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Calvary University believes and maintains that the revelation contained in the Scriptures concerning God, man, and man’s problems and their solution is the only adequate foundation on which to build a counseling model. The Biblical Counseling Department teaches and practices counseling approaches and methods from a Biblical worldview regarding human growth and development, behavioral changes, marriage and family, crisis intervention, human trafficking, substance abuse, and problem-solving in counseling. The Biblical Counseling Department does not just simply integrate models and theories into each of our courses, but we undergird each course with the very foundation of sacred Scripture. Every single course in our department is geared to reinforce and challenge our students to counsel from a Biblical worldview…all to the glory of God.

Biblical Counseling Department Objectives

  • To enable the student to articulate a biblical philosophy of counseling.
  • To challenge the student to demonstrate Christian character qualities necessary for a Biblical counseling ministry.
  • To provide the student with a basic knowledge of the counseling process.
  • To assist the student in identifying people problems.
  • To help the student develop communication skills needed for counseling one-on-one and in small group situations.
Biblical Counseling (Major/Minor)

Tuition and Fees 2017-2018

*The full meal plan is required for all freshman (29 or fewer credits). Students with 30 or more credits recorded on their Calvary transcript may select from other meal plan options.
Tuition On Campus Courses$367.00 per credit
Tuition Online Courses$407.00 per credit
Military and Full-Time Ministry Workers On Campus$250.00 per credit
Military and Full-Time Ministry Workers Online Courses$250.00 per credit
Student Services fee (max $408)$68.00 per credit
Social Activity & Project Fee (max $36)$6.00 per credit
Dorm Room - Double$1,340 per semester ($670 per 8 week cycle)
Dorm Room - Single$1,650 per semester ($825 per 8 week cycle)
Laundry Tech Fee (Charged all dorm residents)$130 per semester ($65 per 8 week cycle)
Meal Plan (20 meals/week)*$1,360 per semester ($680 per 8 week cycle)

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Dr. Luther Smith

  • Office: East Education 128
  • Title: Biblical Counseling Faculty; Assistant Professor
  • Started at Calvary: January 2017
  • Professional Information: Diploma, El Cajon Valley, 1998; B.A. Ashford University, 2008; M.A.C.P (Masters of Arts Clinical Psychology); M.R.S. (Master’s Religious Studies) Southern California Seminary, 2012; Psy. D (Doctorate of Psychology). Southern California Seminary, 2017.
  • Originally from:  Monterey California (Also was a native of San Diego).
  • How did past ministry/professional experience lead to your position at Calvary: Was a teaching elder for a year a Potrero Community Church in San Diego. Was a former college leader, and former youth leader at various fellowships in the greater San Diego area. Was also involved in Christian counseling agencies and ministries for over 5 years in San Diego.
  • Ministry/Professional involvement outside of Calvary: Various opportunities to support the local churches in speaking at conferences in San Diego and Kansas City.
  • Published works:

Contributing Author–Forged From Reformation: How Dispensational Thought Advances The Reformed Legacy. SCS Press. 2017.

Dr. Joa Braga

  • Office: East Education 126
  • Title: Professor of Biblical Counseling; Program Director-Biblical Counseling
  • Started at Calvary: 2011 (don’t remember exactly when. Dr. Bitner’s office may have this info).
  • Professional Information: B.S. (Biblical Counseling and Pastoral Studies), Calvary Bible College, 2001; M.Div. (Pastoral Studies), Calvary Theological Seminary, 2005; M.A. (Biblical Counseling), Dallas Theological Seminary, 2007; Ph.D. Family Therapy, Texas Woman’s University, 2017
  • Originally from:  Maceio, Brazil
  • How did past ministry/professional experience lead to your position at Calvary: I had been working with individuals, couples, and families as a counselor in Texas in the area of chemical dependence for a few years before I taught my first counseling course at Calvary (Substance Abuse Counseling). I also have a passion for training and supervising new counselors and equipping the local church to carry out this important ministry.
  • Ministry/Professional involvement outside of Calvary: My family and I are currently developing a counseling and equipping ministry in northeastern Brazil.
  • Published works: None at this time (working on it!)