Rising in the Ranks: The Mitchell McKinney Story

McKinney thumb 

Mitchell McKinney is a self-described "people person," so law enforcement seemed a natural match for him.

McKinney rapidly advanced to become an instructor in his occupation, but his career fulfillment was taken to an even higher level when he connected with Indiana Wesleyan University as part of the very first Criminal Justice cohort at the Fort Wayne Education Center. "The flexibility was great," he said, explaining that the Thursday evening and Saturday morning sessions fit perfectly with his work schedule as a sergeant.

Mitchell felt he already had job security in law enforcement, but he wanted to complete a college degree, having started years ago but not finishing. An IWU faculty advisor contacted him, following up on his inquiry into the Criminal Justice program. "She extended that personal touch and she sold me on the school," he explained, adding that the Christian foundation of the University was the deciding factor in applying to IWU.

McKinney appreciated the level of respect shared among professors, advisors, and classmates, and he felt like he fit right in with the academic scene. He also enjoyed the way his instructors kept a Christ-centered focus during discussions, helping students understand how they might apply their skills to benefit others. "Unless I had to wear a uniform, they never knew I was already a cop; they treated me like everyone else and it was an excellent experience," Mitchell said. He became a natural leader in his cohort group, providing insight based on his police experience. Some of his classmates went on ride-alongs with him, and he still e-mails and occasionally has dinner with some of his IWU friends.

Mitchell's degree has not only helped him to be a better instructor for cadets, but it also allows him to present a level of professionalism to the public and county officials he interacts with on a regular basis, and in his role as president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Allen County.


Mitchell McKinney's experience as an officer enhanced his student cohort at Indiana Wesleyan University. Find out more about how our Criminal Justice Programs (link to Areas of Study page, sorted by Adult & Graduate/Onsite and Online and Criminal Justice, if possible) can enhance your work in the Criminal Justice field. 


  Read more stories 


Request Info Today

Open House

Learn more about adult programs