EU Professor Emeriti Perspective: Robert Cirtin
Current position: President/owner of Robert Cirtin Investigations, LLC
Courses taught at Evangel: Criminal Investigation, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement Organization and Administration, Criminal Justice and Sociology Practicums
Hometown: Terre Haute, Indiana
Degree: Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri.
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
Prior to coming to Evangel, I served in several law enforcement and investigative positions. Upon accepting a position at Evangel in 1991, I served as professor of criminal justice and director of the criminal justice program.
Also in 1991, I founded my company, Robert Cirtin Investigations, LLC. Our clients consist of government agencies, businesses, law firms, insurance companies, churches and religious organizations, and the general public.
I left Evangel in 2015 to begin an elected position of presiding commissioner of Greene County, Missouri. I served one four year term.
Since then I have focused full time on my investigation firm.
What is your favorite memory as faculty?
There are so many that it’s difficult to choose one. In my 24 years at Evangel I never missed a commencement or baccalaureate. My continual focus was preparing students for a career of their choosing and graduation was the time for them to begin their journey.
After working with students for four years and going through a lot with them, commencement was the culmination of hard work, spiritual growth, and learning. Although it was difficult to see a group of students go, it was very gratifying to see them progress to this stage in their lives. Many students are still my friends to this day.
How did you help students identify/develop their calling?
Much of the Evangel educational experience entails spiritual education and growth. I used the conventional means such as program chapels, spiritual educational, personally mentoring students, and other opportunities.
My primary strategy for assisting students to identify and develop their calling was drawing out of them what they are passionate about. I would ask them questions like, “What is important to you? What do you spend time thinking about? What occupation would you do for no monetary pay?” I believe God works with and uses our desires to help develop their passions for life. I believe these passions are also going to be what God has called them to.
How did you try to prepare them for life after graduation?
Everything I did as a professor and mentor was laser focused on preparing students for real life. To me, this is the purpose of a college education. Because college, especially Evangel, creates a very safe cocoon for students, we have to work hard to prepare them for a very complex and troubled world. I accomplished this by injecting many instances of practical application in every course, required practicums, and community volunteer opportunities. Then I used those strategies to ensure that students were well aware of the world in which they live and how to impact our world for the cause of Christ.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
Two things. First, students must realize that every employer wants to know how an applicant will contribute to their company’s ability to make a profit. Every business has many goals and missions, but unless they make a profit, at the end of the day, they will be unable to do all the other great things, including pay salaries. It is imperative for graduates to understand it’s NOT about them and what they get out of the position. It’s about the mission of the business which will then share the fruits of success with their employees that will benefit them.
Second, over the years students have asked me what is the formula or “secret” to success. I tell them becoming successful (however they define it) is not a secret. The way to be successful is through hard work and God blessing your hard work. It is that simple.