Evangel Profile

Cody Keen: Intercultural Studies and Criminal Justice Major

January 13, 2014


Cody Keen, a junior from Cedar Bluff, Virginia, has a passion for missions and a heart to end human trafficking around the world. As an Intercultural Studies and Criminal Justice double major, he is being equipped to do just that at Evangel. Cody has an opportunity to be involved in missions on campus by being a part of the World Changers Missions Fellowship.


Why did you choose to attend Evangel?

I chose Evangel for a few reasons. I started my college career at another university, but after a month or so I began to question if I was where I needed to be. After beginning to question if I wanted to spend the next four years at that school, I remembered one of my friends telling me about Evangel. I began to research Evangel and quickly fell in love with what I saw on the Internet, so I called and asked if I could apply. Just a couple of weeks after my application was submitted, I received my acceptance letter. I was originally planning on attending Evangel in the spring of 2012, but some family problems arose so I had to postpone my Evangel career until the fall of 2012.  In May of 2012, I officially decided that Evangel would be my home for the remainder of my undergraduate career. August quickly came and I knew that as I stepped foot on campus, I had finally found my college home.

What are you currently studying?

I am an Intercultural Studies and Criminal Justice double major. I chose these particular areas of study because I have a passion for missions and ending human trafficking. I believe that God has called me to serve as a missionary and to help combat human trafficking. Intercultural Studies and Criminal Justice give me an understanding of missions and criminal activity. These programs ideally give me a basic foundation for working with what I am passionate about.

Did you visit campus prior to moving in?

I did not visit campus prior to moving in. When I chose to attend Evangel, my decision was completely based on faith that God was leading me here, plus I didn’t really have a chance to visit because I was a student at another university at the time of my decision.

What makes the environment at Evangel special?

The atmosphere at Evangel is special because students are able to build relationships with the professors. When I was at my other university, professors were available to talk. At Evangel, professors will not only talk to you, but they will also show interest in your whole life—not just in your academic life.

What are the best things about the Intercultural Studies and Behavioral Sciences Department?

The best thing about the Intercultural Studies department is that it is filled with people who are very knowledgeable about working cross-culturally. Dr. Friesen is a phenomenal professor and an amazing friend to her students. She makes planning for your future at Evangel and life much less stressful. The best thing about the Behavioral Sciences Department is the hands-on learning aspect of the classes. Mr. Cirtin has done an amazing job at creating a program that not only teaches you how to succeed in the Criminal Justice field, but he also teaches you to be the best person you can be.

What do you like to do when you’re not in classes?

I volunteer at James River Church, and I have recently started volunteering at Boys and Girls Club. I also enjoy watching baseball and college football.

What are your ministry goals?

My long-term goal after I graduate is to become a missionary through Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM), but my first goal is to gain experience and knowledge of how to deal with human trafficking—whether that is through working for an anti-human trafficking organization or a law enforcement agency that deals with the issue of human trafficking. I would also like to get a Master’s degree in Intercultural Ministries or Criminal Justice Administration.

Why should a prospective student choose Evangel?

A prospective student should choose Evangel because Evangel is an amazing place for students to grow not only academically, but also spiritually. The staff and students at Evangel are very caring and they all try to make you feel at home from the start. Trust God in all that you do. Choosing a college is not easy and can be very difficult, but if you believe that this is where you should be I strongly encourage you to follow God and see what He is going to do in your life and in the lives of those you encounter.

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Members of Evangel University’s HeartSong group explore the ruins of the Forum in Rome during their spring break trip to Italy. Photo by Sein Kwon.