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 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. Her passion is seeing people become who they were created to be and fulfilling their God-given purpose and destiny. 

Kathie and her husband, Jim, have been married 35 years. They have 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren. Her greatest joy is playing with her grandkids 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.

Thea Oppedal

Thea Oppedal

Finance Manager

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 nephew.  Thea’s favorite food is chocolate (with a latte) although Mexican is also high on the list. 

Angie Vos

Angie Vos

Operations Manager

Angie is retired from the Air National Guard as a Chief Master Sergeant. She and her husband Ed have four children and one granddaughter. Her first experience with The Ultimate Journey was in 2010 and she has served in the ministry ever since. Besides her work at the Christ-Life Center, Angie enjoys spending time with her beloved family, being outdoors, walking, biking, and traveling. 

Pat Nicoson

Pat Nicoson

Database Manager

 Pat is retired from the Department of Defense. When she isn’t at the Christ-Life Center, you’ll often find her with coffee in one hand and a book in the other.  Apart from her work at the Christ-Life Center, Pat is an avid participant in Bible studies, and enjoys nature walks, evening campfires and visits with family and friends.

Sherri Ames

Sherri Ames

The Ultimate Journey: Phase 1 Turbo Facilitator

 Sherri began her Ultimate Journey in 2003 soon after she and her husband moved to Des Moines. She experienced the freedom of life in Christ and, in 2004, became a Phase 1 facilitator. Sherri facilitated many 13–week Ultimate Journey groups before joining our staff in 2015 as a Turbo Facilitator. Sherri and her husband Steve have been married over 40 years. Their adult children and families live across the country so Sherri and Steve travel as often as they can to spend time with their children and grandchildren. In her free time Sherri enjoys walking the trails at Jester Park, weeding her flower gardens, baking, and connecting with people over a great cup of coffee. 


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

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