Called to Counsel

When Sarah Keene ’09,’15, first enrolled at Malone, she knew there was a soft spot in her heart for social work, but wasn’t yet sure how she wanted to pursue it.

“I felt drawn to the school environment because it’s the place where every child comes to learn and grow,” Keene said. “What better place to position myself to reach others for Christ?”

Additional exposure to educational settings revealed that she preferred to work with children individually or in small groups as opposed to traditional classroom settings. After weighing her options in education and social work, Keene chose to pursue social work with the goal of using it in a school setting.

“Before completing my bachelor’s degree, I interned under an elementary school counselor who was also licensed as a school social worker,” she said. “I quickly realized that school counseling was my dream career. I worked for a few years as a social worker in schools and early intervention settings before returning to Malone for my master's degree.”

With more than a decade of experience under her belt, Keene now serves as a school counselor for Lake Center Christian School in Hartville, and as a counselor for children and adolescents with Parkside Church’s Fieldstone Counseling (501c3).

“My role as school counselor is different from my role at Fieldstone, but I have learned so much from each experience,” she said. “My school counseling experience enhances and informs my practice as a biblical counselor, and vice versa. When Lake Center families are seeking counseling outside of school, I will refer them to organizations like Fieldstone based on their individual needs.”

Fieldstone Counseling offers a distinctly biblical approach to counseling, with the mission of “Offering Hope for Life’s Hardships.” 

“Through my involvement with Fieldstone, God has ignited a passion within me,” Keene said. “I believe that today’s youth desperately need hope, and I’m convinced that the only way to access unwavering hope is to find it in Christ.”

“It is a privilege to have Sarah working on our staff,” said Jonathan Holmes, founder and executive director of Fieldstone Counseling. “She brings a high level of expertise and giftedness, along with a servant’s heart which shines for Jesus Christ. Sarah has proven to be an invaluable part of our team!”

Keene facilitates seminars for children, teens, and parents covering topics such as safety and abuse prevention training and strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety. Lake Center and Fieldstone have also partnered to offer parenting workshops.

“My Malone experience gave me lifelong connections who walked alongside me as I came to a deeper understanding of my calling,” she said. “I am grateful to Dr. Susan Steiner and the other professors in the school counseling program for preparing me for a career I love.”