Robert Cirtin: Criminal Justice program director
January 12, 2012
Robert Cirtin brought his extensive law enforcement and sociology background to Evangel in 1991. Cirtin is the designer, founder and current head of Evangel’s Criminal Justice program. Along with teaching, Cirtin is the owner of Robert Cirtin Investigations, LLC, which provides investigative services to government agencies, businesses, law firms and insurance companies. He also owns Safe at Church, LLC, which provides safety and security consultation to churches and other religious organizations.
In his spare time Cirtin enjoys being with his family, especially his two 3-year-old grandsons. He and his wife love to travel, and Cirtin has served multiple missions trips to China.
What brought you to Evangel?
I came to Evangel because I wanted to be in a position to make an impact by preparing and assisting Christian college students to become involved in the criminal justice system. In turn, they can make a tremendous impact on our culture for God.
I am very proud of the fact that I have graduates who are serving in every aspect of the criminal justice system all over the country.
What makes Evangel’s criminal justice program stand out when stacked up against similar programs at other universities?
The Evangel criminal justice program provides opportunities that no other college offers. For example, many colleges have a criminal investigation course, but we go further in that students not only learn how to conduct criminal investigations but are required to actually conduct several mock investigations. We have evidence-processing equipment and tools that some police departments don’t even have. I teach students to process crime scenes and everything involved in conducting criminal investigations.
Another example is our Criminal Law and Procedure course. During the semester the class creates a crime scenario and conducts an investigation and mock trial. Students play the parts of the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, investigators, etc. We use a real judge and real courtroom to have the trial.
Another example is our Corrections course. We not only teach our students about jails and prisons, but we take them on tours of four correctional facilities. This way they can not only learn, but experience correctional facilities.
Making practical application of what we do in the classroom takes learning to a higher level.
Please share about your book, Church Safety and Security?
It is published by CSS Publishing in Lima, Ohio. Over the past several years we have had occurrences of violent and inappropriate events in churches. I noticed that there were many articles written that tell churches what to do to provide for the safety and security of their congregations, but never telling churches how to do it. The book tells churches what to do and how to do it. There are eight chapters, each addressing a specific topic. I wrote four chapters; then I had four friends of mine, including Evangel’s Behavioral Science’s Department Chair, Donna Washburn, write a chapter from their expertise.
What advice do you have for prospective Evangel students, especially those looking to go into the behavioral sciences and criminal justice?
In deciding a career path, determine what you are passionate about. Then pursue that path and don’t let anyone or anything get in your way. God works through our desires, and if you have a passion, you got it from Him. Then find the best place to prepare yourself to do what God is leading you to do. Evangel could be that place.