Full Name:

Pastors are responsible for the overall effectiveness of every ministry. They may be called and empowered by God, but are constantly challenged by pressures inside and outside their churches.

In national surveys and in interviews, Pastors report that they feel well trained in theology, but often feel inadequate as leaders. They are constantly are faced with the problems of dealing with negative organizational behavior and "challenging" people within the church. This need is even more of a priority in the modern ministry because a pastor has less direct authority over the church and must deal with every kind of personality, as well a variety of different and potentially difficult church members who may become frayed as they experience difficult personal times.

The statistics show that successful leadership comes from a pastor’s understanding of how to involve their ‘flock’, the exercise of high levels of emotional intelligence and motivational skills, and having the personal leadership confidence to withstand negative pressures that can lead to loss of confidence, personal de-motivation and feelings of burn-out.

There is also a necessary business-like aspect to overseeing a church. While this side of church leadership has a comfortable basis in Jesus’ teachings about money matters, many church leaders feel squeamish in dealing directly with the "business aspects." Clearly, all churches have assets to manage, employees to pay, and members who rightfully demand accountability for their financial contributions. However, many lack clear, long-term planning mechanisms, protocols and measurements.  

The creation and/or clarification of core values, mission statements, concretized vision, and quantifiable goals and objectives ensure the church can build synergy, provide clear focus and unify its members in cohesive purpose. With strategic planning, decision-making becomes easier, ‘giving’ increases and there is a sense of ownership that instills the congregation with both pride and excitement. 

Ezekiel 33:10-11

(10) "Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: "Thus you say, "If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?"" (11) Say to them: "As I live," says the Lord GOD, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?"

The Old Testament was written without punctuation of any kind, and in fact, punctuation was not added until about 1,200 years after Ezekiel wrote this. As God's answer to the question of verse 10, verse 11 would read better if a period followed the words "Lord GOD." He replies that we should live as He would live if He were a man - sinlessly. When Jesus came as a man, He did exactly that.

Jesus declares in John 17:3, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." A key to understanding Jesus' intent is to grasp His use of the word "eternal." We normally think of it as an endless length of time. However, William Barclay's commentary on this verse contains a simple and meaningful difference of opinion with that concept. Barclay contends that Jesus is speaking of something very good, one to be much desired. Living forever is not necessarily good unless the quality of life is also good. Therefore, "eternal" describes the quality of life God lives endlessly. Knowing God and being able to follow His example are vital to our living as He does. Jesus implies that, if one truly knows God, he will also live that way as an effect of his intimate relationship with God.

Yet, truly coming to know God creates one of the more difficult and continuous problems for church members. In fact, one commentator called it the church's biggest problem, and Romans 11:33 seems to confirm this. "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!" Paul says plainly that the full depth of God's wisdom and knowledge are unsearchable and past finding out. We can indeed find out a great deal if we are devoted to seeking Him, an endeavor that requires thorough searching, evaluating, and adjusting of our conceptions. Certainly difficult, but not impossible!

Nevertheless, we must still seek Him, since this verse suggests that we can indeed learn much. It helps that God desires us to know Him, so He is willing to reveal Himself further.

— John W. Ritenbaugh

To read more from this author, see:
Seeking God (Part One): Our Biggest Problem

Pastoral Training Sessions; Cohort I

Title Description File type

The latest installment from brother Adam:)

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John Holzhüter ClinPsyD, DDiv
University Chaplain and Managing Director,
Fredrikson Center for Faith and Church Vitality
785-248-2578 or 785-248-2334

Lee Stadler

Fredrikson Programming Coordinator


(785) 248-2325 _______________________________    


P. Keith Shrimpton        

Assistant to the Chaplain/T.A.U. Institute Director                 



Susan Trendel

Assistant for University Advancement



You can also reach out directly to a member of the The Fredrikson Center Advisory Board.

Perspectives for Adult and On-Line programming...

Paula Artac

Paula Artac, D.Min, ATR-BC, is a professional watercolor artist, board certified art therapist with the American Art Therapy Association, member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, university instructor, liturgical art designer, illuminator, illustrator and author.  For 40 years, Paula has accomplished much as a professional artist. She created her own business, Water Art by Paula Artac, trained as an archival artwork framer. Her watercolor paintings have won local and national recognition.  “Wolf Eyes,” her award-winning watercolor, was published in Best of Watercolor II, Rockport Publishers, 1997.  Her artwork hangs in international, national and local collections.

She currently holds the position of Professor in Charge of the Expressive Arts Therapy concentration within the Master of Arts in counseling graduate program at the Ottawa University, Surprise campus.  She is a published author on the topic of art therapy, spirituality and healing.

Paula is the founder of 2 Dots and A Line non-profit, creator of the Two Dots and a Line Personal Symbol Development art therapy process, and originator of the Art Spa concept at Granite Reef Senior Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Dr. Artac has been a regular presenter at numerous national and international art therapy and expressive arts conferences and workshops since 2000.  She has developed wellness art programs with Banner Thunderbird Hospital/MD Anderson, Ironwood Cancer & Research Center, as well as Barrow Neurological Outpatient Center and Treasure House to establish and facilitate expressive arts therapy groups.

