The Office of the University Chaplain, is located in the basement of Atkinson Hall, on the Ottawa campus. It provides University-wide coordination for faith exploration, civic engagement and spiritual growth. Additionally, it coordinates the TAU Institute for high school youth, HomeTeam (host family), Community Tutoring, Heavenly Hosts, Justice Café and ‘Adventures in Faith’ programming as well as a variety of ‘student-concept’ clubs, under the auspices of the Fredrikson Center. (Face or phone) appointment times can be set with the University Chaplain for questing conversations, faith-action planning or spiritual coaching, via

Students, faculty, staff and community members are also welcome to connect with Chaplain John by calling the Church and Faith Vitality Office at (785) 248-2578 or Susan Trendel, in the Advancement Office at (785) 248-2331


2016-17 Directory of Fredrikson Clubs


Theology, Action, and Understanding (TAU) Institute Cohesive, virtual activities via social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), course management system (Blackboard), and a proctored chat room on OU web site. Blended (synchronous & asynchronous) discussions, projects tied to texts, virtual classroom combined with social media; applications through explicit reflections on service learning experiences; continued self-assessment through journaling; protégé-mentor relationships integrated with consortium content.


Poetry of Prayer: Local facilitators launch ongoing workshop series for participants to read and create written prayers and devotionals. Reflection, discussion and writing.


Hope for the Holidays: Participants gather holiday foods, make pies (learning cooking, dietary needs), and bring meals, homemade cards, and devotionals to needy families, care-givers or nursing homes. Hands-on service learning, testing theologies through existential struggles and socio-religious dynamics.


Exemplars; Role Models of Faith: The Winter Center (TAU Partner) supervises local and centralized interviews and gathers background checks on community and church volunteers, who serve as mentors and role models, reflecting their faith in their actions. Exemplars encourage spiritual growth and discipline, mentor youth in their faith journeys, and coach them on vocational and avocational goals. Mentoring


Call for Community Prayer: To “broker prayer connection, virtual and tangible, in hard times, good times and just because,” local ministers and churches conduct half-hour mini-sessions during two community prayer events. Youth design and distribute prayer and intention cards and launch a Facebook page. Hands-on service learning, testing theologies through existential struggles and socio-religious dynamics.


Evangelism Lab: Training on web-based and video components helps youth recognize the wide opportunities and subtleties of evangelism. Session begins with a video series, to post online, with the theme “Strong Women, Strong Faith.” Participants identify and interview women (e.g., authors, pastors, students and community members) who embody their faith.  A Facebook page is also built. Workshop in technology applications.


Multigenerational Teaming: Advisory members join the teams, assisting with aspects of the practicums. Team diversity spans age, gender and culture differences; youth and advisors mutually lead and participate on projects. Networked mentoring


You are Loved: In thisservice project, local cohorts work with agencies to plan, produce and distribute Easter baskets of goodies (e.g., cookies, candies, home-made cocoa mix, bath salts, handmade cards with scriptures). Options include battered women’s and homeless shelters, the frail and elderly and care-givers for the homebound. Service learning, hands-on activities, testing theologies through existential struggles and socio-religious dynamics.


Personal Board of Directors: Program goals are to tackle personal life-barriers, increase social awareness and expand cultural learnings.  Cohort members will work on goal calendars and develop life-plans and strategies to stay balanced in anticipation for integration to leadership roles in their home communities. Each will be assigned a personal board of directors (4 total members, quarterly or adhoc) for advice and counsel. Networked mentoring.


Interactive Bible on Twitter: Tweeting about Old Testament passages that conjoin all Abrahamic faiths; promotes digestion of scripture (compressing ideas into Twitter’s genre); deepens connections as scripture unfolds. Writing process, dialogue, testing theologies through existential struggles and socio-religious dynamics.


Witness: To explore social and spiritual contexts of Gospel preaching, youth create and preach 15-minute sermons, receiving feedback from peers, staff, pastors.  Participants may opt to attend nationwide Preaching Festivals the following fall. Writing, performance, revision.


