Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

Sharing his philosophy:

Teacher serves as role model for at-risk youth
John Wait on advantages of philosophy degree program at Huntington University, a Christian college.

“Huntington helped me move out of that bubble and begin to actually think and deal with issues using the principles that the church should be based upon. Most of this occurred, however, through my relationship with a few professors who took the time to believe in me and guide me toward a sound way of thinking.”

It’s only fitting that John Wait would quote a philosopher when giving advice to incoming college students.

“Conquer yourself rather than the world,” he urges incoming freshmen, citing the words of Descartes.

A 2001 graduate of Huntington University with a degree in philosophy, Wait taught geometry and algebra II at Oakridge Military Academy in Greensboro, N.C., after graduation.

Prior to his current position, Wait served as master counselor at Camp E-Ma-Tu in North Carolina, a residential program for at-risk-youth. Wait supervised the day-to-day functions of the property’s six groups, and he also trained group counselors in programmatic therapy.

It might be a surprising career choice for a philosophy major, but Wait says it fits.

“Well, a philosophy degree does not exactly scream ‘career,’ but I did feel like I had a good plan upon graduation,” explains Wait, a native of Lake Odessa, Mich. “As far as I can comment concerning other people in my current professional field, I would definitely say that my experience and major at Huntington has a lot to do with my rapid success.”

“I chose this field through a Christian perspective, so the thought process occurred before I chose what to do with my life,” he adds. “Essentially, I help at-risk youth by being a role model and a servant, which is exactly what Christ did for us.”

Working at Camp E-Ma-Etu provided Wait with a perfect opportunity to share his faith by example with his campers.

“Counseling kids in an experiential setting is more than just a bunch of words,” he said. “The most important aspect of my job is role modeling. My faith sets clear moral guidelines, which I in turn show to my kids with what I do.”

Wait was initially drawn to Huntington by the Forester soccer program. He found the coaches and players to be great ambassadors for the University. “Their attitude was so welcoming that I couldn’t help but be a part of it.”

Being at a small institution provides students with plenty of opportunities to get involved. In addition to playing soccer, Wait also participated in track, student senate, theater and the student newspaper.

“Perhaps the best part of being at a small institution was the student unity across campus,” he said. “Other than that, I liked being able to have a relationship with all my professors.”

Wait says the Huntington professors were essential in helping him think through important issues in his faith and preparing him for his current position.

“Growing up in the church, it seemed as if I had always lived inside a little bubble,” Wait reflects. “Huntington helped me move out of that bubble and begin to actually think and deal with issues using the principles that the church should be based upon. Most of this occurred, however, through my relationship with a few professors who took the time to believe in me and guide me toward a sound way of thinking.”

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