Dame Commandeur Paula Artac serves as chaplain for the Priory of the Light, SMOTJ, Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem.

 Mary Alice Grosser

Mary Alice Grosser, MSW, has been with Ottawa since 2003, first as an Adjunct Instructor in Human Services and then as the Professor in Charge of Human and Social Services (APGS) since October of 2016.  Mary Alice had been a Social Worker and Supervisor in the Child Protective Service field for over 30 years.  She has practiced Social Work both in Wisconsin and California where she lived for 20 years.  Ms. Grosser first became invested in working with students as a field instructor for interns placed at the agency she worked.  Eventually she became the supervisor in charge of the Social Work Internship program with San Bernardino County Child and Family Services.  While supervising interns at Waukesha County for Ottawa University, she came to know the faculty and programs and happily transitioned to teaching at Ottawa after retiring from Social Work.   She loves teaching the next generation of Human Services Workers, and truly enjoys being part of the Ottawa Family at the Wisconsin Campus.

Perspectives for Residential Campus Locations...

 Pilar Galiana Abal

Dr Pilar Galiana Abal is a French-educated clinical psychologist specializing in forensic neuropsychology. She teaches Psychology courses at OUKS where she is the Lead Faculty for the Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology, a new major that she has recently designed.

Dr Galiana Abal’s initial academic training started as social anthropologist studying Pakistani and North Indian rites of passage, and as a linguist specializing in South-East Asian languages. As a clinical psychologist, Dr Galiana Abal has been actively working as a consulting forensic psychologist and behavioral analyst in forensic and criminal cases involving violent crime, terrorist attacks, organizing crisis interventions and psychologically assessing perpetrators and survivors. In France, Dr Galiana Abal acquired solid experience working as a clinical neuropsychologist in both private practice and rehabilitation facilities dedicated to brain injury survivors. In this clinical context, she created a psychotherapy method (“Narrative Expressive Therapy”) that combines art-therapy, narrative therapy and psychodrama that has proven efficient in terms of enhancing acquired executive function, working memory and autobiographical memory deficits. Dr Galiana Abal has an extensive international experience working with clients of culturally diverse backgrounds (tribal, refugees and migrant patients) and with members of the LGBTQIA community, with a particular emphasis in supporting clients with transgender identities during the sex reassignment process. Some of her main publications involve:

PLANCHE, N., GALIANA y ABAL, P., JOUVENCEL (de), M. (2015). Can we identify clinical features in transgender patients in the process of sex reassignment? (Quelles sont les composantes cliniques du transsexualisme ? A propos de 212 cas de demandeurs de réassignation sexuelle) Médecine Légale du Vivant), 5-6, vol. 58, 1-1.

GALIANA y ABAL, P. (2012).  Divine Transferences. Potentially Therapeutic Aspects of Ritual Offerings in the Rite of Darśan (Transferts vers le divin. Aspects potentiellement thérapeutiques de l‘offrande florale dans la pratique du darśan). Journal des Anthropologies. 123-124, 139-160.
GALIANA y ABAL, P. (2009). When God Heals…Darśan as a therapy? In Sébastia, B., Restoring Mental Health in India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 97-124.


Alan Boelter

Alan Boelter has been working in education for the past 30 years.  His higher education journey began at Grand Canyon University where he worked as the Student Conduct director.  Alan oversaw the growth at GCU from residents of about 4,500 to well over 9,000.  Working with students who sometimes make poor choices and seeing them turn it around is a passion of Alans.  After GCU Alan came over to OUAZ to help launch the new university in 2017 as the Director of Resident Life and shortly after that the Dean of Student.  This work captured Alan as he lived and worked with these students on campus.  It was at that time he could feel the call to step into a roll that was more spiritually in nature and moved over to Arizona Christian University to help with residence life, spiritual life and Assistant Dean of Students.  After a year at ACU the position of Director of Campus Ministries/ Campus Pastor opened up at Ottawa University. After prayer and clear direction Alan started that position in 2021.  His love for students and for the work of the Kingdom is what drives Alan in this role and life.


Andy Hazucha

Andrew Hazucha is Professor of English and chair of the Arts and Humanities division at Ottawa University.  A scholar of eighteenth-century British literature, he also regularly teaches interdisciplinary team-taught courses on Irish and Scottish literature, and he has taken groups of Ottawa students to Ireland and Scotland’s Orkney Islands on eight separate occasions.  He has written over a dozen articles on topics as various as William Wordsworth, Nelson Algren, Conor McPherson, the 1977 Chicago L-train crash, and the poetry of former Kansas City Royals pitcher Dan Quisenberry.  His essay entitled “The Subplot as A-Plot: The Function of Baseball in Yoko Ogawa’s The Housekeeper and the Professor” is due to appear in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Aethlon.

