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New Book Highlights Writings of Former Ohio Wesleyan Chaplain
James Leslie’s Writings, Prayers, and Reflections Span 28-Year Period

January 10, 2011

“Make Us Aware.”
Image courtesy of CreateSpace
DELAWARE, OH – The Rev. Dr. James Leslie served as Ohio Wesleyan University’s chaplain from 1960 to 1988—during some of the most turbulent times in U.S. history. A newly published book, “Make Us Aware,” compiles some of his writings, prayers, and personal reflections as he sought to share issues and expand the horizons of OWU students through work focused on mission, peace, and justice.

“For more than three decades, Jim Leslie has been my professional mentor and my personal hero,” states Ohio Wesleyan’s current chaplain, the Rev. Jon Powers, in the book’s foreword. “It is impossible for me to read through this wonderful collection of prayers, essays, sermons, and speeches without hearing the delightful lilt of his voice, seeing the mischievous twinkle in his eye, or feeling the passionate commitment of his soul. … Take your time with these amazing entries, and be blessed with the quiet wonder of this humble, gentle giant who so profoundly shaped the vision of Ohio Wesleyan University’s first three decades of full-time chaplaincy.”

“Make Us Aware” is available for purchase at Amazon.com, and in Delaware at Beehive Bookstore and at the Ohio Wesleyan Bookstore in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.

A long-time resident of Delaware, Ohio, Leslie earned his doctorate degree from the Boston University School of Theology. He became Ohio Wesleyan’s first full-time chaplain and director of religious life in 1960. Following his retirement in 1988, he and his wife, Betty, served in United Methodist Volunteer in Missions work camps throughout the southern states and in Slovakia. He continues to serve on the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Scholarship Committee and in the choir at Asbury United Methodist Church in Delaware.

In 2007, Ohio Wesleyan established the James Leslie Center for Peace and Justice, which provides opportunities for students and members of the OWU community to perform mission work and peace and justice initiatives. The Leslie Center is built on the four foundational pillars of the OWU Mission Team Program: conscientious leadership, restorative justice, transformative reflection, and substantive community.


Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 45 states and 52 countries. Ohio Wesleyan earned a 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in General Community Service, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.