Adventures in TAU: Held on the residential campus in Ottawa, KS, this week-long conference involves all TAU participants from all three regions; it includes:


  • Involvement in OU’s annual Adventures in Faith conference, which welcomes the community and gathers guest speakers, alumni, faculty, staff, and university students for a series of events.

  • Missional Training: This sleep-over at OU’s lake lodge includes worship ‘staging’ and activities. Hands-on learning (e.g., basic building and repair, first aid, camping skills) and testimony from missionaries, camp leaders; practicum format puts skills to immediate use.

  • Launch of Support #4: Certifications and Practicum: Participants will contribute to selecting training and certification offerings (e.g., First Aid) and prioritizing individuals/projects chosen. Context- driven decision-making (needs and resources analysis), role shift (protégés to program advisors).

  • Podcast Production: Participants interview one another on themes of “Vibrant Faith” and “What Would Jesus Do?” Development of interview skills and public personae.

  • Local day/evening trips: Places of worship, cultural heritage centers. Exposure to cultures.

  • (ELECTIVE) Soulful Noise. Participants set scripture, original songs and prayers to music, craft new hymn arrangements, perform, and record for public posting. Musical composition and performance.

  • (ELECTIVE) pLayworks: Theatrical Ministry. Participants explore script writing, lighting, dramaturgy, acting, video recording and broadcast. Writing and performance.


(ELECTIVE) Witness: Participants who plan to attend preaching festivals refine their witness work. Writing process, performance practice, exchange of ideas.


 "We would love to have you join in the work and play!"  Click on the link to find out more information or

                         Subscribe to event calendars.

ABC Mission Summit              Facebook Page    Coordinator  Sponsor: Paul Bean       Host: ABC-USA

Caregivers Network                 Webpage              Sponsor:  John Holzhüter   Host: ECKAA 

Community of Prayer             Facebook Page    Webpage      Sponsor:  John Holzhüter     Proctor   

Disaster Relief                        Sponsor:  John Holzhüter        Website           Host: The Winter Center 

EastWest Club                        Sponsor:  John Holzhüter     Host:  Academy of TaiQi 

Educator's Cadre                      Webpage            Sponsor:  Amy Hogan       PE Coordinator:       Tara Cunningham Huggard  

Elves and Angels                       Facebook Page     Webpage      Sponsor:  John Holzhüter      Proctor 

Exemplars (RoleModels & Mentors)       Sponsor: John Holzhüter     Proctor

Festival of Young Preachers   Facebook Page  Sponsor: John Holzhüter     Host: ABC-USA

Finishing School                       Sponsor: Donald Anderson  Trainer: John Holzhüter    Proctor

HomeTeam (community-student connections) Sponsor:  John Holzhüter    Host: The Winter Center 

HeavenlyHosts                                   Sponsor:  John Holzhüter     Host: The Winter Center 

Indigenous People's Cultural Club    Sponsor:  Beverly Rodgers  (This is now a student activity club!)

Justice Café   Facebook Page    Sponsor:  John Holzhüter    Host:Intercommunity Peace & JusticeCenter                     

Little by Little (Faith in Action & Service Club)  Sponsor:  John Holzhüter    Proctor

Poetry and Prayer  OU Sponsor:  John Holzhüter   Community Sponsor First Baptist Church

Sunday Clubs      Sponsor:  John Holzhüter   

T.G.i.F. (Together, Grieving in Fellowship)   Webpage     Sponsor: JoAnne Gibson Lucas

Women's Self Defense OU Sponsor:  John Holzhüter   Community Sponsor Ottawa Academy of TQ

Youth Tutoring Partnership    Webpage  Sponsor:  John Holzhüter   

Ottawa Kansas/MLK Community Worship Service  

Connect with Chaplain John

Request prayers or set up a meeting... 


the Rev. Dr.  

John Holzhüter ClinPsyD, DDiv 

University Chaplain 


A widower, with two grown sons, John is a long-time advocate for the needs of the frail and elderly and disadvantaged youth.   A clinical psychologist and Anglican Chaplain, much of his life’s work and writings focus on bringing the generations together, building legacy and honoring tradition. 


