Christian Campbell: Bringing healing to others in the name of the Lord

Sometimes we discover our vocation through our suffering. Then, like Joseph in the book of Genesis, we can declare, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good—to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” 

This is the story of Duquesne University student Christian Campbell.

In high school, Christian wrestled with bouts of depression. It was a road he wouldn’t have chosen and, for a long time, didn’t fully accept.

“I didn’t want to believe I had a clinical mental health problem,” he says. “I treated it as regular sadness and waited for it to go away. Even my friends and family referred to it as a ‘slump.’ But it didn’t go away.” 

Eventually, Christian sought therapy and began to feel better. “There were words for what I was going through,” he says, “and this was powerful. I realized that how I felt wasn’t my fault, and that helped a lot.”

Then, within his healing, he discovered a calling. 

Since childhood, there have been signs that Christian should be involved in a helping profession. His friends come to him when they feel down or confused. He never tires of listening to them. So when he experienced the power of healing firsthand, everything came full circle, and Christian entered the Clinical Psychology program at Duquesne.

“The Lord has not called all of us to be missionaries or ministers,” he says.“But since the Lord has created everything, our vocation, no matter what it is, can be used to enhance the kingdom of God. As a clinical psychologist, I want to provide therapy for those who are in pain—I see my future profession as an opportunity to bring health to others in the name of the Lord.”

But Christian needs support along the way. One reason is that Christian is African-American, and nationally, African-American men make up less than 2% of the active psychology workforce.  While this means that his service is critical, it also means that his classes are filled with people who look nothing like him.

“It can be hard not to feel out of place and question my passions,” he says.  Christian finds support at the CCO’s Cornerstone Fellowship at Duquesne, meeting regularly with long-time staff member Herb Kolbe. In Herb, Christian finds a wise and listening ear. 

“The thing that I love the most about Herb is that his wisdom is accessible,” Christian says.“He not only knows a wide range of things, but he knows how to reach you with what he knows. He listens with a non-judgmental ear.” Through Herb and regular fellowship with other believers, Christian is sustained in his journey to become who God has called him to be.

“I am never deterred for long,” he says. “The prospect of being able to help others out of the feeling of despair brings me nothing but joy.”