Reinhardt University prides itself on delivering education from well-round faculty members – many of who have strong experience related to real-world experience in their respective fields.
Dr. Chris Findley, assistant professor in Reinhardt’s criminal justice program, currently works as a captain with the Chamblee Police Department, worked in the training division for Forsyth County and served in a supervisor position with the Lyons Police Department in South Georgia.
According to Findley, the two main elements that Reinhardt’s Criminal Justice program offers its students are flexibility and educators with real-life experience.
Findley has served Reinhardt University’s Criminal Justice program in several capacities since starting in Fall 2016. Beginning as an adjunct professor, he then became a full-time faculty member of the police academy and coordinator of the Master of Public Administration program. Having worked in several police departments in the state of Georgia, Findley believes that Reinhardt’s experienced faculty in the program offer students a more enriching education. The online component allows for a wider possibility of students.
“Our online Criminal Justice program allows students to work at their own pace and time each week,” said Findley. “This is extremely important since a vast majority of our students are law enforcement. Having professors that have worked in the field, or are currently still working, gives the students an opportunity to learn from individuals who have been out there in the trenches. It makes for a more realistic course.”
Reinhardt offers a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice online and a master’s degree in Public Administration through the Executive Command and Leadership (ExCL) program that embeds the requirements for the Georgia Peace Officers and Standards Training (POST) Council.
Additionally, the University’s Public Safety Institute Police Academy is certified by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council and works with the coalition of five cities.
Findley’s time in law enforcement provides supplement to the coursework material.
“When responding to students in the discussion forum, I provide real-world experiences – my experiences and experiences of my colleagues – to support, or at times, dispute what the textbook author is presenting.”
Throughout the courses he teaches, Findley’s biggest takeaway for students is the evolving nature of the field.
“The biggest thing that I want students to take away from the courses that I teach is that everything does not always fit nicely into a box. The criminal justice system is everchanging and as an officer, you must change with it.”
While Findley has spent much of his own time in forensic science, his favorite course to teach, his studies of the field and his career in law enforcement began with influence from his father.
“I have a long history of forensic work in my professional career as well as in my personal life. My father is a retired forensic expert and I learned from him growing up. I followed him into the law enforcement field and forensic science as well.”
When Findley isn’t on duty or teaching, he enjoys hiking with his family, sitting around his fire pit and taking time to read.