While working his way down the crowded stairs toward the convention floor, Dr. Drew Ivers overheard a group of students talking about Liberty University.
“Did you say Liberty?” he stopped to ask. “I’m a seminary student with them.”
Not only was Ivers attending the Republican National Convention as an Iowa delegate, he and his wife, Dottie, have studied with Liberty’s Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online) for the past two years. Ivers was only one class away from completing his master’s in theological studies.
In July 1969, Ivers was serving as a PFC combat soldier in Vietnam when he was shot at close range by an AK-47. The wound to his lower left leg kept him in army hospitals for a year; this is where he began to study politics.
“I had a lot of time to think,” he explained. “I started studying national and international politics trying to understand what makes the world tick.”
His political involvement spans over three decades, during which time he has held various positions in the Republican Party at county, district and state levels.
“I was the congressional district chair for Ronald Reagan in 1980, state chairman for Pat Robertson’s presidential caucus campaign in 1988, and also the Iowa caucus presidential campaign chairman for Pat Buchanan in 1996 and 2000. And I did the same for Ron Paul in 2008,” Ivers said.
This year’s convention was Ivers’ fifth time serving as a delegate.
“If you want to be involved with the Republican Party, just work. They need workers,” he said.
Ivers has done much outside the political arena as well.
Upon his return from Vietnam, Ivers graduated from Purdue University in agriculture and followed that with an A.S. at Vincennes University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in genetics from Iowa State University. He worked on plant genetic research for Land O’Lakes, and now holds 12 plant patents along with seven more patents pertaining to soybean genetics.
Retiring at age 59 in 2006, Ivers said he and his wife “did not want to be couch potatoes — we want to make a contribution to the Lord, and, frankly, ministry has been on my heart for all my life, ever since I was a young person.”
Ivers now wants to serve the Lord every day of his life and decided that some specific training would be beneficial. He is hoping to work as a visitation minister once he completes his degree.
For more on Liberty University Online (formerly Liberty University Distance Learning Program), go to www.luonline.com.