to Christ reflects on her students and inspires them to pursue Christ. From her general psychology classes to her more complex classes, DeWitt makes a point to share a devotion with her students before she begins class. For some students, the devotion goes unheard, but others take to heart the encouraging words shared every day.
“I have learned how to look to the Lord in all seasons of life through her impactful devotionals and consistent care for my spiritual walk along with my academic success,” senior psychology major Megan Maccariella said.
DeWitt’s hope for her students is shown in her prayer “to glorify God, run to him quickly, serve him wholeheartedly, cling to his word and make him known across this nation and world.”
Chris Karenbauer is a senior Journalism major and the Editor-in-Chief for Cedars. She enjoys reading and writing, hanging out with friends and listening to music.