Ask Fred > Career/Work > How do I decide on my vocation and location?

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Dear Fred

Dear Coach Fred I am at the MOL program of Biola. One of our class assignments is to consult with you about our career decision. I have got my doctoral degree of psychology and a longstanding interest in integration of psychology and Christianity. Now, I pray about where ( in Taiwan) I am going to teach, 1) a program of counseling psychology, the graduates serve in elementary and high schools in a secular university; or 2) a seminary. The values of teaching in a secular program are 1) to be a witness in a non-Christian circle; 2) the importance to have teachers with good quality for the next generation The value of teaching in a seminary are 1) to equip God's workers for His kingdom; 2) the potential to reach out the community through TV, radio, and lectures. The reasons I hesitate to take a position in a seminary are they emphasize on church growing but they do not know why churches do not grow. Therefore, they just push their workers wrok harder and harder. This is not the working style I like. I like to work smart, such as have time to reflect and then put into practice rather than to act impulsively. The other issue is do I chose to teach in Taipei (the largest city) or the second or third large city (such as Taichang or Kauching) The benefits to work in Taipei are I can relate to resources (networking) easier and may build my private practice later. The benefits to work in smaller cities are they are not so competitive and I am tired of working in a very competitive environment. Thanks for your inputs about my decision.

Fred's Response

As I read your question you are asking about two sets of options: one vocational and the other locational. First, are the options firm offers or are they just considerations in your mind? If you want to escape a competitive environment I would certainly think you would want to avoid the secular university which would be swimming upstream. The seminary would give you a more narrow association but probably with more believers. Your question has raised the point in my mind of what is the basic function of psychology. A friend and I have long discussed its place in religion and I have come to believe that the correct principles of psychology can be very helpful to the believer. But it is misused when it brings comfort to the unbeliever. I have no personal knowledge or experience in your choice of cities. I am sure that there is great need in every city so your choice would larely depend on the environment in which you want to live and build your practice. Are your options of secular university and/or seminary available in each of these cities? when i became a consultant i was hoping to take off the summers but my clients soon dictated my schedule and I think that will be true in your practice. I have written alot about stress and change. Check out some of the weekly thoughts that are archived on the website. Best wishes in your leadership program at Biola.