Blog Alumni, Community

UNW Alumnus Serves His Country in the Secret Service

Monday, September 10, 2018


Not everyone is cut out to work for the Department of Homeland Security. Between background checks, physical demands, psychological evaluations, and continuously changing scenarios, most people would never have the stamina or mental fortitude to pass all the tests needed to work for the Secret Service.

However, University of Northwestern – St. Paul graduate Caleb Davis proved that he was the right man for the job. In 2012, Davis earned his degree in Criminal Justice along with a minor in Bible. He completed Track 1 in his major which focused on General Criminal Justice. A track 2 option is available for students who want to learn about Law Enforcement.

Davis said that his initial interest in criminal justice was sparked by his parents when he was younger. 

“They both had great careers working within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which motivated me to follow in their footsteps,” said Davis.

He knew he wanted to work for the Department of Justice after college so he decided to major in criminal justice.

“As I got older, this calling to be a Christian in the criminal justice field grew stronger and stronger, and eventually I got the opportunity when I was hired on as a Correctional Officer by the Federal Bureau of Prisons,” said Davis.

He worked for 2.5 years in the prison before he was hired as a Criminal Investigator (Special Agent) for the United States Secret Service, and he has been an agent for 2 years.

Davis said Northwestern wasn’t his only option when he was considering higher education. However, after his first campus visit, he decided Northwestern was the right choice for him.

“I chose Northwestern primarily because of its Christian foundation, values, and environment. I did consider other schools as well, but after visiting UNW for a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Leadership Camp, I fell in love with it. Another consideration for me was the fact that Northwestern offered a criminal justice degree. I knew that the program was fairly new, but I had a great meet-and-greet with Ghlee Hanson, who would eventually become my academic adviser, and she rightly convinced me that the criminal justice program was a strong one despite how new it was,” said Davis.

Davis also mentioned the lessons he learned in class still remain relevant in his current work environment.

“Northwestern has a firm foundation in its Christian principles, and because of that foundation, I can say that it has absolutely impacted me for the better in both my current job, and in my career as a whole. I was on the receiving end of some amazing wisdom and teaching during my time there, and that is directly reflected in any decision I make today,” said Davis.

Outside of class he spent time with friends and grew closer in his relationship with God.

“From dorm life, to classes, to chapel, to the relationships I developed between other students and faculty, I simply cannot say enough good things about this school. My faith grew exponentially while at Northwestern, and I have to attribute that to the teachers, chapel, and time spent in the dorms growing and fellowshipping with other students. I was also able to develop some lifelong friendships with a number of people I met while at UNW,” said Davis.

He knows many Christian students struggle with the thought of how to live faithfully while also working in a secular environment. However, Davis has some good ideas for students who are considering the criminal justice field.

“Be intentional with your time; depending on what your goal is within the criminal justice field, you can expect to work some long days, work weekends and holidays, and get stuck on overnight shifts, so make sure your priorities are in place. First and foremost, make time for church, time in the Word, and time with your family. Surround yourself with fellow Believers both on the job and off it. Finally, be sure to carry and conduct yourself in a manner that is worthy of the Gospel,” said Davis.

He also encourages new students to visit the campus and decide if Northwestern is right for them.

“My advice would be to come check it out! Northwestern does a great job of offering events to come visit the school, sit in on classes, go to chapel, etc., and ultimately the best way to get a feel for a school is to at least see what it is all about. I personally believe that you won’t be disappointed in what UNW has to offer both within the classroom and outside of it,” said Davis.