Fredrikson Center Programming

Throughout the year, the Fredrikson Center offers a range of spiritual programming for theologians, church leaders, faculty members, pastors and laity, students and community members. The Fredrikson Center also provides a spiritual house for community events.

Hostetter-DeFries Family Endowed Cultural Event

The Hostetter-DeFries Family Endowed Cultural Fund was established in 1999 by Ottawa University alumna Alice Jo (Hostetter) DeFries. The goal of the fund and annual cultural event is to host guest speakers who have contributed significantly to the social, artistic and cultural improvement of society.




Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Fredrikson Chapel Ottawa KS Campus

Add to Calendar 11/13/2019 8:00:00 PM 11/13/2019 10:00:00 PM America/Phoenix 2019-Hostetter-DeFries-Family-Endowed-Event

Pastry chef and author Marian Getz spent the first 18 years of her life in Congo, Africa, where the family home included a grass airstrip in the front yard because her father was a Baptist Missionary bush pilot. The tiny mission station where they lived lacked electricity, so the family passed evenings reading by kerosene lantern light. One night, bored with children’s books, Marian picked up her Mom’s well-worn copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This cookbook sparked a lifelong love of cooking.

Marian graduated from The American School of Kinshasa, Zaire, Africa, in 1980 and chose Ottawa University from a list of small American Baptist Colleges, all of them in cities she had never visited. To choose, she closed her eyes and placed a finger on the list. It landed on OU. There she met her husband, Greg, a food-loving Southerner. As a way of encouraging Marian’s love of cooking, Greg would gather money from friends who missed home-cooked meals and then ride a borrowed bicycle to buy groceries and Marian would cook entire scratch-made meals for their friends in the tiny dorm kitchenette. Marian and Greg both graduated from OU in 1985.

During the next several years, Marian owned a small catering business and had two sons, Jordan and Ben. Next she worked as a grocery store cake decorator then as a pastry cook at Walt Disney World’s Swan Hotel. Next, in 1998, she went to work at the Wolfgang Puck Café at Disney World, starting at the bottom as an entry-level pastry cook whose sole responsibility was cutting and plating up breadbaskets for the guests. Three months later she was promoted to her dream job of executive pastry chef and spent the next seven years in this pivotal role.

Since 2005, Marian has worked alongside Wolfgang in St. Petersburg, Florida, on HSN (Home Shopping Network) and TSC (Todays Shopping Choice) in Toronto, Canada, demonstrating on live TV the Wolfgang Puck line of professional-quality cookware, tools and appliances designed for home cooks. It is a fast-paced, high-energy work environment that Marian thrives in. She is also the author of 38 cookbooks that are sold on these networks.

Marian lives in Clearwater, Florida, with her husband, Greg, and likes to spend her free time gathering her family together to cook, gardening, reading and spoiling her four young grandchildren by baking far too many cookies with them.

Fredrikson Chapel Ottawa KS Campus

Marian Getz '85 "From Congo to Kansas. My Life as a Chef".

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Adventures in Faith

Adventures in Faith (AIF) is an annual event that brings a team of alumni who are established in their vocational or volunteer fields and united by a strong faith commitment to spend three days on campus in Ottawa, Kansas. While here, they make in-class, group and chapel presentations on blending vocation with avocation.

Begun in the late 1970s by Dr. Roger Fredrikson, the event was put under the Fredrikson Center in 2011 and is being redesigned to better align with the University’s mission and vision by identifying specific areas of need within the community and on campus and inviting AIF and community professionals to address those needs through workshops, roundtables and presentations. The redesign of Adventures in Faith has allowed for a robust crossover of interest and content that engages multiple audiences. Video archives of several of the presentations can be viewed here.

There are currently no upcoming events.

Annual Conference for Pastors and Laity

With a burden for equipping, encouraging and empowering pastors and lay leaders, Ottawa University developed its annual pastors and laity conference in 2011 with three purposes in mind:

  • Help pastors and lay people understand the meaning of spiritual formation— "Becoming Like Jesus."
  • Encourage pastors and lay people to commit themselves to disciplines of grace, making them available to God’s Spirit as they take on the character of Christ.
  • Discover ways by which congregations can become communities of grace— signs of God's Kingdom.

As part of the Fredrikson Center for Faith and Church Vitality, the conference is another tangible way Ottawa University fulfills its mission as a “Christ-centered community of grace that integrates faith, learning and life.” It features gifted communicators of God’s Word, powerful worship, challenging breakout sessions, and fellowship with other Christian leaders.

There are currently no upcoming events.