A former teacher, he also worked as secondary school administrator, the director of an alternative high school and has led large non profit agencies from start-up to national service footprints. In additional to past Chaplaincy roles with the Veteran’s Administration and VVA-Chapter 912 he has served as a ‘WorkForce Development Specialist’; assisting current and former military personnel, senior citizens and restorative justice case referrals.  He currently serves as University Chaplain (installation-wide) and leads the Fredrikson Center for Church and Faith Vitality, located at the residential campus.


Most recent published contributions:


Innovations in Higher Education: Igniting the Spark for Success (The ACE Series on Higher Education)  


Click the snapshot to see an article in this month's "The Christian Citizen"


Social Clubs and 'Justice Cafe' Programming:


             ___February 14th:___

Life on Purpose: Contemplation & Justice

Email: for a place in this café

January Café is transforming to a social club—

Upholding the Dignity of Work: Creating a Just Economic System Chaplain John if you want to join.


 Join an Action Club and change the world! 

Justice Cafés create spaces where young adults (20's-30's) committed to social justice can build community, act for justice and deepen spirituality!

See the upcoming topics here!  Check out our partner chapters, nationwide: interactive cafe map 

Visit the Justice Cafe Facebook Group to join in the conversation with young adults around the world!


 Upcoming Cafés...Ongoing clubs...outstanding issues!

Human Trafficking: Act for Justice! 

 Sorry, this café is now closed:( 

Positive Peacemakers: Young People Choosing Peace

 Sorry, this café is now closed:( 

Gender: Rules, Roles and Expectations

 Sorry, this café is now closed:( 

Water: Is There Enough?

 Sorry, this café is now closed:( 

 A Culture of Violence: When Will It End?

 Sorry, this café is now closed:( 

Social Media: Power, Possibilities, Problems

 Sorry, this café is now closed:(



Poetry and Prayer Gathering

Sharing Words that Open the Heart

The workshop is being facilitated by Trish Dowd Kelne with the assistance of Faith Club members from Ottawa University (when available).Trish has worked in the nonprofit setting for 15 years, with community outreach, education and empowerment. She was co-chair of Martha and Mary’s Way, an interfaith organization and has facilitated poetry and prayer classes for the retired religious professionals. She is dedicated to faith based outreach. She is a certified instructor for the Academy of Tai Qi through which she teaches classes and seminars.   Trish received her degree in Creative Writing from Kansas State University, her facilitation certification from Winter Center and her Tai Qi certification from HuoLong Studios.

This offering is provided through a partnership with Winter Center (a community non-profit) and Fredrikson Center for Faith and Church Vitality.


Part I—


Joan Stephen   “Morning Grace”

R. S. Thomas    “Threshold”

Susan Gerrish   “God’s Love”

James Wright  “A Blessing”

Thomas Merton Excerpt from “Faith”

Eileen P. O’Hea  “Consolation”

Mary Oliver Excerpt from “Flare” - 2




The poem is not the world.
It isn’t even the first page of the world.

But the poem wants to flower, like a flower.
It knows that much.

It wants to open itself,
like the door of a little temple,
so that you might step inside and be cooled and refreshed,
and less yourself than part of everything.


Mary Oliver


From “Flare” from The Leaf and the Cloud: A Poem

Morning Grace


We thank Thee God

as we watch

the distant hills

suddenly emerge

above the filmy, white mist

and gently touch heaven—

awakening the sun

for another day.



Joan Stephen

From Graces Selected and Edited by June Cotner




I emerge from the mind’s

cave into the worse darkness

outside, where things pass and

the Lord is in none of them.


I have heard the still, small voice

and it was that of the bacteria

demolishing my cosmos. I

have lingered too long on


this threshold, but where can I go?

To look back is to lose the soul

I was leading upwards towards

the light. To look forward? Ah,


what balance is needed at

the edges of such an abyss.

I am alone on the surface

of a turning planet. What

to do but, like Michelangelo’s

Adam, put my hand

out into unknown space,

hoping for the reciprocating touch?




R. S. Thomas, “Threshold”

from The Poems of R. S. Thomas.

Copyright © by Kunjana Thomas 2001. 


