David Liebel – Volunteer Initiatives and Prison Ministry
Posted on: August 16, 2017 /
By: Kendra Housel
David Liebel graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2002 with a bachelor degree in management. His time as a undergrad student was incredibly busy, because he was a full time student and also worked full time. He completed his degree through IWU’s online program. This specific, adult online program is what drew Liebel to IWU, considering the university had emerged as a leader in degree completion programs.
Though he never stepped a foot on the residential campus in Marion until his graduation ceremony, Liebel greatly enjoyed and grew from his time as a university student. As he had just returned to the states from ministry work over in England, Liebel appreciated that IWU’s online management program was not composed solely of Christians, which gave him (as well as his peers) the opportunity to apply their faith to a more traditionally secular environment. He greatly valued the diverse student body he met and learned alongside.
Liebel stands by his decision to complete his degree at IWU, saying that his degree in management was a great fit for his current career. The skills he learned, specifically in organization, accounting and human resources, are things he uses everyday.
When asked about his favorite class, Liebel couldn’t pinpoint just one. Liebel said that the strength of the degree program is not in a specific class, but in “the sum of things as opposed to the parts.” He also mentioned how much he appreciated learning from professors who currently or previously earned a living in their field.
Before coming to IWU, Liebel worked for Youth of the Mission and helped pastor Tabernacle Presbyterian Church. After finishing his degree in 2007, Liebel began the work he is currently invested in: working for the Indiana Department of Correction as the Director of Religious and Volunteer Services. He works with chaplains and volunteers to organize and run events within the prison system.
Liebel values the unique experience he gets as he serves in the nation’s government. He feels as if he is a bridge between the often polarized worlds of faith and government. He has a rare understanding of the inner workings of “both worlds,” so he is able to see the rules and limitations that come in varied work environments. Most recently, Liebel is excited that thirteen Indiana prisons hosted the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit. This was a special opportunity open to all prisoners to attend a conference that has the opportunity to enable the prisoners and staff alike to grow in compassion, conviction and faith.
Through all the opportunities and experiences he has encountered, Liebel has accumulated lots of wisdom. To students, he gives a piece of advice: pay attention, make the most of your time and go wherever you get the chance to go. He also passes on this advice, to students and peers alike; Liebel said “Do stupid things. Do dangerous things. Don’t do anything that’s dangerous and stupid.”
Written by Kendra Housel, a writer for the Alumni Center. Kendra is a sophomore Education and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. She is also a member of the University Chorale. She is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing, and caring for others.