Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) students had the opportunity to meet and discuss the principles of leadership with John Maxwell, a number one New York Times bestselling author, coach and speaker.

“Meeting with John Maxwell was nothing short of surreal,” said Adrianna Barnes, a senior HR Management major at SAGU. “It was an electrifying moment to shake hands with the man behind the words that I have read on book pages for years.”

The select group of SAGU business students were able to meet Maxwell during the recent Waxahachie Leadership Summit this November. The summit is a multi-session seminar inviting local leaders to invest in networking partnerships, turn-key business solutions and transformative learning opportunities.

Maxwell was the keynote speaker for the 2nd annual Waxahachie Leadership Summit. Prior to the summit, SAGU students had a full hour to speak with him.

In addition to Adrianna Barnes, junior accounting major, Harmony Sherpell, was one of the select few in attendance.

"Being a part of the 15 students who were chosen to speak with John Maxwell was such an honor," she said.

“When John Maxwell speaks, he speaks not only with wisdom and power but he also allows God to speak through him. It has once been said that ‘knowledge is like a garden; if it is not cultivated, it can not be harvested.’ Having the opportunity to be among John Maxwell allowed me the tools needed to continue to cultivate what has already been grown within me.”

Sherpell was actively involved in the session and asked Maxwell about the difference between a motivational speaker and a motivational leader.

“He explained to me in more simple terms that the difference is one is more about making the audience feel good while the other is leaving your audience with tools to make them better. He was quite impressed with the fact I had been listening to his podcast beforehand and had told me that one day I would go somewhere in life and although he did not know how he knew I would become a great.”

Both Sherpell and Barnes expressed their appreciation and admiration of Maxwell’s ability to integrate his faith and Christian principles into his teachings and consultations.

“I learned that one of the most important things to remember in entering the workforce or the business-world is to do everything with an effort to honor God and win people for his kingdom,” said Barnes. “One’s business IS their ministry.”

“You do not have to be within the four walls of the church to have a powerful and impactful ministry in this world. God calls people to business because he knows how many lives they can win to Christ through their business and meaningful interactions with employees, partners, and customers," Barnes continued.

As a leading Christian university, SAGU educates and prepares individuals who want to serve Christ and others. SAGU helps students discover and develop their God-given callings in a spirit-empowered, learning community.

SAGU believes in affordable tuition, made possible in part through the financial support of donors who embrace the mission of SAGU and the importance of affordable, accredited programs to train Christians for leadership in ministry, business, education, and service.

Most majors are available in-person in Waxahachie and online through a wide range of associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.