God’s Love

If you seek peace,    you will have none. If you seek life,    you will lose it. If you seek wealth,    you will find poverty of the soul. If you seek adventure,    you will be unfulfilled. If you seek joy,    you will ache with sorrow. If you seek love,    you will despair in loneliness. If you seek God,    you will find God. You will have peace   that surpasses understanding,    gain eternal life,    find true wealth,    be fulfilled,    worship in joy,    and revel in God’s love.  

Susan Gerrish

From Graces Selected and Edited by June Cotner

A Blessing

Just off the Highway to Rochester, Minnesota

Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.And the eyes of those two Indian ponies Darken with kindness.They have come gladly out of the willows

To welcome my friend and me.We step over the barbed wire into the pasture

Where they have been grazing all day, alone.They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness

That we have come. They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other. There is no loneliness like theirs.

At home once more,They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,

For she has walked over to meAnd nuzzled my left hand.

She is black and white,Her mane falls wild on her forehead, And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear

That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.Suddenly I realize

That if I stepped out of my body I would break Into blossom.


James Wright

From Above the River
©Farrar, Straus, Giroux, and The University Press of New England




But when the time comes to enter the darkness in which we are naked and helpless
and alone; in which we see the insufficiency of our great strength and the
hollowness of our strongest virtues; in which we have nothing of our own to rely
on, and nothing in our nature supports us, and nothing in the world to guide or
give us light—then we find out whether or not we live by faith. 

It is in this our darkness, when there is nothing left in us that can please or
comfort, when we seem to have failed, when we seem to be destroyed and devoured, it is then that the deep and secret selfishness that is too close for us to
identify is stripped away from our souls. It is in this darkness that we find true
liberty.  It is in this abandonment that we are made strong.  This is the night
which empties us and makes us pure. 


Thomas Merton


Excerpt from “Faith” (pg 102)

From Seeds Selected and Edited by Robert Inchausti



I did not know

—had no idea—

that in loving you

I would discover

you are loving me

yesterday, today,

tomorrow, now;

and , quite dearly.

Your touch so tender,

your glance consuming,

but never overwhelming—

just there—

if I dare

look up

and meet your gaze of love.


How pathetic my striving,

how foolish my fear

of disappointing you.

You whose name is Love.

You are all that is,

and your Love—

sweet, gentle,

an abyss of light

cushioning my soul.


Eileen P. O’Hea

From In Wisdom’s Kitchen


  1. You still recall, sometimes, the old barn on your great-grandfather’s farm, a place you visited once, and went into, all alone, while the grownups sat and talked in the house.

    It was empty, or almost. Wisps of hay covered the floor, and some wasps sang at the windows, and maybe there was a strange fluttering bird high above, disturbed, hoo-ing a little and staring down from a messy ledge with wild, binocular eyes.

    Mostly, though, it smelled of milk, and the patience of animals; the give-offs of the body were still in the air, a vague ammonia, not unpleasant.

    Mostly, though, it was restful and secret, the roof high up and arched, the boards unpainted and plain.

    You could have stayed there forever, a small child in a corner, on the last raft of hay, dazzled by so much space that seemed empty, but wasn’t.

    Then—you still remember—you felt the rap of hunger—it was noon—and you turned from that twilight dream and hurried back to the house, where the table was set, where an uncle patted you on the shoulder for welcome, and there was your place at the table.


Mary Oliver


From “Flare” from The Leaf and the Cloud: A Poem


The next 'Heavenly Hosts' Church Dinner will be at First Baptist, Ottawa!

Stay tuned for details!!

Hey Students, 

Sacred Heart Church is hosting food and fellowship for Catholic Students (or those  interested  the Catholic faith.)  Following dinner is a dessert 'Meet and Greet', where parish hosts would love to chat with those looking for a church ‘home away from home’!

Dinner takes place  Sunday,  February  16th
at 5 pm in their Parish Hall.

Dessert will be served from 7-8 pm, for folk  whose schedules prevent them from attending the dinner. 

Please R.S.V.P. to Jane Johnson at 242-3384 or  by 10pm on Monday, Sept 16th , to give the cooks a head-count!  


