James Stoscher
Erseka, Albania
James Stoscher

Legacy of worship

James grew up in a family that is passionate about worshiping God together. While watching his grandfather share his musical gifts at a family hymn sing, James recalls thinking, “I want to do that for the rest of my life.” James is a participant in Northwestern’s A cappella Choir, Orchestra and worship music teams, and he works as a resident assistant for Hospers Hall.

Early beginnings
My love for worshiping God in music started when I was 8 years old. Whenever my extended family gathers for a reunion, one of our favorite traditions is to sing hymns together. I vividly remember sitting in that hymn circle at age 8 and watching my grandfather as he played violin in worship to our King. Ever since, I have participated in or led worship services, either playing my violin in Sunday worship or leading worship with my guitar at summer camp. I feel God’s calling on my life is to worship him with my gifts in music.

Home away from home
As soon as I arrived on campus, I felt immediately at home. Although moving away from family and friends to enter college was a challenging transition, Northwestern’s focus on community really helped me step out of my dorm room and participate in the community around me. 

Practical growth
As worship arts majors, we study the deeper theological meaning of Scripture, but we also explore the more practical side of God’s Word and use those applications to encourage one another in our walks of faith. Each week, the worship arts community gathers for a time of worship and prayer to start out the week. That is such an encouraging time, and it helps me feel prepared for the week of classes ahead.

Challenging viewpoints
Northwestern faculty have expanded my perspectives by encouraging me to explore different viewpoints and to never be satisfied with easy answers. I came to college with the assumption that everyone saw worship the same way I did. Fortunately, my experience here and the lessons I learned from professors and classmates have broadened my view of worship. I now come into classes with the expectation that I will be challenged and that I will see worship differently than I did before.  

“NWC is the place to be”
While college may be a place to get a degree so you can get a job, the college experience should be so much more than that. Northwestern is a community that challenges our perceptions while still loving and accepting us as we are. In addition, Northwestern calls us to something higher and deeper than our own motives and focuses—it’s a place where we can strive to live the lives God desires for us.