By Sharon Mager
NEWARK, De. — Nathaniel Walters serves as Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) Collegiate Ministry Consultant, and as the director of Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at the University of Delaware. He succeeds Blake Hardcastle, who recently resigned, transitioning to serve in Texas after ministering with the BCM/D for over two decades.
As the BCM/D Collegiate Ministry Consultant, Walters assists campus ministers throughout Maryland and Delaware, and he helps start and strengthen other collegiate ministries in the region. He also partners with campus ministers on a regional and national level as they encourage one another, seeking to minister to the ever-changing demographics of college students in America.
Serving as the director of BSM at the University of Delaware, Walters meets with and oversees the student leadership team, teaches Tuesday night large group studies, manages the ministry house and residents on campus, disciples students, plans and coordinates retreats and events, and plots the vision for BSM in the future.
Walters knows first-hand the value of collegiate ministry, being part of the BSM while a student at the University of Delaware.
Sharing his spiritual journey, Walters said, “Throughout my childhood, I can’t remember a time when I would not call myself a Christian.” His grandfather was a pastor, and his life revolved around the church.
“I was there throughout the week, actively involved in many ministries, and memorizing Scripture. At one point, I could quote the entire book of Romans from memory straight through. I wish I still could!
“In spite of this knowledge, with the typical challenges of high school and a girlfriend taking my attention, my high school and early college years were spiritually stagnant. Although I would say I was a believer, I was not growing. I had no desire to please God, and my actions showed that.
“My relationship with my girlfriend ended during my second year of college, and that breakup was a huge turning point in my life and faith. I realized that I didn’t have any friends after clinging to my girlfriend for years, so I decided to make some new ones on campus. Through my friend Joe from high school, I ended up living with some guys who were involved in Baptist Student Ministry,” Walters said.
That changed everything.
“The summer between my second and third year of college was my first real experience of genuine Christian community, and I finally realized that I had never really thought about what I believed. I was convicted of sin and challenged to grow in my faith. I had been drinking milk for years and finally desired ‘solid food.’ It wouldn’t be correct to say that this was when I was saved, as I believe my faith was in Christ before this, but it certainly was one of the most important times in my life as a Christian.”
Walters received a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware in 2014 and worked in the traffic analysis and land development field for four years after graduation. From Sept. 2018 – April 2019, he ministered as a pastoral assistant at Ogletown Baptist Church in Delaware, his home church where he also serves on the praise team, before transitioning into his current role. He is currently pursuing his Master of Divinity degree with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Walters and his wife, Jamie, have been married five years. “We actually met through BSM at Delaware, and she worked at BSM for over three years until shortly before our son Nate was born on Feb. 3. He’s four months old and currently loves drooling, pulling blankets over his face, rolling over, and babbling to himself.”
In his spare time, the Walters enjoy being outdoors. “This past year, we spent two weeks hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada. I also enjoy backpacking in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia,” he said.
Walters is excited about his new ministry position. “I’m most excited to have a role in discipling college students and seeing them grow in their faith in some of the same ways I did during college.
“College is a turning point for many people, for better or for worse, and I’m excited to have an influence on the lives of students both at Delaware and throughout the state.”