Hazucha organizes the annual Baseball in Literature and Culture conference hosted by Ottawa University and is the co-editor, with Gerald C. Wood, of the volume Northsiders: Essays on the History and Culture of the Chicago Cubs (McFarland Press, 2008).


Karen Ohnesorge

Dr. Karen Ohnesorge is currently the Dean of The School of Arts & Sciences, Dean of Instruction at The College and professor of English.  She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tennessee, both with highest honors.  She earned her master’s in English-creative writing from New York University and her doctorate in English from the University of Kansas.

She has served as adjunct instructor for Neosho County Community College Extension in Ottawa, Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Mass. and Johnson County Community College.

Dr. Ohnesorge’s past experience involves assistant editor for the American Art Review, director for the Academic Achievement Center in Ottawa, project assistant and support services coordinator for Supportive Educational Services/Student Support Services at the University of Kansas, project coordinator for TRIO Dissemination Partnership & Dean’s Scholars Program and associate director of Academic Programs for Excellence at the University of Kansas, and director of the Center for Excellence at OU.

Dr. Ohnesorge has extensive published works, has conducted several conference presentations, and holds many honors including OU’s College Class of 1966 Award from the Senior Class for having “changed lives and challenged students to achieve.”


Sam Potter

Sam is in his 6th year of teaching at OUAZ and enjoys interacting with students on the topics of Christianity, theology and religion in general.  Sam has also taught courses at GCU and for OU online.  At OUAZ he teaches mostly the World Religions and Dimensions of Faith courses.

He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Bethel College & Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and a BA in Human Development from The University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.  He also received an Associate of Science degree and would welcome guesses as to the unusual area of study.

Besides teaching college, Sam has worked at a Christian social work agency in Phoenix, was a Pastor in Wisconsin and a Youth Pastor.

Sam has two adopted sons and lives in Surprise, Arizona, not far from the OUAZ campus.  When not grading assignments, he likes to read books on a variety of topics, travel and occasionally going sailing.

Summer programming announced soon!!!

How can we help you help others?!

Fredrikson Center for Faith and Church Vitality

Consulting Services...

Services Scope:

Our team has extensive experience in working with:

Arts and Culture Programming

Capital Campaign Planning and Execution

Church and Faith-Based Organizations

Civic and Social Service Organizations

Educational Institutions

Grant Makers (Private and Public Foundations)

Housing organizations (Community, Civic and/or governmentally sponsored)

Healthcare and Human Services Agencies

Joint Venture Partnerships (Profit/Non-Profit and Governmental/Non-Profit Partnerships)


Our time and resources are limited and donations to OU's faith based programming is greatly appreciated. For a consulting proposal, tailored to the needs of your organization, please indicate total number of assistance hours requested, choose your preferred options from the following service option menus and email john.holzhuter@ottawa.edu :


Services Menu:

Client Agency can utilize their monthly hour-allotment in the following areas:


Stage One:

q     Agency/Church and programming readiness and impact assessments

q  Agency/Church Budget Review

q     Board Governance and Readiness Assessment

q     Project Marketing/Feasibility Studies

q     Succession and Transition Planning Review

q     Staffing/Volunteer Assessment

q     Surveying/Analysis (360°, Constituent, Client, Congregant, Donor)

q     Seminars/Workshops (Board, Staff, Congregation, Plenary or Capital Campaign Leadership)

q     Planned Giving and Endowment Strategies Review/Proposals

q     Campaign Marketing Recommendations

q     Programming Protection/Funding Diversity Planning Services

q     Site Visits/On-Site Facilitations.


Stage Two:

q Whole-Agency policy review and Re-Visioning recommendations

q Facilitated Strategic Planning Sessions

q Policy and Procedure Review and Drafting

q Development of Campaign Master-Plan/Timeline

q Training Services (Board, Staff, Congregation, Plenary or Capital Campaign Leadership)

q Partnership brokering and Covenanting (LoI, MoA, MoU)

q Campaign Budget Review and Capital Plan Finalization (Sources and Uses)

q    Development of ‘Donor Pyramid’ Strategy

q Donor Recognition Planning

q    Case-for-Support Recommendation/Creation

q    Off-Site Facilitated Retreats (Staff, Board, Committee or Capital Campaign Teams)

q Site Visit/On-Site Meeting(s)

q Presence at Campaign, Board or Church Leadership planning sessions.


Stage Three:

q Campaign Tracking Systems Determinations (industry and No-additional-cost alternatives.)

q Media-Material Creation (Videos, PowerPoint Design and other formats)

q Press-Release and Traditional Media Support Services

q    Internal Communications-Management

q    Digital/Virtual Media Programming

q    Generation of Corporate and Foundation Leads

q    Grant Writing and Compliance Systems Development (capital and programming)

q    Agency Transition Protocols

q Ongoing Mentoring, Coaching and Marketing Services

q    New Leadership Transition Session

q    Site Visit/On-Site Meeting(s)

q Change-Management Programming

q    Project Management Services

q Presence at Campaign and/or Board Reporting Sessions

q Student Volunteer Team/Student Intern Involvement.

Lectures and Seminars

Check out our...

Video Library