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At Heidelberg College Growing spiritually in Maxwell’s house

December 19, 2007
At 22 years old, James Maxwell says he doesn’t have qualifications listed on the campus minister’s job description, but he can relate to his peers as he helps them understand their faith.

Maxwell, a Heidelberg College senior from Chicago who is majoring in sport management, is serving as an interim campus minister.

He said the position opened this year when the former campus minister, Darryl Kistler, left the school. He said several school officials offered him the opportunity during summer vacation, and he felt led to accept the position after praying about it.

“I was extremely honored, definitely humbled. I felt overwhelmed by grace,” he said. “It was a great feeling.”

Maxwell said he doesn’t have a degree in ministry and doesn’t have qualifications listed on the job description, but he can relate to his fellow students.

“I’m a peer,” he said. “I’m very strong in my faith, and a lot of people respect that. … I know what I’m doing — because of God, the wisdom God gives me. It has nothing to do with me, which is kind of cool.”

Maxwell — who will not pursue the full-time position — said his goal is to maintain and strengthen religious organizations on campus, serve as people’s spiritual support and set an atmosphere of prayer on campus.

Also, he said he tries to be vulnerable to God and allow him to move on campus.

Maxwell said college students are at points in their lives when they start to look at their lives and what’s important, and realize their spiritual aspect needs to be fed.

“That’s when they become vulnerable to God,” he said.

According to the school’s Web site, Heidelberg is affiliated with the United Church of Christ but welcomes people of all faiths and those without faith.

Maxwell said anyone who has a desire to cater to his or her faith is being fed through various campus ministries. The school hosts Sunday chapel services and Thursday student prayer services.

Campus Fellowship meets Monday nights and is the largest spiritual group with 40-50 students participating, he said.

“We spend a lot of time praying,” he said. “We spend a lot of time seeking God’s will.”

Maxwell said five to eight students participate in Newman Club, eight joined Spiritual Activities Team and 10-15 participate in Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

“All of them are student-led,” he said.

Maxwell said he has seen people grow deeper in their understanding of God. They are open to what he wants for their lives and are not necessarily focused on what they want for their lives, he said.

“To see how when their lives are transformed, they have a passion to see other people’s lives transformed,” he said.

Maxwell said someone once told him God’s love is contagious. When one person catches it, they need to give it to someone else.

“Many people have a misconception about who God is and what he wants,” he said. “He wants relationship with us.”

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James Maxwell leads area pastors in prayer at Heidelberg College.

Fact Box

Get involved
H20 is scheduled to start again Jan. 17 and is 7 p.m. Thursdays in Chisholm Auditorium. Participants do not have to be Tiffin University students to participate.
For information about Heidelberg College’s ministries, visit



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