Serving God in Criminal Justice – Shari Vandenberg’s Journey

Dec 4, 2023 | Blog

What does serving God in the criminal justice field look like? Serving God can look very different depending on the person, the career they have chosen, and what God has called them to do for His kingdom. Recently, Shari finished her criminal justice degree at Grace Christian University and joined the Wyoming Police Department. Join us as we learn about Shari’s story of deciding to pursue criminal justice and earning her degree at Grace.

Shari Vandenberg’s Journey

Shari Vandenberg graduated from Grace Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree in May of 2023. On September 21st, Shari reached her goal of becoming a Wyoming Police Officer. She was given her badge after taking the oath of office to serve the citizens of the city. When Shari started at Grace she was not exactly sure of what she wanted to do for a career. All she knew was that she wanted to help people and have an impact. During a class with the Wyoming police department, she became interested in becoming a police officer and applied for a cadet position. It was here that she felt God’s calling for her life.

Serving God As a Cadet

During her time as a cadet, she grew as a person and learned she enjoyed being involved with the Wyoming Police Department. From helping victims, taking complaints, and talking to children at events, she found fulfillment and excitement in the work. She also found that she became a part of a bigger family. In classes, she often told stories about the other officers, and how friendly and helpful they were. She talked about how they, like her, wanted to help people and have an impact.

Often the Police Chief would stop by and talk to her as well and would ask how things were going. Shari then decided that the Wyoming Police Department was the place for her. So, in her senior year, she applied to be a police officer. The background and paperwork were intense but she managed to get through and was selected to be a police recruit. The Wyoming Police Department sponsored Shari through the police academy and even paid her a salary while she was attending.

Shari was very excited at the swearing-in event. She was surrounded by her family, classmates from Grace Christian University, and many of her fellow officers who welcomed her into the family as she answered God’s calling for her life. Chief Kim Koster recognized Grace Christian University and hopes to continue to partner together to find individuals like Shari who want to have an impact and serve their community.

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Pursue Your Degree at Grace Christian University

If Shari’s story speaks to you or if you’ve ever wondered what it would look like to serve God with criminal justice, we’d love to help you discover how God might be calling you to serve as a courageous ambassador in this field. Find out more about our Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree, or request more info about Grace today!

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