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EU & AGTS Alumni Perspective: Louis DelTufo

Name: Louis A. DelTufo

Graduation Year: Evangel – 1992 AGTS; – 1994, 1995

Major: Evangel – BS in Biblical Studies; AGTS – MA in Theology and M.Div.

Current Position: Commandant, US Army Institute of Religious Leadership

City and State: Fort Jackson, South Carolina

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

I’ve been a US Army Chaplain for 28 years and have lived all over the United States and many foreign countries. I’ve personally performed religious services, counseling, Bible Studies, and marriage retreats for Soldiers and Families across the globe.

I’m currently the Commandant for the United States Army Institute for Religious Leadership. In this position, I prepare and develop all new Chaplains and Religious Affairs Specialists for service in the Army. I also manage training, education, faculty development, curriculum, and produce leadership enrichment products for all 7,000 Chaplains and support personnel in the Active Army, US Army Reserves, and Army National Guard.

On a lighter note, I still have to get up at 0530 in the morning to do physical training with 18-25 year olds – which keeps me young.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

Living in Scott Hall, 3N, and making genuine relationships with other students. We spent a lot of time talking about “iron sharpening iron,” and we lived that out on S3N. These roommates and floor-mates became accountability partners, friends, intramural teammates, and confidants. We all learned from each other and grew not only in our personal relationships, but our relationship with God.

I also really appreciated the campus life at Evangel. I developed relationships with professors who took a personal interest in me and helped me grow in my personal and professional skills. And on Sunday, I worked at the cafeteria and made the chicken strips for Sunday lunch, which all the students seemed to appreciate.

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

I came to Evangel as a transfer student from a large state university. At the larger university, I felt like a number in a large, impersonal lecture hall with instructors who didn’t care if I attended class or learned the subject matter. After two years at the state university, I really felt like I needed a change and that God was calling me to be a better version of myself. I left everything behind, but gained so much more when I arrived at Evangel.

It’s hard for me to single out one professor, and it wouldn’t be fair for me to list names for fear of leaving one out, but each cared for my development and helped me define my call. I already knew that I wanted to be a chaplain and provide ministry at the point of need. One of my professors was involved in police chaplain work and encouraged me and some fellow students to enroll in a volunteer police chaplain ministry in Springfield, MO. This was an eye-opening experience as we provided ministry to police officers and people in crisis. I also attended a local Assemblies of God Church and helped with Royal Rangers!

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

While I was at Evangel, I was able to take courses which prepared me academically and professionally. I knew that I was enrolling in Assemblies of God Theological Seminary upon graduation, and the transition was seamless because I already had the academic foundation. Evangel also gave me extra confidence in my ministry abilities because as a student, we didn’t just talk about ministry, we had opportunities to minister to others.

I also want to add that my sister and daughter both went to Evangel. Not only did Evangel prepare all of us for future employment, Evangel also prepared us to serve our neighbors and communities more effectively.

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

Figure out what you are “FOR.” It’s easy to talk about what you are against, but you, and only you, must figure out what you are FOR. That is what is going to drive you and motivate you when life doesn’t go your way.

Once you establish what you are FOR, establish a personal mission statement for yourself and establish a realistic 5-year plan and begin to focus on who you are becoming.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

I spend a lot of time talking to young people, and for me, it comes down to a few questions that I would ask in an interview:

Character – it’s who you are at your core, and who you are when no one is looking. We need more young people and leaders of character who know what they are FOR. Are you a person of character?

Competence – you have developed a certain set of knowledge and skills while you were at Evangel. How are you growing and developing into a life-long learner?

Commitment – By graduating at Evangel, you learned to overcome adversity, demonstrate resiliency, and commit to a goal – how are you ready to take those same attributes into your career?

Connection – Others experience you either positively or negatively. This is important in your place of employment and your future ministry. My mom used to say, “You may be the only Christian someone meets.” How are you living out your faith to influence the world?