About Us

Providing Christian-based community education 

for every age and every stage

We connect and empower people at all ages and stages for transformation through living Christ-centered lives. This mission is accomplished by operating a center providing Christian-based community education classes. We meet adults, teens, and children right where they are and help them assess what is needed to grow in Christ. A wide variety of courses are offered to empower people with the tools they need to live transformed, Christ-centered lives. The core track of classes are the three phases of The Ultimate Journey.

The Dream

The Christ-Life Center began with a dream rooted in The Ultimate Journey.

the vision


Empower people who want more, with the tools to live transformed, Christ-centered lives

Attract people who might not initially feel comfortable in a church environment

Engage facilitators and teachers who are passionate about helping people grow

Provide a gathering place for people to meet and connect in the Ultimate Grounds Coffee House

Value each person and the gifts, talents and abilities they bring to the Family of God

Support pastors, ministry leaders and therapists with a safe, neutral place to refer people

Create a central location where TUJ groups can be promoted to the general public and are offered on a regular basis

Enable couples to have marriages that thrive, not just survive

Equip parents with the tools to be the parents they’ve always wanted to be

Teach children and teens the principles that lead to wholeness and spiritual maturity

Offer a place where someone can refer relatives, friends, and co-workers for solid, biblically sound teaching and help at a nominal cost

the Building

The amazing story of God’s transformation of an abandoned Ryan’s Steakhouse into the Christ-Life Center.

Our Leadership

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)

While in previous careers each member of our team obtained the education, experience, and success the world offer, regarding the roles to which God now calls us, we are unschooled, ordinary men and women who have been with Jesus. We pray that when you see us, you see that we have been with Jesus.

Jim Hobson

Jim Hobson

Executive Director

Jim graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1981, and began his career as a CPA in the Chicago office of a national public accounting firm. Nine years later, Jim entered the private corporate sector as the chief financial officer, and later, general manager, of a former client.

After climbing the ladder of success Jim realized that ladder was leaning against the wrong wall. God was calling him to leave the corporate world for full-time ministry. The first step of this new journey was as the business administrator of a large church in Des Moines, Iowa.  A couple years into this new journey God led Jim and his family to Teen Challenge of the Midlands (a residential discipleship ministry for people with addictive behaviors) where they lived and worked with the students.  While serving there as the Assistant Executive Director, he and Kathie worked closely with John Marquez in the final development of The Christ-Life Solution  (later titled The Ultimate Journey) discipleship process.  Through John, Jim and Kathie, God birthed Christ-Life Ministries in 2000.

For the past 20 years The Ultimate Journey has been used in churches all across the country. The Christ-Life Center is the result of a vision Jim and Kathie had years ago that God has now birthed.

Over the years, Jim has been blessed to serve on the boards of the Gideons, Bethel Mission, Teen Challenge of the Midlands, Free Clinics of Iowa and Wings of Refuge. Jim enjoys being with his family, playing with his 4 grandkids and teaching God’s Word.

Kathie Hobson

Kathie Hobson

Assistant Director

Kathie oversees the Christ-Life Center’s curriculum and teaches a few classes herself. She is also the training director for The Ultimate Journey, overseeing groups in churches across the country. Kathie holds a Master’s Degree in counseling from Wheaton College Graduate School and has served as a therapist in clinical and church settings. Her passion is seeing people grow beyond the hurts, shame and bondages of their past so they can truly live free.  As a result, they are able to live out who God created them to be, and to have love-filled marriages and emotionally healthy children.

Kathie loves spending time with her family, mentoring women and couples, and equipping parents.  She and her husband, Jim, have been married over 40 years and have two married daughters and 5 grandchildren. Her greatest joy is playing with her grand-kids and sharing God’s Word with them. She loves hosting people in her home and does so frequently enough that her house has been dubbed The Hobson B&B.

John Selman

John Selman

Marketing and Communications Director

Prior to joining Christ-Life Ministries, John owned and managed a real estate and development agency. He has over 15 years of management experience and has served on the board of directors for his church and many different non-profits. John has master’s degrees in both non-profit management and education.