This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Campus, local faith partners and civic and community leaders unite in programming opportunities for remembrance, engagement, celebration, service and action. 

A Community Worship Service, featuring local churches and civic leaders, will launch the community events; Sunday morning (1/18) at 10:30 at the Fredrikson Chapel on campus.

A Community Program, featuring Mr. Tre Walker, will commence at 2:00 that afternoon at the Ottawa Municipal Auditorium.

Anyone interested in participating is invited to a participatory program "Inspired Writing Workshop" at 6:00 in the evening, in OU's Martin Meditation Chapel. Hosted and facilitated by Karen Ohnesorge, from the college and Trish Dowd Kelne, representing the Winter Center for Restorative Justice.

                 On Monday (1/19)...

There will be student opportunities for service projects in the morning.  Interested students can contact  for details.

All interested can participate in a presentation and dialogue; "What Moves you? Activists Speak" at 2:00 in the afternoon, in the Main (Fredrikson) Chapel. Hosted and facilitated by Ottawa University Chaplain, John Holzhuter, it will feature video presentations around Dr. King's life and death; with a focus on motivating people to step up to the legacy of building community and promoting civility...right here and right now!

This will be followed up with the launch of this year's "Justice Café Series...Where Faith Meets Action" at 6:00 in the evening, in OU's Martin Meditation Chapel. Participants will join with local and national partners to initiate, broker and champion faith, action and opportunities to do the "right things for the right reasons".

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events

University Chaplain's Office

The Office of the University Chaplain, is located in the basement of Atkinson Hall, on the Ottawa campus. It provides University-wide coordination for faith exploration, civic engagement and spiritual growth. Additionally, it coordinates HomeTeam (host family), Community Tutoring, Heavenly Hosts, Justice Café and ‘Adventures in Faith’ programming as well as a variety of ‘student-concept’ clubs, under the auspices of the Fredrikson Center.

(Face or phone) appointment times can be set with the University Chaplain for questing conversations, faith-action planning or spiritual coaching. Students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to connect with Chaplain John by calling the Church and Faith Vitality Office at (785) 248-2578 or Susan Trendel at (785) 248-2331


In the news...Chaplain John to receive recognition from ABHMS. 

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/21/15)—Selected by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) board of directors from nominations submitted by clergy and laypersons across the United States and Puerto Rico, a number of American Baptist clergy and lay leaders will receive awards for significant faith-based work.

“American Baptist Home Mission Societies is so proud to announce these ministry awards, which are testimony to the incarnation of God’s love and presence among us through these faithful and committed American Baptist disciples and servants,” says ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III. “Together, we American Baptists continue to touch communities and individuals across the United States and Puerto Rico with the peace and power of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God.” Click here to see all of this year’s awards and recipients from ABHMS  Excerpt, regarding Chaplain John, follows: 

"The Rev. Dr. John Holzhüter, chaplain at Ottawa (Kan.) University, will receive the Newton C. Fetter Higher Education and Campus Ministry Award for significant innovation in campus ministry. A long-time advocate for the needs of disadvantaged youth and a strong proponent of restorative-justice approaches to juvenile crime, his “Kindling Faith through a Culture of Servant Leadership” program connected young adults, aged 18-29, to church families for servant leadership and group participation, based on actions of faith. Of the 167 participants, 81 percent had established a regular connection (at least three consecutive months) with a home church by program end. The program included home-support services to the elderly, children and the frail; first aid; self-defense and American Sign Language."

President Eichner Honored by ABC

During 2013 ABC Mission Summit, Dr. Kevin Eichner, president of Ottawa University, received the Luther Wesley Smith Education Award for educational programs in college or seminary. 
Dr. Eichner launched the Fredrikson Center for Faith and Church Vitality; served as facilitator of a series of programs to enrich servant leadership in the local community; developed a pastoral training program, offered at no cost to American Baptist Churches USA pastors throughout the Midwest; and formed a Cadre of Champions, a group of past, present and future educators who share best practices for education in the current challenging age.

The presentation was made by Rev. Yvonne Carter, the Societies’ Managing Director of Event Development, Missional Life and Leadership.