Norwood Jones Convocation Series

Sponsored by the Norwood L. Jones Convocation Fund

The Norwood L. Jones Convocation Fund was established in 1973 by Mr. and Mrs. Norwood L. Jones, Carolyn Jones Fletcher, and Anne J. Mills. The fund enables Ottawa University to invite distinguished individuals to campus to stimulate and inspire students in their religious life and involvements.

There are currently no upcoming events.

Pastoral Development Program

Sponsored through a generous grant from the Ervil A. & Ronald E. Thiel Charitable Trust

The Pastoral Development Program concentrates on the training, development and resource needs of up to 12 ABC and interdenominational pastors over a 12-month period. It was initiated by Chancellor Dr. Kevin C. Eichner in 2011 with the express mission "To strengthen the skills, knowledge, spiritual formation, personal behavior patterns, and relationships which will enable pastors to be more effective and more fulfilled in their ministry for Christ's purposes."

The year-long, cohort style programming concentrates on leadership skills, business education, faith-based psychology, and individualized mentoring for current pastors. It consists of two-day training sessions each quarter on campus in Ottawa, Kansas, with church-site mentoring and self-discovery activities provided in the intervening months. On-site consultation and interaction at the pastor's home church can include congregational training opportunities and/or work with local church leaders.

During and following the development programming, pastors can access additional resources and support here.


In the summer of 2011, Chancellor Kevin Eichner proposed a Pastoral Training Program to Rev. John Williams, American Baptist Executive Minister for the Central Region, which promulgated the express mission "To strengthen the skills, knowledge, spiritual formation, personal behavior patterns, and relationships which will enable pastors to be more effective and more fulfilled in their ministry for Christ's purposes." Interaction, surveys and discussions were then facilitated with pastors at the ABC Regional Gathering and Ottawa University's Pastors and Laity Conference. Through these and other discussions, some common themes were discerned around which general program components were proposed:

  • Pastors are looking for training opportunities to help them better motivate church members, make greater community impact and target their own development, but they have limited funds and minimal time availability. Training should be low or no cost to allow equal opportunity to large/small and rural/city pastor participants. It also should be intense when on campus and offer virtual and "at church" components.
  • Pastors often feel isolated, and they look for opportunities that serve as a forum for sharing experiences, learning from those who have faced similar challenges, and recognizing and reinforcing other pastors' work. Time and opportunity needs to be scheduled for open-forum and peer sharing. Seasoned pastors should be recruited to participate in class dialogue and act as mentors for the program participants.
  • Much of the leadership challenge for pastors is managing and leading non-paid volunteers. This requires more emotional intelligence, conflict management skills and a greater ability to motivate and inspire people simply managing paid staff. Focus must be given to common personality types, leadership tools and conflict management strategies. Materials should be tailored to specific challenges which arise in faith-based situations.
  • A common view of mission is to "save souls and transform people's lives," but this is negatively impacted by worries about the financial bottom line. Although they recognize that the financial health of the church and ministries is a requirement, many pastors feel uncomfortable with the secularity of the "business side of things." Training on business-related elements would be appreciated, but to be well received, it must be clearly faith-based and foster servant leadership principles.
  • The spiritual side must be deeply incorporated into any truly meaningful training experience. Essential spiritual elements, i.e. prayer to open a session, praying for each other's specific needs, and the integration of leadership elements with scriptural references, are crucial to participant comfort and program success.

Overall, pastors reported they face the difficult task of leading and motivating a wide variety of volunteer leaders, and while they feel well trained in theology, they often feel inadequate as leaders. This tied in with a national poll of pastors, which showed that having the personal leadership confidence to withstand negative pressures helps to buffer against loss of overall confidence, personal de-motivation and feelings of burn-out. There was also a necessary business aspect of church leadership that pastors indicated an inadequacy to properly handle. So while they know there is a comfortable basis in Jesus' teachings about money matters, they often feel squeamish in dealing directly with this financial or business component of the church.

In response, Chancellor Eichner began teaching a cohort of 12 pastors, selected primarily through nominations received from the American Baptist Central Region office but open to multiple denominations. Lasting 10 months and concentrating on the need of those currently in active service, the pastoral development program is offered at no charge to pastors or their churches. On-campus training targets leadership skills, business education, faith-based psychology, and individualized mentoring. On-site consultation and interaction at the pastor's home church includes individualized assessments and church-specific recommendations. Pastors are from ABC and other churches throughout Kansas, as well as Arkansas and South Dakota. Programming will eventually extend into neighboring ABC regions.

The 2012-13 ministry team was comprised of Chancellor Kevin C. Eichner ‘73, Life Trustee Dr. Roger Fredrikson '42, Rev. Warren Smith ‘66, Religion Professor Dr. Richard Menninger, and Fredrikson Center Managing Director Dr. John Holzhuter.