By: Kendra Housel
Grant Langebartels graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in December of 2014, receiving his undergraduate degree in physical education. He came to Indiana Wesleyan as a non-traditional, married, commuting, transfer student from IUPUI. He and his wife Laura were living in Indianapolis at the time and as a response to feeling called, took a blind-faith step to move closer to her family.
IWU was the only school offering his degree that was near to their new home. While the transfer was a difficult decision, since it meant adding more time onto his undergraduate degree and potentially paying more to cover tuition, God provided wonderfully. Through Laura getting a job in the IWU Admissions Office, her employee benefits meant that his tuition costs ended up being about the same as if he finished his degree at IUPUI. Langebartels was also thankful that his education included the benefits from a Christian college education.
When he came from a much larger campus, to a small university, Langebartels noticed right away that the professors really cared about their students as people, and he felt they wanted to get to know him as a person. Langebartels said that being at IWU and taking the gen-ed classes really helped him gain a better understanding of how the Bible fits in with the rest of history. He specifically mentioned appreciating the things he learned in Old Testament, New Testament and Philosophy. According to him, they gave him “an opportunity to view the Bible differently.”
Upon graduating with a teaching degree, his wife became pregnant with twins, and they decided that it was more advantageous for them to stay near family, which meant they would not simply be moving wherever there was job availability in education. Instead, Langebartels ended up accepting a job as a Deputy for the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, and he is also a part time Campus Police Officer at IWU. While he is not working in education, he said that what he is doing now is “a really good fit for [him].” He also mentioned that he feels having a degree in general helped him to be marketable to potential employers. He said, “IWU has a good reputation in the community and so having that on my resume helped me kick off my career, and could possibly help with future promotions.”
When asked about how his spiritual life comes into play in his career, Langebartels had much to say. He often encounters people in the midst of some of their worst moments in life. Many of these people do not know Jesus or have any concern with Christianity in general. He is thankful for the opportunity to be there, even in small ways, for them. He prays often that through his service, God would reveal Himself to the people he meets. Langebartels said that he feels God has placed a calling on his life to “be someone who everyday brings a little bit [of] healing.”
Some other, fun-facts about Langebartels include the fact that he participated in a 340 mile canoe race in a 64 hour period, something he would not suggest doing. He also spent some time working for the Indianapolis Colts, a job which came with a lot of unique perks. While meeting players and going to games was wonderful, his favorite aspect was taking home leftover food from fancy events. He also has six brothers and one sister, all of whom are married and have children. With almost seventeen children between the eight of them, he said that “family get-togethers are crazy.”
When asked what advice he has for current students at IWU, Langebartels said “Get to know your community while you are at IWU. Before I came to IWU, I always heard about the ‘IWU bubble.’ While I was a student, I started to notice it more, and now as a person that works in and around IWU I notice it all the time. Find ways to go out and serve; don’t just keep to yourselves at IWU. This is a community that needs good role models for students, young people that can help with service projects, etc. Do what you can while you are here to help. Also, don’t stress out about your school work too much. I saw/see so many people on campus who get way too worked up about tests, projects, homework, etc. to the point that they don’t enjoy all the other things around them.”
Written by Kendra Housel, 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.