 In 2022 John felt God was leading him into full-time ministry with a heart to teach and disciple others. After going through The Ultimate Journey and moving to Des Moines, John joined our team in February 2023 as the Marketing and Communications Director. He is using his experience to help the ministry grow while also leading classes and discipling others. John is married to his wife, Meredith, and they have two children, Josiah and Ayla, and a baby boy on the way. John loves spending time with his family. He enjoys the outdoors, including hiking, camping, backpacking, bird watching, and playing just about any sport. John’s passion in life is serving the Lord and growing His Kingdom.


Thea Oppedal

Thea Oppedal

Accounting Administrator

As a former bank vice president, Thea uses her skills to maintain the Christ-Life Center’s financial records. When not at the Christ-Life Center, Thea reads, listens to the birds while sipping coffee, meets friends for meals, and enjoys crafting of any kind.  Among her greatest joys is being “Auntie” to three generations of nieces and nephews.  Thea’s favorite food is chocolate (with a latte) although Mexican is also high on the list. 

Roberta Gamble

Roberta Gamble

Office Coordinator

Roberta has been a facilitator of all three phases of The Ultimate Journey since 2004 and had volunteered for Christ-Life Ministries before joining the team in November of 2019 shortly after the opening of the new Christ-Life Center building. She believes that her 28+ years of administrative and executive assistant experience in the corporate world culminated in serving God in this ministry as the Office Coordinator. She and her husband, Mark, have two children and eight grandchildren. As an empty nester, Roberta enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, walking her three huskies, and running an online cosmetics business with a company created to fund its foundation to help adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.



The Ultimate Journey: Phase 1 Turbo Facilitator

Devin is the Phase 1 Turbo Facilitator at Christ Life. She is also the group director for The Ultimate Journey, overseeing groups at her church. Devin has a background in health and fitness as a Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach. She is also a Board Certified Master Mental Health Coach specializing in grief and loss, addiction and recovery and marriage and family. She and her husband have been serving in full time church ministry together for over 23 years. 

Devin loves spending time with her family and attending her kids’ activities. She also enjoys reading, taking walks outside, strength training, leading worship, teaching and cold brew coffee. Devin and her husband, Jerad, have been married 23 years and have 3 amazing kids, Malachi, Isaiah and Elliana. Her greatest joy is watching her kids grow into the people God created them to be and helping people find freedom in Christ. 


Our Board of Directors

Heidi Quist, Psychologist – Owner of Heartland Christian Counseling

Josh Miller, Pastor – Harvest Vineyard Church

Natalie Spitzig – Business Consultant

Doug Van Wey, Pastor – Grace Baptist Church

Our Beliefs

The Bible is God’s unique revelation to people.  It is the inspired, infallible Word of God, and the supreme and final authority on all matters upon which it teaches.  No other writings are vested with such divine authority.

There is only one God, creator of heaven and earth, who exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

All people are created in God’s image and matter deeply to him.  Central to the message of the Bible is that God loves people, and invites them to live in communion with himself and in community with each other.

Apart from trusting in the righteousness of Jesus Christ for salvation, all people are spiritually lost and, because of sin, experience separation from God.  Salvation cannot be earned through personal goodness or human effort.  It is a gift that must be received by humble repentance and faith in Christ and his finished work on the cross.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless human life, willingly took upon himself all of our sins, died and rose again bodily, and is at the right hand of the Father as our advocate and mediator.  Some day, he will return to consummate history and to fulfill the eternal plan of God.

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, convicts the world of sin and draws people to Christ.  He also indwells all believers in order to guide, convict, regenerate, instruct and empower them.

There is a final judgment which all men must face.  At the final judgment, unbelievers will be eternally separated from God. Believers will be received into God’s loving presence and rewarded for their faithfulness to him in this life.

All believers are members of the Body of Christ, the one true church universal which crosses ethnic, cultural, socio-economic, national, generational, gender, and denominational lines.

In the Press

WeAreIowa.com Local News

Clive Living Magazine, August 2019

[pdf-embedder url=”https://clcenter1.wpenginepowered.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Clive-Living-Magazine_Christ-Life-Center.pdf”]

Visit Us

What are you waiting for?  Join us!

About Us     Courses     Shop      Donate     Contact     FAQS

© 2020 Christ-Life Ministries